The Laughter Keeps On Coming in 1812’s OUR SHOW OF SHOWS

by Arnie Finkel

Here’s my dilemma:  How can you write a balanced review when your sides and face are still hurting from laughing so much?   How can you describe an hour and a half (exactly the length of Sid Caesar’s YOUR SHOW OF SHOWS, which was the inspiration for the evening) of comic invention without giving away any punch lines or spoiling any surprises? Ah well, I shall have to do my best to entice you to experience OUR SHOW OF SHOWS for yourself.

Jennifer Childs, David Ingram, Mike Doherty in a scene from 1812 Productions' OUR SHOW OF SHOWS (photo Mark Garvin).

The show was designed as a companion piece to LAUGHTER OF THE 23RD FLOOR which is playing in repertory with OSOS.   Anthony Lawton, Mike Doherty, Dave Jadico, Jennifer Childs, Kelly Vrooman and David Ingram with a foursome of very important and visible back stage crew make up the cast of this romp.  Each of the actors has a funny spot in OUR SHOW OF SHOWS.  What a wealth of talent there is in the Philadelphia pool. 

OK, so some of the skits were not as funny as others, but that’s a matter of personal taste.  All of them rang true to the dictum of “let the comedy come out of the situation”.  It was a balanced selection of all types of comedy.

From the moment that Anthony Lawton was selected as the subject (or let’s say victim) of a “This Is Your Life” satire, until Jenny Childs leads the cast in what was the finale of the final Caesar show, I was very happy to be at the Plays and Players Theatre.

Anthony Lawton, Dave Jadico, Jennifer Childs, David Ingram star in 1812 Productions' OUR SHOW OF SHOWS at Plays and Players Theatre in Philadelphia PA. (photo Mark Garvin).

Along the way were the unluckiest barber-shop quartet (who, by the way, sang very well), an incredibly intricate sword fight, many integrated commercials for 1812, even costumes that got laughs, and many imitations of stock Sid Caesar characters.  There were some excellent pantomimes.  Above all, director Childs and the cast put on a tutorial of very funny physical comedy.  Ms. Childs herself excels in a scene involving the effects of an overdose of Valium.

It’s no use.  I can’t contain myself.  Has your day gone badly?  Are you in need of some laughter therapy?  Or do you just plain love good, funny theater?  Do yourself a big favor.  Go see OUR SHOW OF SHOWS.  You’ll laugh your head off.

Written and Performed by
David Ingram, Tony Lawton,
Jennifer Childs, and Dave Jadico
Directed by Jennifer Childs
April  21 – May 15, 2011
1812 Productions
at Plays and Players Theatre
1714 Delancey St
Philadelphia PA

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