"If pain is comedy than high school was hilarious"- So states the tagline for Teen Movie High, an improvised homage to everything for which John Hughes stood. Teen Movie High is an hour long improvised tour de force of ridiculousness. For anyone who considers Sixteen Candles and Weird Science timeless classics or anybody who believes Judd Nelson really is a misunderstood genius- this show will blow your proverbial socks off.
I recently went to watch and review Teen Movie High for supercool event site: UNCOOLKIDS.COM. The following is what I experienced.
The evening started out with director, Karen Herr, greeting the audience. Then the cast brought out the Wheel of Sub Genres. They picked an audience member to come up and spin the wheel to determine what sub genre the evening's performance would be based on.
Bonus: they actually picked my girlfriend to spin the wheel! As a special treat they gave her a six pack of Budweiser tall boys to enjoy during the show. It was like Christmas and my birthday all rolled up in one beery package!
The sub genre we were treated to was, "A day in the Life." Think: Breakfast Club, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Can't Hardly Wait, etc.
The show started out as the valedictorian, who for 4 years had been crushing on the hot, Big Man On Campus, declares that at tonight's graduation party she'll finally get her man!
From there it was a carousel of cliches reinvented on the spot to side splitting effect: There was an "accidental" lesbian moment; stoners getting -™ lit up and crying as they watch The Land Before Time; a streaking scene that ended badly in a corn field; much beer drinking and light vomiting.
Each of the six performers were obviously skilled improvisers. Even though they occasionally cracked each other up, none of them ever broke character.
They kept the action moving forward, while bravely incorporating the unexpected, like working performer, Mark Lampert's, constant stream of sweat into a makeout scene. Trust me it was gross, but it totally worked.
Period perfect music cues, like "Don't You Forget About Me" and "Afternoon Delight" added an extra layer to the surreal hilarity of the performance.
In the end the girl got the boy, the boy grew as a person and I got to drink free beers. A happy ending was had by all. Like My Grandma Josephine used to say,"It wasn't perfect, but it wasn't shit!"