Backstage with the the best of the ‘Bad’
All-female comedy troupe Bloomers’ fall show, titled ‘The Good, the Bad and the Bad,’ opens tonight
October 23, 2013, 9:31 pm · Updated October 23, 2013, 11:07 pm·
Carolyn Lim | DP
After the lights go out and a drum kit beats louder and louder, the cast of Bloomers — Penn’s all-female musical comedy troupe — enter center stage then freeze in place. With an eruption of energy, they break out into a parody of Avril Lavigne’s “Girlfriend.” So began last night’s dress rehearsal for their fall show.
As their tongue-in-cheek rendition says, these girls were certainly “obsessive to make this show impressive.”
Bloomers’ fall show — titled “The Bad, The Bad, and The Bad” — premieres tonight at 8 p.m. in Houston Hall’s Class of 1949 auditorium, and will continue with two shows on Friday and Saturday.
This sketch comedy troupe, composed of all undergraduate females, mainly performs what they call “random bits,” incorporating dancing, singing and acting components. Mostly funded by the performers — and a little help from the Student Activities Council — the troupe’s mission is to promote itself as the only outlet for women in sketch comedy on campus and to bring more comedy to a wider Penn audience, said College senior and Bloomers Chairwoman Layla O’Kane.
Though the members all are women, aside from bits that cover more women-specific topics, “the shows overall could be coed and performed by all guys and would have the same effect,” O’Kane added.
According to College sophomore Emma Chessen, a member of Bloomers’ tech team, one of the main goals of Bloomers is to “give people a good laugh, especially during the midterm season.” In addition, the loosely structured shows are relatively short and cheap, intended to offer a more relaxed environment.
For tonight’s production, the Bloomers scriptwriters were sure to include some topics close to students’ hearts. One skit features two police officers bragging about how they “shut down NSO 2013.” Another recounts the failing love life of a desperate girl, whose telephone conversation is interrupted by President Barack Obama, who offers his opinion of her boyfriend.
The show’s feature presentation centers on a group of characters representing the seven deadly sins — including Greed, Gluttony and Lust — pitted against a choir of religious a cappella singers. The Greed Goddess, angered by do-gooding, screams lines such as “If you say charity one more time!” and “Cover up, your white privilege is showing!”
Later in the bit, Sara — one of the three a cappella singers who “pray[s] real hard to beat those sins” — exclaims, “All we have to do is straighten out a few slutty … freshmen.”
College sophomore Taiwo Sokan — who plays Gluttony in this bit — said unraveling the seven sins through comedy allows for a more honest observation of students’ daily behaviors. And veiling the political commentary with humor also “makes it relevant to the Penn campus as well as the rest of the world,” she added.