An Evening of Laughs Presented by Without A Box

Without a Box, the 5C improvisational and experimental theater troupe, gave its second performance of the year last Friday night to a packed auditorium of anxious and cheery students.

“Eye to Eye with the Belly of the Beast” featured the performers Kathryn Mgrublian CM ’11, Asa Erlendson PZ ’11, Andre Pegeron PO ’12, and director Duncan Ariey PO ’11. Additionally, three “Moops,” or recently initiated members, were introduced to the audience: Jonah Breslau PO ’14, Elsa Bruno SC ’14 and Joseph Ocon PO ’14. Although their role in the show was minimal, the Moops’ humorous attire, with Joseph Ocon and Jonah Breslau wearing Super-Mario-Brothers-esque overalls and Elsa Bruno wearing a princess dress and a tiara, certainly contributed to the everning’s goofy cheer.

While the mood of the event was informal—frequent audience involvement and constant laughter peppered the performance—the talent and creativity of the troupe was obvious. Throughout their dozen or so skits, the performers slid easily into wildly varying characters, accents, situations and relationships. Without A Box-ers are by no means a novice group.

“‘Box’ is great because unlike improv camps for kids, everyone is actually funny,” Breslau said.

Breslau himself has significant acting experience, and both he and his fellow troupe members are dedicated to acting and—although it may seem counterintuitive—serious about comedy.

The first skit, a Saw parody, began with two performers wrapped in chains. A voice from above declared that the students needed to reinvigorate their ties to Pomona’s South Campus and sentenced them to eat (dramatic pause) food from Frank Dining Hall. The scene, which ended with the epiphany, “Fuck it, I have a lot of flex left, let’s go to the Coop,” established the 5C-centric mood of the show and the easy ability of Without a Box’s members to connect to their audience.

Rose Egelhoff PO ‘14 remarked, “Some of the beginning skits with the props all set up didn’t feel as creative as the scenes that were solely improv.” Indeed, the show’s best moments were those that featured the most improvisation. One crowd favorite was a sketch in which the actors frantically tagged each other in and out of mini-skits, often maintaining the same characters but switching settings and scenarios to hilarious results. These later scenes were by far the most fun; the troupe seemed to save the best for last and finished the show to a hysterical audience.

Although Without a Box has not yet released the date for its next show, keep an eye and an ear out for these beguiling entertainers.

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