On Campus, Arts

CCE’s Pumpkin Spice Laughter is Not Basic, But Brilliant

Another week gone at Boston College, another week closer to freezing weather, costume parties, leaves falling from trees, and, yes, pumpkin spice lattes. It’s not hard to see why so many call autumn their favorite season. The not-quite-winter-yet months have a lot to offer for anyone on campus. For BC’s Committee for Creative Enactments (CCE), on the other hand, the abbreviation “PSL” doesn’t just mean pumpkin spice lattes—it means Pumpkin Spice Laughter, too.

Last Friday night, CCE performed its annual fall program, this year entitled “Pumpkin Spice Laughter.” And just as autumn inevitably comes marching on, so does the Committee for Creative Enactments. In a fascinating way, the CCE seems to mirror fall in a number of ways: always consistent, always fun, with a tiny bite of cold reality. But hey, no one ever said comedy couldn’t hold a kernel of truth, too.

That is precisely why reviewing CCE’s work can be surprisingly difficult. Putting into words its exact level of comedic mastery can be something of a challenge, due to the simple fact that it is so unlike any other comedy troupe on campus. This isn’t the first time that The Heights has reviewed a CCE show (and it certainly won’t be the last), so this has already been said before—still, though, it’s tough to oversell the atmosphere that CCE creates.

Referring to its show as a type of performance game seems criminally inaccurate. It is a game, yes, but it feels as though the club’s motivations run deeper than just creating a good time. It’s strange to walk into a show knowing not a single person in the room and still feel welcome—a part of the family, in a manner of speaking. Just by being at the show, it’s as if the crew wants to welcome each and every person on an individual level.

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And how do they accomplish such a feat? The clearest answer, undoubtedly, is the relationships that exist between CCE performers. This, it seems, is the Committee’s strongest skill—no other troupe on campus seems to genuinely love and care for one another quite as much, at least on stage. It may be a bit corny, and even something of a cliche, but the group’s personable nature truly does make its comedy some of the best that a person can find on campus.

Of course, this by no means suggests that the crew lacks technical mastery—that could not be farther from the truth. Be it short-form or long-form skits, every member of CCE has his or her ability to improvise down to a science. In all honesty, seeing the shift between the quick-wittedness of short-form improv skits and the mental dexterity of long-form bits was one of the best parts of Pumpkin Spice Laughter. Again, with nothing but the utmost of consistency, the CCE crew knows exactly how to play out each scenario to garner the maximum amount of laughs.

One of the best cards that the Committee has up its sleeve is the “Sex With Me is Like…” game. A fan favorite, it gets pulled out at nearly every show—members in the audience shout out a subject, and the crew has to improv a joke starting with the sentence “Sex with me is like…” that somehow incorporates the subject at hand. Anything under the sun (even Donald Trump) is fair game. Is it a complex idea? Not particularly. Is it hysterical every single time? Absolutely. It doesn’t take a genius to laugh at a sex joke, but coming up with them over and over with no preparation certainly does.

Sometimes, living in the midst of the BC bubble, it’s easy to forget that life is not all about midterms, social pressure, and the stress of managing dining dollars. And, certainly, the exterior world has not exactly felt like a paragon of stability either over the past several months. It has been said many, many times that laughter is the best medicine for any malady. And just like any half-baked cliche of a catchphrase, that’s really not true at all. But without any doubt, CCE’s Pumpkin Spice Laughter definitely felt like medicine for the world of stress that has been resting squarely on the shoulders of many around campus. Perhaps if more people attended events by the Committee for Creative Enactments, they might find that those stresses don’t feel quite so unbearable anymore.

Featured Image By Lucius Xuan / Heights Staff

October 23, 2016