Pop icons beware – none of you are safe. “Grey’s Anatomy” is reduced to a pathetic metaphor that would have Ellen Pompeo self-narrating in shame, and Starbucks closing times take a turn for the sinister as cracked out stars attack.
“Yearbook” is carried by the skill of its scene writers who, more often than not, are the performers themselves. This is in part because all of the performers are selected students of the Groundlings School of Improvisation, an institution known for producing top-notch comics like Lisa Kudrow (“Friends”) and Phil Hartman (“SNL,” “The Simpsons”).
One of the keynotes of the show was the amount of audience participation that the Groundlings invited. It takes real guts to hand five people laser pointers and pray the sketch goes well, but the strength of the Groundlings cast is to work with and feed off their audience.
The end of the show was mildly disappointing, but through no fault of the actors. Rather than end on a sketch, a handful of performers took the stage to take on an improv bit based on audience suggestion and sung in the style of Sondheim. Unfortunately, the only personas that the audience could suggest were of the dry “guy-who’s-never-been-laid” category.
Overall, the quality of the comedy was excellent, and the show moved along at a good pace with plenty of variation. A few of the sketches missed the mark, and some dragged on a bit too long, but I was laughing my ass off along with the rest of the audience, and I take that to be a good sign.
The Groundlings Theater is located at 7307 Melrose Ave. in Los Angeles. Show times: Fri, 8 p.m.; Sat, 8 p.m. & 10 p.m. Tickets 21.50. For more information, visit www.groundlings.com.