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May 1, 2017

No Soggy Bottoms at Off-Off

This past Friday night, The Revival thronged with students and Hyde Parkers alike for Off-Off Campus’s latest revue, La Land Land, featuring the improv group’s 31st generation. This show featured two “pre-glows," or opening acts, and an improvised mainstage musical based on a single word given by the audience—“baker.”

The opening acts included four songs by first-year Trish Zulueta and rap comedy by second-year Jacob Johnson, alias Average Johnson. Zulueta’s performance was laid-back, yet her solid vocals held the audience’s attention. Her act was balanced by Johnson’s more boisterous set. Teasing his upcoming album, Views From the Reg, Johnson had the audience collapsing in laughter at tropes and observations to which every UChicago student could relate.

Improv comedy is, by its very nature, a shot in the dark. With Off-Off Campus, you never know what you’re going to get, but you will be entertained. Working to keep the musical to its “baker” theme, the night included skits about a bakery run by toddlers and a romance gone wrong—the latter ended in a girl-power song performed by the entire cast. The 31st generation is sharp, witty, and leavened: Awkward pauses were few, and laughter was consistent.

The show integrated musical numbers to great success. At their best, they lent the evening cohesion and added whimsy to the slower skits. My only criticism would be that the show was not wholly a musical—performers broke out into song only sporadically. Considering that this was my biggest critique, the show was a good bake.

Off-Off Campus performs weekly shows in The Revival.

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