LIVE: “Saturday Night Liv” @ Dewey Hall, 1/20/18

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Review by Allison G.
Photograph by Domonique Ackley

This past Saturday night, “Saturday Night Liv” opened its 17th year at Dewey Hall in Sheffield. Hosted by Liv Cummins of Columbia Arts Team (and a great actor/musician in her own right), the comedy variety show left the audience out of breath from laughter. The Really Convincing Players – Andrew Joffe, Sarah Mitchell, Louise Pillai, Tony Carrano, Chad Tarves and Cummins herself – kept the audience engaged with witty humor, puns, deadpan facial expressions and their pure talent. There was rarely a quiet moment at this show.

Presented in two acts with music from the house band of Sandy McKnight and Chad Tarves, the show kicked off with the opening song about making New Year’s resolutions and going on a diet. In addition to the comedy sketches, the show featured guest acts the After Ours duo (Mark & Bonnie Parsons) and motivational comedian Rob Peck. After Ours calmed the audience to get them ready for more laughs, while Peck wowed us with his juggling skills and stories. Act One ended on a high note with “The Debate,” a gut-wrenchingly hilarious sketch that kept the audience in stitches.

After a short intermission, the Really Convincing Players built up the momentum from the beginning sketch of pretentious tennis players in “Tennis Anyone” all the way to some out-of-hand jokes about hands in “Hand Library” (do with those jokes as you like). In between, Sandy McKnight’s Pop-Clique featuring McKnight, Tarves and the Parsonses played a few songs, harmonizing beautifully. Rob Peck came back on stage as well to share more stories and wow us again with his simultaneous balancing and harmonica playing skills. The show ended on a high note, leaving the audience thoroughly satisfied.

Overall the show was a success. Some minor hiccups occurred during this performance; in the sketch “Pop Culture,” there seemed to be some technical problems as the screen did not change after each joke. Luckily only one joke in that sketch was lost to the audience, they nailed the rest. “Visiting Mother” seemed to fall flat with a joke about ovaries shriveling up, but I took that more as a moment of relating to the characters on the part of the audience, giving them a new layer and depth. The sketches with the best reception seemed to be “The Debate” and “Late Night TV.”

Overall, “Saturday Night Liv” was very enjoyable and left everyone happy. One can understand why its been running for 17 years by just going to see a show.

UPCOMING: Next up for “Saturday Night Liv” is a stop at Club Helsinki in Hudson at 7:30pm on Saturday (January 27). Tickets are $20 in advance; $25 at the door.

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