Top Story, Arts, On Campus

Night In The O’Connell: My Mother’s Fleabag Makes Upper Come Alive

The usual crowd of lonely freshmen got kicked out of the O’Connell this weekend to make way for the improv comedy group.

This weekend the O’Connell House opened its doors to anyone lucky enough to nab a seat to come and see the Big Fall Show from BC improv group My Mother’s Fleabag. The tight-knit, side-splitting ensemble—celebrating 35 years of laughs and whimsical wit—rolled out onto the stage ready for anything to be thrown at them.

Performing a variety of prewritten skits and a multitude of dynamic improv games, almost all brought to fruition by roaring crowds, My Mother’s Fleabag flaunted their impromptu and timing skills. With countless quips, My Mother’s Fleabag invited audiences to join them for a night filled with mystery, vitality, and laughter that rang beautifully off the rafters and walls of O’Connell House.

Although O’Connell House lacked the space and seating to accommodate the masses that came to see the improv group, it provided the cozy, playful atmosphere My Mother’s Fleabag thrives. Half an hour before the show commenced, O’Connell House was already filled to capacity—with droves of students still trying to filter in after that. The group’s petit stage, flanked by the crowd and reared by a rigid yet sleek staircase, allowed for an intimate atmosphere between comedians and crowds.

Members of the troupe, leading different games from the group’s impressive repertoire, were able to interact with audience volunteers. O’Connell House, the traditional venue of My Mother’s Fleabag’s shows, appropriately promoted the team’s interactive flow and aura.

The most outstanding quality of this weekend’s shows was the reactivity between the audience and the performers. All around the room, the air was electric, the crowd was on the edge of their seats in anticipation of what the next piece would be or the possibilities of what could a performer could think of on a second’s notice. From forming hilarious titles and explanations for films like “Great Lumberjacks” with the tag “They’re not mediocre, look at that tree!” after only being given two letters, to reenacting the “boring” escapades of an adorable volunteer, Joey, the ensemble strutted its showmanship and spontaneity.

Most games were formed by a word given by the audience, responding to a prompt given by a Fleabagger. While some games quickly expanded past the topic the audience proposed, some of the show’s most successful jokes formed from the performers’ more random tangents. The crowd’s contributions showcased the spontaneous nature of My Mother’s Fleabag, exciting the audience.

While the rather exclusive tag-team shone brightly as a collective unit, several members were on-point with their game and left the audience gasping for air. Matt Hession, CSOM ’16, gave one of the evening’s strongest performances with his outrageous comebacks. Meanwhile, Alex Dzialo, co-director of Fleabag and A&S ’15, was one of the more inspired members of the cast. He successfully acted out phrases like, “spinning in a mall with Phil Collins” and offered a spirited defense of men’s short shorts. Fleabaggers Jenna Postiglione and Amanda Hoffman, both A&S ’17, brought energy to the overall performance. The group exemplified its chemistry with its closer, “The Opera,” which both celebrated and parodied glam-rock and facets of Boston College’s culture.

From skits like “The Jerry Springer Show: Who’s the Real Founding Father?” to innovative improv games like “Pan-Left, Pan-Right,” My Mother’s Fleabag showcased its comedic grace and timing in this weekend’s BIG Fall Show. The crowds that squeezed into O’Connell House Friday and Saturday night were treated to an impressive assortment of skits and improv scenes that expanded upon and complemented the audience’s volunteers and left the attendees teeming with impatience for more hilarity.

Featured Image by Emily Sadeghian / Heights Editor

November 17, 2014
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