The audience wants something that entertains them, and whether that entertainment is in the form of a physical match or in the form of a skit or video or promo, it’s our job to deliver it to them, to the point where the audience becomes the biggest champion of our brand. And if we can’t match that, then we’re falling short.
~ Paul Heyman, producer, writer, and performer
We all need a great laugh when things become too intense and grueling. The holidays are here. It is not coming it’s already here. Walk into a mall and you’ll see and smell the holidays making a permanent abut temporary stay. During the exhausting shopping and painfully waiting at the long line to buy your gifts at Target, you are tired and want to crawl back in to bed. For some holiday cheer, the best place to watch a show is the Holiday Comedy ShitSh*w in Hollywood. My God!! C0-directors Megan James and Jackie Learmond have the best 20 hilarious players bringing the cheer on full blast. All 13 sketches have a Christmas theme and nothing is off limits.
The ShitSh*w begins with the “Who’s Mary’s Baby Daddy?” written by Deidre Barnes and actors Barnes, Megan James, Jackie Learmond, Valerie Lucas, Kirstie McHugh and Michael Dubay. Set up as an Oprah Winfrey talk show, Dorie (played so damn Joseph readily admits that he’s not the father. Dorie brings out Moses, Noah, Frank(incense) Goldie, and Myrrh. None are the proud daddy. Poor Mary is getting it from all sides on how this Immaculate Conception happened. Dorie immediacy pounces for the truth. Another fun one is “D*ck in a Box,” written by Pat Nye and starring Nye, Valerie Lucas, Ashley Ledbetter, Micah Enloe, and Kirstie McHugh. Most likely inspired by former Saturday Night Live alum Andy Samberg and singer Justin Timberlake, the actors do their own version of the famous skit. It was funny as hell and the characters were really into it, which makes it fun for the audience, when performers are clearly enjoying what they’re doing. Priceless.
We have all experienced the obligatory office holiday party. It’s difficult enough to work with people who make your skin crawl, then, you have to celebrate with them? Having root canal with no anesthesia sounds like a way better time. Just sayin’. In “Petty Santa,” starring Barnes, Maria Granerg, Brent Davis, Ashley Ledbetter, Valerie Lucas, Micah Enloe, Richard Biagl and Carmen DeLeon, no one is happy about staying after work for the abysmal Christmas party. The boss (Brent Davis) tries to make it somewhat pleasant but horribly fails. He gets a mug with the word “BOSS” emblazoned. The smoker gets Listerine and the oft- pregnant woman gets a box of condoms. Barnes facetiously makes it known that she hates the party and the people at the party and abruptly leaves. She reminded me of actress Diahann Carroll as the bad-ass Dominique Deveraux from the night time drama, “Dynasty.” Both women were polished and straightforward. Barnes brought out the Dominique in her with class and style and more importantly, sophisticated humor.
Another nightmare in the holiday spirit is getting your bags checked by an overly follow-by-the-rules TSA agent. In “Holidays at LAX” written by Jackie Learmond and starring Steph Martinez and Pat Nye are a married couple trying to catch their flight home. The TSA agent (Jackie Learmond excels in this role) is making that impossible. When she’s not super scrutinizing their bags, she flirts with the husband with endearing references calling him “delicious” and “white chocolate.” This is the agent that passengers try their best to avoid. Learmond has a great time annoying the couple. All the shows were pure gold. Hysterical. Clever and on point. The writer’s vision are well executed by the talented actors. Have a yourself a merry little Christmas and get your laugh on at the Complex Theatre.
A Holiday Comedy ShitSH*W ends Wednesday, December 12th at 7:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. playing at the Complex Theatre, located at 6476 Santa Monica Blvd in Hollywood. For ticket reservations, visit https://squareup.com/store/holiday-comedy-shitsh-star-w.