I constantly attend comedy shows, readings, improv shows and the occasional orgy, but the show that I witnessed at the Comedy Central Stage on February 23rd, literally had me in tears of laughter. Middle School Talent Show, created by Lizzy McGroder is one of the most original performances I’ve ever seen. I was expecting maybe an improv show that has early 2000’s vibes or maybe some stand up, but no, this is literally a middle school talent show that you have participated in and had no idea that you were the weirdest person on earth at the time. Luckily, so was everyone else in middle school so let your freak flag fly.
The show opens with a hilarious video featuring the hosts of the Middle School Talent Show, Lizzy McGroder and Hannah Pilkes. They captured a relationship that so many of us have had with a friend in middle school so well: the over achiever who wants total control, and the one who just wants to have a good time so she does everything her friend says because she doesn’t want confrontation. Their opening monologues, the wardrobe and dance routines had me almost peeing in my pants laughing. Principal Wexler, played by Josiah Blount makes appearances through out the performances of various talent and I was giggling, reminiscing about my Principal who used to say, “You can’t spell Principal with out the word PAL!”
Each performance from a the best student president campaign speech I’ve ever seen, played by Erica Dawson, to a ballad for Mario, played on the piano by Jack Quaid, highlighted the middle school nostalgic experience is the best way possible. My personal favorite was the Vice Principal performing magic tricks, played by Harrison Lampert. The second he, as well as most of the performers, walked on stage, I instantly started laughing. I also kind of want to marry Harrison Lampert, but that is for another article.
The entire cast was amazing and I can imagine this show being on Comedy Central every week. Gabe Greenspan came on stage at one point and played a song for a girl who broke up with him, Simple Plan and Blink 182 style, and it had the audience in stiches. Caitlin Curl plays an over-the-top dance team captain and demands that the show must go on even though many of her dancers (14) are not present. I used to be on the dance team and I was definitely that bitch, I still thought the dance was award worthy but hey, I’m bias. Breck Denny does a duet with his middle school daughter (played by Pilkes) as a lonely teacher, Mr. K, who just wants his little girl to sing with him on stage. **Tear**
One of my absolute favorites was when Principal Wexler comes on stage and announces that they need to take class pictures now because the photographers have a busy schedule. You see why when they come on stage, as they are true school-picture-taking-artists, played by Jasmine Elist and Jeremy Culhane. There were no moments of boredom. I was also blown away by the ‘lighting-round,’ for all the kids who did not make it into the talent show. Lizzy McGroder is featured as a totally weird yo-yoer with a cape and skinny glasses that had me dying, and Harrison Lampert (call me) is a featured juggler who must use plastic bags because his house burnt down with all of his juggling gear inside. Like, what? That’s so funny.
I’ll stop gushing and just tell you that if you see this show is playing again, I highly recommend seeing it. Unless you were that kid in middle school who would freakishly scream and throw a basketball at people if you lost and especially if are still that person. Actually, still go see it. I am so excited to see some more original content from these actors. Excellent work kids!