Everybody needs a good laugh once in a while.
Put on by Held2gether and the Long Beach Playhouse, this year’s Long Beach Sketch Show will feature 11 main comedy sketches, and, for the first time ever, many silent sketches as traditions between main scene changes.
“There’s a little bit of something for everybody,” said performer Richard Martinez. “The main idea is we want people to laugh.”
The five to seven minute long sketches will cover a variety of topics and genres like current events and political satire. The entire show will take place over two hours with sketches taking place throughout.
In contrast to the improv comedy Held2gether usually does, the whole show will be scripted sketches similar to Saturday Night Live. Each sketch was written by the performers in a creative collaboration to make an engaging show.
“To get in front of the audience is the ultimate reward for that collaboration,” Martinez said.
Another performer in the show, Agnes Arnold, said she likes the style of sketch comedy because it allows them to pack as much funny content in their show as possible. However, it was difficult for some to get their jokes to come across the right way, she said.
“With comedy if you have to explain it, it’s not funny,” she said.
The team prepared for the show eight weeks in advance with only two weeks to fully rehearse. The event will kick off Thursday night with their preview night. This night will be their first live run-through where they will get notes to improve from their director for the next two days.
“I still usually get nervous for the first show,” Arnold said. “But after we do it I think, “Oh that wasn’t so bad.”
The players will have to help with the set changes, interacting with the set in a way that they haven’t done in the past due to the new addition of the silent sketches. This will add a new level of interaction with their product that they never had before, according to Martinez.
“My main nerves come from jumping into the technical aspects,” he said. “There is only minute between sketches to get things done.”
The show tends to see a packed house and has sold out during the weekend in the past, according to Arnold. The Long Beach Playhouse box office is open Wednesday through Saturday from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. to book tickets.
The sketch show will premiere Thursday, Feb. 28 at 8 p.m. with their preview shows and will continue through the weekend until March 2 at the same times each day.
Rachel is a third year journalism major working currently as the Arts and Life Editor for the Daily 49er. She’s studied at Fresno City College and at Cuesta College in San Luis Obispo where she used to be Editor-in-chief at the Cuestonian Student Newspaper. Her goal is to become a local crime reporter and to tell the stories of her community.
In her, very limited, spare time she likes to spend time with her cat Beans and go to Disneyland.