Brandeis improv and sketch comedy group To Be Announced (TBA) hosted a lively alumni show in Chum’s on Saturday, Oct. 21. Monica Chen ’19, Abby LeRoy ’20, Evan Moloney ’20, Seneca Scott ’20, Conor Amrien ’19, Julia Green ’18, Zoë Rose ’20, Caroline Kriesen ’20 and Lena Burdick ’21 performed alongside former TBA members Dan Hirshfield ’16 and Robbie Rosen ’18 as well as Matt Hoisch ’19 who transferred schools.
In one skit, the group split the stage into three sections, each section representing a different emotion. The left side of the stage stood for fear, the middle for horny and the right for sad. The audience chose a waiting room for the setting. LeRoy and Chen switched sections whenever they pleased. The two alternated between being emotional friends and being lovers. At one point, Chen was sad about getting chlamydia and then LeRoy entered the horny division of the stage and asked if Chen wanted to get more chlamydia. “Just a dose,” Chen replied. At another point, as romantic partners, LeRoy told Chen that when she looks at her the entire waiting room disappears. Chen quickly moved to the fear side of the stage and exclaimed, “Where did everyone go?” eliciting much laughter from the audience.
Members of the group played a game called “Translator” in which Hoisch and Hirshfield acted out their emotions but were only allowed to speak in gibberish. Meanwhile, Rosen and Rose each translated for one of the two. Hoisch and Hirshfield played each other’s prom dates in the skit. Hoisch motioned giving a gift to Hirshfield, perhaps a corsage, but then Rosen translated this to, “Got any mayonnaise?” “I brought it just for you,” Rose replied as Hirshfield gifted Hoisch the mayonnaise, to which Rosen exclaimed, “Look how many calories this has!” Rose responded, “That’s sexist,” to which Rosen replied, “I am sexist.” Rose said, “Well I hate myself,” to which Rosen replied, “I remember when I hated myself.” “Right now?” asked Rose. “No, not right now,” Rosen responded as he dimmed the stage lights to a bright red. “Mood lighting,” explained Rose. “You feel it too?” Rosen asked. Hirshfield, who was only supposed to speak gibberish, yelled, “Fuck it!” and shared a kiss with Hoisch. This game captivated the audience because Hoisch and Hirshfield would act out one thing without speaking, and then Rosen and Rose translated these actions into something completely different and random, like mayonnaise.
TBA also played its classic game called “Sex with Me.” The comedy group asked the crowd for a random object. An audience member blurted out, “a vase,” and TBA went with it. Each member tapped the chair in the middle of the stage and finished the sentence, “Sex with me is like a vase.” Amrien said “Sex with me is like a vase, you think it’s going to be safe on top of a countertop, but really, not so much.”
The next audience suggestion was the word “toaster.” “Sex with me is like a toaster, it’s dangerous to use it in the bath,” said Hirshfield. “Sex with me is like a toaster, it only lasts three minutes,” said Chen. “Sex with me is like a toaster, I didn’t realize how much of a necessity it was, until I came to college and I couldn’t get it,” said Amrien.
The comedy group played the same game, but with a new phrase: “I once dated a lawyer.” “I once dated a lawyer, we banged… the gavel,” said Burdick. “I once dated a lawyer, I approved all his motions,” said Hirshfield. “I once dated a lawyer, there were no objections,” said Moloney.
They next added in the word “congress” to the crowd’s delight. “Sex with me is like Congress, it’s full of white men,” said Rose. “Sex with me is like Congress, because there’s an old man telling me what to do with my body,” said Hirshfield, which earned claps from the crowd.
Both the alumni and current members of TBA performed with smiles and jokes galore, as the three alumni comedians came back into the spotlight.
TBA will compete in the College Improv Tournament, hosted by Chicago Improv Productions, where over 100 American and Canadian teams go head-to-head in 14 regional tournaments across the country.