Brick Penguin Sketch Comedy
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Brick Penguin Sketch Comedy

Washington, Washington DC, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2010

Washington, Washington DC, United States
Established on Jan, 2010
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"Brick Penguin Tries Its Best’ is a well-calibrated sketch comedy show"

There are only so many questions you have about a sketch comedy show like “Brick Penguin Tries Its Best.” I will answer them now. Is it funny? Yes. Should I bring children or extremely grown-up grown-ups? No. Is there a bar? Yes. Free candy, too.

If that’s all you need to know, skip to the end and find out when it’s all happening. I strongly recommend that option, since it’s funnier to see the show than read me writing about it.

But fine, keep reading. The five-member sketch comedy group Brick Penguin has been working together for three years and does a lot of shows — every month or so locally, with some out of town trips, too, according to their Web site — so their “best of” show for the Capital Fringe Festival is quite polished. Comic beats are well-calibrated and nothing lasts much longer than it needs to (except perhaps the whole show; the sketches remained sharp, but audience attention was flagging by minute 80 or so of 100).

A wide variety of things are mocked — Unitarians, sitcoms, American history, D.C. public transportation — and the group keeps its energy high by freestyle dancing to music clips as the next scene is set up. The lone video element didn’t work the night I saw the show, but a different technical problem made the show funnier as Brick Penguin, loosely affiliated with Washington Improv Theater, incorporated its failure into the rest of the scene.

Brick Penguin had no program and their Web site doesn’t have bios or writer information, so I’m guessing they like to be thought of as a unit. Still, each performer had a particular strength — Natalie Sayth’s is withering scorn, Murphy McHugh does a great straight man with a twist, John Calcerano shifts gloriously from a benign character to a dangerous one, John Blakeslee sends up the hero type and Amy Vance has gleeful, manic enthusiasm. - Washington Post


"Capital Fringe 2014 Review: ‘Brick Penguin Tries Its Best’"

According to their website, Brick Penguin is a “DC-based comedy ‘tough-love’ sketch group, and it features members and teachers of the Washington Improv Theater. The group has been performing for audiences in DC and across the Mid-Atlantic for more than 3 years, and produces its own monthly show that blends live performance with videos and the occasional old lady wig.”

Brick Penguin Tries its Best is a hysterical collection of their “Best Ofs’ and I was laughing myself silly -and so was the audience.

And you can really appreciate the talent of Brick Penguin cast members Murphy McHugh, Amy Vance, John Calcerano, Natalie Sayth and John Blakeslee-who are simply hilarious-in this small and intimate and in-your-face venue. The Fridge is an art galley by day, theater by night, hidden in a back alley away from view. When you arrive you feel like you are in the very heart of the theater underground.

The Brick Penguin Tries went by so quickly and I couldn’t wait to see how they were going to top the previous sketch with what was coming next-and they always did! I would be talking about each sketch that had just ended only to be surprised at how good the next one was. The sketches ranged from comedic situations only a DC resident would understand and appreciate (don’t want to give it away!) to adding an adult side to some of your favorite childhood stories. Hilarious and often pushing the fine line between comedy and utterly sadistic, Brick Penguin is everything you would expect from a comedy sketch group, save for a few happy surprises.

So waddle over there and buy some tickets!

Running Time: 90 minutes.

Brick Penguin Tries its Best plays through July 26, 2014 at The Fridge-516 1/2 8th Street SE, in Washington, DC. For information and to purchase tickets, go to their Capital Fringe Page. - DC Metro Theater Arts


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Bio

Brick Penguin is sketch comedy group based in Washington, DC.  The group has been entertaining audiences in DC and across the Mid-Atlantic for more than four years, and has written, performed and produced over thirty unique shows.  Brick Penguin has also performed in the Chicago Sketch Comedy Festival, New York City Sketch Festival, Boston Comedy Arts Festival, Philly Sketchfest, and Charm City Comedy Festival (Baltimore). Members bring to the stage a diversity of experiences in theater and improvisation, and several cast members teach and perform with Dojo Comedy and the Washington Improv Theater.  


Band Members