REVIEW: Hold On To Your Butts @ Stage773

And Don’t Let Go.

clem_080814_018Hold On To Your Butts is a new sketch comedy revue playing an all too brief run this month at Stage 773. Created by the always impressive Shanna’s Mom, it is the perfect showcase for both the group’s intelligent, focused writing and loose, manic performance style.

It’s all in the title – Samuel L Jackson’s immortal (and infinitely meme-able) quote from Jurassic Park sets the tone for this goofy romp through the collective psyche of today’s twentysomethings.  And, like Steven Spielberg’s classic 1993 dino-flick, Hold On To Your Butts is a true summer blockbuster — an energetic crowd-pleaser packed with plenty of surprises.

The show is filled with scenes that take keen observations and play them for big, broad laughs. Case in point: the group kicks things off with a rap about Jurassic Park and how seeing it at a young age played a huge role in their sexual awakening. This is clearly a show by and for millennials, a fact that Shanna’s Mom embraces fully. Beyond the 90’s nostalgia, Hold On To Your Butts tackles DIY projects, ride-sharing, reunions and (in one particularly well-choreographed song-and-dance) the “girl pose.”

Like any sketch show, some scenes stand out more than others, but the group’s charm and wit remain high throughout. Their biggest successes come from their ability to subvert expectations and flip the script. On more than one occasion, the “straight man” is eventually revealed to be the unhinged one and, in an inspired running gag about “relationship milestones,” a cute, relatable joke eventually takes a dark, Shakespearean turn. Things move along briskly and Shanna’s Mom shows how incredibly adept they are at navigating a wide range of comedic styles.

The cast is pretty much brilliant and has an irresistible energy, especially when sharing the stage. One of the night’s biggest joys was just watching the five of them dance together — each letting their own personalities shine through without hoarding the spotlight from the others. These are five distinct voices that work together seamlessly.  Even more impressive is the fact that Shanna’s Mom was down one of its performers this week. Though I’d been told that writer/performer Kate McGroarty would be sitting this one out, I had completely forgotten by the end of the show; the cast had filled in the blanks without a hitch.

Hold On To Your Butts is polished and punchy and will leave you wanting more. Luckily, I think we’ll be seeing quite a bit more from these talented performers in the near future. The show played to a full house and, with only one show in its run remaining, I suggest you grab tickets now.

Hold On To Your Butts plays Friday at Stage 773 at 8pm (it’s final show). Tickets are $10 and can be purchased here.

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posted on by Cameron Scheetz posted in Chatter, Reviews

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