The Oberlin Review

Shit Pit’s Spring Opening Welcomes New Stand-Up Comedians

Alice Koeninger, Senior Staff Writer

February 28, 2020

The requirements for Oberlin’s stand-up open mic are simple: Keep it to five minutes and use your best judgment when it comes to offensive jokes. The underground stand-up collective was started by Sophie Zucker, OC ’15, and Maya Sharma, also OC ’15, during their fourth year at Oberlin. Today, Zucker’s sister Clare Zucker, who is a College second-year, and College second-year Juli Freedman run the collective. Shit Pit held their first open mic of the semester this past Saturday.  When Sophie Zucker and Maya Sharma started Shit Pit, they were inspired by a similar underground comedy and variety show in Chicago called Shithole. Like Shithole, Shit Pit takes place in different venues and locations depending o...

College fourth-year Steven Mentzer’s artwork for

“The Wild Beast of the Bungalow” Premiered at Warner Hall

February 7, 2020

The Winter Term Opera The Wild Beast of the Bungalow premiered this past weekend in a whirl of pink décor, human-sized prairie dogs, and singing chickenpox. Composer Rachel J. Peters describes her work as both “opera that sounds like musical theater” and “musical theater that sounds like opera.” For example, The Wild Beast features traditional opera with sparse orchestration, but also a libretto by Royce Vavrek sung in a barbershop quartet and sixties girl-group style. The opera was born w...

Introducing New Students to Quirky Orientation Week Traditions

Kate Fishman, Arts & Culture Editor

September 6, 2019

When I plopped down into a pew in Finney Chapel last Sunday, halfway through Robert Post’s one-man variety show, I was soaked from the rain outside, exhausted, and confused by what was happening in front of me. Post is a physical comedian, and one whose dubbed-over acts felt at times reminiscent of something like CLUE or The Rocky Horror Picture Show — dated, achingly meme-able, and only partially self-aware. My generation chases ironic humor — I think our of everything in Post’s show, a de-contextualized video segment where he vlogged his travels through Cowboy Town, IN— an excerpt from his “POST from the Road” series — drew the most laughs. This was Post’s fourth show on campus, and a was an effort...

Looking Beneath the Laughs in Coming-of-Age Comedy “Good Boys”

Casey Troost

September 6, 2019

 Based on the trailer, it’s easy to compare Good Boys to previous action-comedies like Superbad, Bad Teacher, Year One, and Bad Grandpa. However, while the humor of comparable movies is often delivered by adults or teenagers, Good Boys shifts the focus to three youthful and inexperienced pre-teens. In Good Boys, most of the comedy comes from scenes in which the three naive protagonists, called “The Bean Bag Boys,” misinterpret the adult content they come into contact with. For example, Thor, one of the three Bean Bag Boys, mistakes a BDSM mask in his parent’s closet for protective wear and puts it on to answer the door for a stranger. While I enjoyed the comedy in the film, I question whether I should have...

College sophomore Gina Fontanesi sings in this weekend’s production of Spamalot.

OMTA’s Spamalot Presents Hilarious Monty Python Adaptation

May 3, 2019

A student production of Spamalot, a musical based on the 1975 film Monty Python and the Holy Grail, opens this Friday, May 3 in Wilder Main Space. I was able to watch one of the final rehearsals of the show, and found it a thoroughly enjoyable experience with a talented cast and ensemble that engaged the audience in some lighthearted and escapist fun. Holy Grail is a comedic parody of King Arthur’s quest for the Holy Grail, and Spamalot follows the same path.  “There is a lot maintaine...

Members of the comedy group Piscapo’s Arm performed quirky sketches at a first-year Orientation comedy show last Monday.

Piscapo’s Arm Draws Laughs at Orientation

September 7, 2018

Orientation is all about giving first-years a feel for what life is like at Oberlin. Last Monday, Piscapo’s Arm, a student sketch comedy group, performed in an orientation show that introduced new Obies to popular spots on campus and created excitement for Oberlin student life and learning. The show was held at one of Oberlin’s premier performance venues, the Cat in the Cream. Judging from the lack of cookies sold, it was obvious that the show’s audience was mostly first-years; seasoned...

