Shenanigans’ winter performance rocked our socks

Charlie Connelly

The majority of the Shenanigans Troupe on stage for the first act.

The majority of the Shenanigan’s Troupe on stage for the first act.

Charlie Connelly, Staff Reporter

With a number of extremely talented and truly funny seniors leaving the Shenanigan’s stage last year, there was no doubt that this year’s group had major hopes to live up to. With last year’s ensemble being so hysterical, the Shenanigan’s troupe this year, led by first year sponsor Tom Dignan, had plenty to live up to. The Shenanigan’s club this year practically transformed itself as it brought in a new sponsor along with nine new performers. Numbers as staggering as those would make the average person think that a club with so many new faces, would not succeed at all, let alone live up to what last year created for them.  Although it was an uphill battle, this year’s Shenangians troupe did not disappoint.

The 2012-13 Shenangians had a number of issues to contend with.  First, they needed to find a sponsor willing to take on the challenge of heading an improv club.  This seemingly difficult task turned out to be easy as English teacher Tom Diganan took on the role for the first time. With a new sponsor, the next thing Shenanigan’s had to face was replacing the irreplaceable, such as last year’s senior class clowns George Suchy, Andrew Payton, Jacob Palka, and Lorelei Volpe. Of course no one can replace those who ran the show last year, but the job still had to be done. Through rigorous and extensive tryouts, a troupe for this year’s club was formed. Additions to the club included, senior David Monreal, junior Mike Gmitro, freshman Dylan Drileich, along with six others who were up to par with what Dignan felt could form a great show.

Going into the show, quite frankly I was nervous for what I thought was about to be a train wreck. I thought that the cast could possibly be funny and entertain me for the two hours it was supposed to, but, let’s just say that I went into the show with incredibly low expectations. I’m not saying that as a negative view on the ensemble that Dignan obtained this year; I’m simply saying that with such a great performance that was put on in last year’s show, I thought there was no way that this year could even catch a glimpse of what last year left on the table for them. To my complete satisfaction and despite all  my gloomy thoughts on what I was about to see, the show was a complete and utter success in every sense of the word. The winter show was the complete definition of pleasantly surprised. The show opened with sophomore T.J Ketchmark performing magic, which at first left me a little puzzled. Why would an improv/comedy club open up with a magic act? Despite the confusion, it was entertaining nonetheless, and was a good way to start the nights show.

After Ketchmark performed his jaw dropping magic act, the audience was hungry for more, and let’s just say, the assembly of Shenanigan’s were ready to fuel that fire. The show had acts and skits such as the famous freeze, where two people act out a sequence and when the scene comes to a possibly awkward position, another cast member yells freeze and they take place in who they called freeze on. Having freeze being a classic and an overall fan favorite, it was a very good skit to start on. After freeze a wide diversity in skits unveiled. Beloved Shenanigan  Jimmy Landahl and newcomer Mike Gmitro had a Shakespeare rap battle. Landahl as well acted as the Christmas Cowboy where he would call up audience members to the stage, and have them compete for a Christmas prize. As the skit went on though, throughout numerous appearances in the show the Christmas Cowboy was transformed into the “Holiday Animal Herder” to not “offend” anyone in the audience, which was very funny. Additionally, to everyone’s surprise, club sponsor Tom Dignan, came out on stage as well, as he and four other Shenanigan’s performed a skit where Dignan would play the guitar to lyrics created on the spot by his Shenanigan’s and in the end the collection of Shenanigan’s along with Dignan would sing the last created verse, all in sync. It was a personal favorite of the show, as I’m sure it was for many others.

Along with the new faces that were added to the Shenanigan’s stage this year, there were also four phenomenal returning members that really held the fort down and kept the newcomers on their toes. Sophomore Andy Volpe, junior Abraham Ourth, senior Allison Nicolai, and senior Jimmy Landahl all, like last year, did an amazing job performing in this year’s show, leaving every single audience member in stitches. Of course, everyone did a very good job in the show, but if there was one person that deserves the most credit in making the show what it was it would have to be, without a doubt, senior funny man Jimmy Landahl. Last year, his comedy and very admirable whit, won over the attention of many, and that certainly carried into this year as well. Being the senior everyone will miss next year, Landahl did a simply tremendous job in keeping what everyone loved in Shenanigan’s last year, while also adding a little spice to what this year’s troupe’s fortes were. Overall, Landahl did an exemplary job, which anyone with a sense of humor and two eyes could see.

Although Landahl, along with many other seniors,  will be missed next year, now is no time for anyone to be melancholy. If anything people should be excited for what this year’s  group has created. It not only did what many said they could not, but they also brought in many additional faces that audience’s years to come will enjoy. There is a spring performance for the Shenanigan’s as well, and without a shadow of a doubt, they will live up to the well deserving hype they have created for themselves. Completely surprised, pleased, happy, along with a fixture of many emotions on the subject, I can only say now I am, along with many others, looking forward to what the Shenanigan’s club will do next to do what they always do best: make people laugh.