Dead Serious hosted its fourth Annual Comedy Festival this week; along with a visit from Retta, who plays Donna in Parks and Recreation and an open mic stand-up night, they brought Dartmouth’s The Dog Day Players to do improv. Last year, Dead Serious brought BU’s Liquid Fun and The Upright Citizens Brigade.
The event was held in Tower’s Great Hall with students sitting on the floor or leaning over the balcony. The Dog Day Players went first, improvising off of the word “pumpernickel,” devolving into improvised character skits of baking wedding rings in dough and a father afraid to talk to his child. Afterward, Dead Serious performed several different pieces. First, four members stood in a square and alternated from cartographers to sister wives. It was then followed by sketches about planets, a demon child and much more.
“I always really enjoy working with other improv groups,” said Jabree Ellis ’17. “I really like Dartmouth’s The Dog Day Players in particular because I feel like they have an improv style very similar to that of Dead Serious as a group. I think you see a lot of people do improv styles and I think it was very interesting to see people do improv in a way very similar to the way we do it.”
The Dog Day Players were also excited to be at Wellesley. “We’re really thankful to be here. This space is so awesome, great crowd, great energy, and we hope to come back and would love to have Dead Serious over at Dartmouth!” said a member of the group.
Multiple audience members agree that the performance was funny.
“I thought the Dead Serious performance was great. It was my first time going to a Dead Serious event, and I laughed really hard. So like, mission accomplished,” said Bo Scheidel ’18. “Great work, everyone.”
Audience member Alice Lee ’18 expressed why she thought the show was particularly special.
“I think [Dead Serious and The Dog Day Players] were good in the way they diversified their performance, so like the first was stand-up, and afterward they did grown-up stuff. It was entertaining because they kept it short and funny. I thought all of them killed it, and from beginning to end it was never quiet for more than a minute in the audience, because there was a consistent number of jokes, and I think that it was going to be a great time whenever you dropped in. I LOLed nine-14 times.”
Earlier in the week, Retta charmed an audience of Wellesley students with a lot of the same energy and attitude she brought to her character Donna in “Parks and Recreation.” Retta shared her everyday life experience on topics such as friendships, customer service and romance. She spoke openly about topics like body image and race in a quick-witted way, including a story about a friend breakup that happened for two reasons: one, not having an option to wear anything but a strapless or spaghetti strap dress at the friend’s marriage, and two, not having alcohol at the reception. She also spoke about her experiences dating a skinny Latino man — which, by the way, she recommends everyone does. Retta, through her comedy, reminded the audience to demand what you want, and of course, to treat yourself.
On Friday, Dead Serious will be participating at a competition at Improv Boston. More information can be found at their Facebook page by searching for “Dead Serious.”
Sravanti Tekumalla ’16, Co-Editor in Chief, contributed reporting.
Cynthia Chen ’18 is a staff writer for the News and Arts section who wants to be a journalist IRL, and is pursuing a major in Political Science. She likes to converse about soy wasabi almonds and praying mantis’.
Photo Courtesy of Dead Serious