Deborah Kamen, Associate Professor of Classics

Deborah Kamen, Associate Professor of Classics

May 4, 2018

Deborah Kamen is an Associate Professor of Classics at the University of Washington. She is also an adjunct professor in Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies, and the graduate program coordinator at UW. She earned her Bachelor of Arts from Bryn Mawr College; a Master of Studies in Greek History from New College, Oxford; and a Ph.D. in Classics from University of California, Berkeley. Her interests include Greek and Roman social history, sexuality, slavery, and status. Kamen is widely published and he...

Doobie Ingenuity, one of two sketch comedy troupes that staged performances at the Cat in the Cream over Labor Day weekend, presented both live and pre-recorded sketches Friday night.

Sketch Comedy Troupes Deliver Lighthearted Performances

September 8, 2017

Sketch comedy is a rare treat at Oberlin, but last weekend not just one but two sketch comedy troupes performed at the Cat in the Cream. On Friday night, Oberlin’s newest sketch comedy group; the self-styled “most innovative sketch comedy group on campus,” Doobie Ingenuity, gave a spirited performance to a nearly full house. The performers showcased some of the best skits from the group’s previous shows, introducing the audience to their brand of humor and hoping to inspire other prospec...

Ed Helms, OC ’96, and Daniel Radosh, OC ’91, returned to campus Sunday to give a convocation titled “What’s the Point of Comedy?
(And other pointless questions),” which featured a frank discussion of satire, its boundaries and its current role in American

On the Record with Ed Helms, OC ’96, and Daniel Radosh, OC ’91

April 7, 2017

Ed Helms, OC ’96, and Daniel Radosh, OC ’91, hosted this academic year’s final convocation Sunday night, “What’s the Point of Comedy? (And other pointless questions).” Helms, whose most iconic roles include an outlandish Andy Bernard on The Office and an equally obnoxious but fun-loving Stu in The Hangover trilogy, is an actor, comedian, producer, writer and musician. After graduating from Oberlin, Helms’ multifaceted skillset led him to a job as a correspondent for several years on The Daily...

Tamil Sri Lankan trans artist D’Lo will return to the Cat in the Cream Sunday evening with his
touring show D’FaqTo Life.

Intersectional Comedian D’Lo Brings Variety Show to Oberlin

February 24, 2017

A unique blend of stand-up comedy, poetry and storytelling awaits guests at the Cat in the Cream Sunday as actor and comedian D’Lo brings his touring variety show, D’FaQTo Life (pronounced “de facto”) to Oberlin. The show will be his first in Oberlin since 2013, when he performed as part of Colors of Rhythm, and he’s since gone on to perform roles in HBO’s Looking and the Netflix original series Sense8. Co-sponsored by the South Asian Students Association, International Students’ Organi...

College first-year Evan Board (left) and College seniors Preston Crowder, Axandre Oge, Colin Anderson and Tae Braun toe the line between ’60s beach party horror and humorous satire aimed at heteronormativity in Psycho Beach Party. The play, written by Charles Busch and directed by Associate Professor of Theater Matthew Wright, opened last night and will continue tonight, Saturday and Sunday in Hall Auditorium.

Wright Directs Comedic Play to Celebrate Gay Culture

April 15, 2016

For anyone acquainted with the cinema of the early 1960s — with its psycho thrillers, horror films and beach party movies — Psycho Beach Party will feel familiar. And it will also feel a little ridiculous. This makes sense, given that Pscyho Beach Party is a send-up of all those genres. The play, which will be performed in Hall Auditorium tomorrow and Sunday, is an examination of the U.S. post-WWII and pre-Vietnam. During this time, when teenagers increasingly participated in consumerism, t...

Feature Photo: Kid Business

Feature Photo: Kid Business

March 6, 2015

College sophomore Kitty O’Neill bursts out laughing as the short-form improv comedy group Kid Business engages her in a humorous sketch. The group performed its first show of the semester at the Cat in the Cream on Saturday. Kid Business is the first of the three on-campus improv comedy troupes to hold a show this semester and the only troupe not to welcome new members this spring. Oberlin students can look forward to a performance by one of the two long-form troupes, Primitive Streak, this Saturday...

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