Arts, On Campus

My Mother’s Fleabag Improvises Facetious, Funny Show

Firing up an enthusiastic crowd by showing everyone a Facebook Live video to introduce its much-anticipated presence, improv comedy group My Mother’s Fleabag entertained this past weekend with its knack for engaging the audience and its imaginative sketches. Relying mostly on audience suggestions to inspire the content of its comedy games, no two shows were the same, which made each experience a unique one. With random and varied topics ranging from pigs to lethal ailments inspiring the sketches, the audience laughed throughout the memorable night.

One of the highlights of the show was the scripted sketch the group presented about a terrifying and toxic phenomenon that everyone dreads—contracting “the feels.” The video mocked the tendency of some college students to avoid anything close to genuine romantic connection in a satirical, infomercial-type video. In a deliberately awkward and facetiously serious set-up, a series of testimonials from a divorcée and a student that came to the distressing conclusion that she too had the “feels,” painted the epidemic as a clinical illness that science can help curb, much to the relief of the testimonial actors.

The video demonstrated a few protective tactics, to defend against such a debilitating problem. These included relegating someone to the friend zone via the “you’re just like a brother to me,” line, or simply by “ghosting” them by blocking their phone number and sprinting inconspicuously out of the dining hall at any sign of follow-up contact. Additionally, the video suggested making a list of everything you hate about someone in order to focus on their unappealing qualities to the point where you can talk yourself out of your feelings, which was a novel, if not dubious approach to resolving the situation.

Perhaps the most amusing quality of the whole sketch was the fact that it was based around the epitome of emotional and linguistic immaturity in the mere fact that people refer to feelings as “feels.” In a generation that uses words like “adulting” in regular, everyday discussion, the true crisis of the times was so carefully revealed in Fleabag’s show. And, of course, the normalized impulse of youths everywhere to disconnect from each other and live in fear of binding relations also hit a few viewers in the face as well.

Another sketch asked the uncle of one of the performers onto the stage to outline his day, which the group would go on to reinterpret in an amusing way. The end result was an absurd retelling of the man’s day, starting with his rising before daybreak, and continuing through his frustrating bout in Boston traffic, ending with a tasty but atmospherically-lacking trip to a restaurant with killer caesar salads. Another improvised portion of the show involved 185 objects walking into a bar, where the audience named the object, and the performers provided the punchlines. The ease with which the improv group developed witty and entertaining jokes about board games and beauty products wreaking havoc on the bar scene was exceptional, and left the audience in an uproar.

Keeping with Fleabag’s tradition, the show closed with a BC-themed medley of song parodies, this year bringing together the outrageous combination of Taylor Swift and Kanye West songs. The number drew on common concerns or situations of BC students to create a relatable, amusing, and gloriously out-of-tune spectacle. Some of the topics were timely, as a reimagined “You Belong With Me” became “You Should Room With Me,” a tale in the dog-eat-dog world of housing pick season. Everyone clamors to form the most advantageous groups for the optimal chance at their desired housing choice, or else risk ending up in some unsavory dorm, which seemed easier to laugh at now that housing for the upcoming year has already been decided. Other songs poked fun at the CSOM population with their seemingly constant quest to gain professional experience and build the perfect resume.

The performers did remind the audience of the flip side of that mock criticism, being that CSOM students will have a more clear path to stable employment than perhaps other students will, which solidified the segment as an all-in-good-fun musing on life after college. Continuing on that topic, the group sang of the nostalgia of looking back on freshman year as a senior, and what a simpler and more appealing that time was when graduation starts staring one in the face. The song was a fitting end to a hilarious show, and sustained the audience’s immense interest in the comedy group.

Featured Image by Lizzy Barrett / Heights Editor

April 9, 2017