The Mistake Presents "Muggy"
nytheatre.com review by Larry Kunofsky
July 22, 2006
The Mistake Presents "Muggy" is an hour and fifteen minutes of sketches that go up and down on the EKG Monitor of Comedy. This trajectory is, of course, the nature of the beast. As with any evening of sketch comedy, you have to expect some lulls between the laughs. (Which is why less is always more in comedy.) Although there are plenty of lulls in "Muggy," as well as some unfortunate groaners, the laughs that The Mistake provides make the groaners worth sitting through.
In the first sketch of the evening, we're at a Paranoids Anonymous meeting. A woman gets up to speak about overcoming paranoia, but then becomes hostile, fearing that everyone's out to get her. Paranoia ensues. This is pretty much a textbook example of good sketch comedy writing. And some of the sketches that follow—a charitable organization known as Tease The Children; a white, Civil War-era blues singer who sings about his lamentable lack of slaves—are just as clever.
The Mistake writes their own material collaboratively, and they pride themselves—as well they should—on coming up with entirely new material for each of their shows. However, it is unclear from the program or their press materials who has directed "Muggy," and it often seems as though no one has. All six performers are talented—with Andrew Martin and Leslie Korein being the more charming standouts—and yet, something was a bit off sometimes. And timing, as everyone knows, IS comedy.
Once, on Saturday Night Live, the whole cast portrayed a comedy troupe called The Energy Kids. They ran out onstage, jumping around, bouncing off of each other, getting pumped to do their comedy. The joke was, the group had no act—just raw energy. The Mistake Presents "Muggy" seemed, at least on the night I saw the show, to be the opposite. The material was pretty good, but that crucial energy was missing. Still, The Mistake does have an act with "Muggy" and it is good for a laugh.