Harvard Sailing Team
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Harvard Sailing Team

Band Comedy


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This band has not uploaded any videos


The best kept secret in music


"Harvard Sailing Team Show Review"

There are no wacky characters, silly accents or ill-fitting costumes in a Harvard Sailing Team show. The nine members—none of whom either sail or went to Harvard; most met at NYU’s Tisch—wear similarly preppy shirts, jeans and Chuck Taylors onstage, and they call each other by their real names in every scene. Nothing steals focus from their performances or ideas, which are blessedly straightforward and executed with a sophisticated simplicity.

Such a bare-bones aesthetic is the perfect backdrop for the show’s one elaborate element: choreography. Nine is an unwieldy number, but this troupe turns sketch into ballet. One scene is nothing more than guests arriving at a party; instead of shaking hands or hugging, they greet one another with the same precise, synchronized, hilariously absurd motion, which heightens to a fever pitch as the stage fills with actors. The energetic physicality is a joy to watch and the show soars during such moments.

Occasionally, scenes rely too heavily on dialogue or inside jokes. When the players parodied bad improv by performing a mock set, the person to my right whispered in her friend’s ear, “I don’t get it.” To be fair, each performance in the weekly run is peppered with brand-new scenes, a risk that audiences reward by returning and bringing friends.

Despite the rare mishap, the team’s singular vision, style and point of view have set it apart from the ever-increasing number of sketch groups currently clamoring for the New York spotlight. Harvard Sailing Team doesn’t fight for the stage; it owns it.

— Jane Borden

- TimeOut NY

"The Harvard Sailing Team’s sketch comedy is the funniest thing going this fest"

Saturday Night Live wishes it was as funny as the Harvard Sailing Team. From their slow-motion introduction, set to the theme song from Step by Step, to their slow-motion outro to Oasis’ “Don’t Look Back in Anger,” their hour-long show of a dozen or so vignettes never sails into irons (that’s sailing lingo for never losing momentum).
Comics have to walk a thin line — go with improv and your ass is on the line if the crowd doesn’t laugh; roll with a script and you better keep it fresh.

HST chooses the latter, perfecting every moment of their sketches down to the flawlessly-synchronized sound effects integral to what’s happening on stage. Although nine comedians sail the boat, often all on stage at the same time, there’s a talented tenth member handling their music, a key component of the show.
Although a comedy troupe, the team is comprised of talented singers, dancers, and choreographers. At one point, a (polo-shirt clad) gang creeps onto stage, snapping their fingers in an entrance set to music from A West Side Story. From the opposite side, the Latino gang enters, evidenced by the “eye-yi-yi-yi” as they confront each other. Before the rumble begins, the leaders make the connection that there’s been a miscommunication. The “Comfy Hammocks” were supposed to meet the Sharks, but one of them had it wrong in his day planner. They arrange to meet back at nine.
Everything about the show is random, as sketch comedy should be. At a cocktail party sketch, hand shakes are replaced by a greeting that includes pelvic thrusts. Apart from that, the conversation and actions are typical and mundane. By the time nine people are mingling on stage, thrusting their groins at each other, all of Theater 99 is in tears. Imagine the reaction when the theme is repeated later on, at a funeral.

At the core of HST’s show is a genius script. Segments like an adoption interview where the prospective parents appear to be foreign (“What names have you considered?” “Miden. Proflac. Gerald.”) avoid foul language, all the while remaining fluidly random.
On top of that base is a cast of performers with no weak links, each of whom could find side work in a chorus or dance troupe. In a scene where kids play with human marionettes, the puppets can’t see where the people above them are moving the strings, yet they somehow synchronize perfectly, along with a constant stream of sound effects through the PA. The hours of practice put in by Harvard Sailing Team were well-worth it. They’ve got the double entente of a polished, quality act that’s laugh-out-loud hilarious.
- Charleston City Paper, May 2007

"HST review from Piccolo Spoleto Arts Fest"

This Spoleto Buzz blogger, having in recent days created a permanent indentation in his computer chair the size and shape of his backside, spent yesterday evening on the Piccolo trail, specifically that section of it carved out by Theatre 99 and their lunatic Fringe. At 7pm I was at Theatre 99 for a nearly sold out show from the Harvard Sailing Team, which is just as good as you’ve heard it is.

These nine kids from New York’s People’s Improv Theatre (home also to last year’s Piccolo Fringe faves Elephant Larry) create masterful sketch comedy that sneaks up on you and swats you in the face with its cleverness before you know you’ve even been had. It’s not character-driven sketch stuff – the kind of broad joe-six-pack humor the SNL loves to deliver – but deeply creative vignettes that are as often self-referencing (i.e. about the Harvard Sailing Team) as they are reflective of pop culture stalwarts like American Idol, Coldplay, indie rockers, West Side Story, and the loathesome, mindless wasteland known as The Bachelor. Best sketch, hands down: a pair of players stand on chairs and manipulate actors in seats before them as if they are schoolgirls playing with marionette puppets, whose convincing physics as string-actioned objects was nearly perfect. Naturally, big brother comes in with uzi-weilding G.I. Joe and guns everyone down.
- Patrick Sharbaugh-www.Charlestoncitypaper.com


Still working on that hot first release.


Feeling a bit camera shy


Harvard Sailing Team is a sketch group consisting of NYU grads dedicated to clean-cut humor of Ivy League standards. Their sketch comedy transforms everyday life into absurdity while incorporating the use of Broadway musical hits, experimental movement, pratfalls, and more. They have been featured at NYC comedy venues including Carolines on Broadway, the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre, Gotham Comedy Club, and The PIT. This Year, HST headlined the National College Comedy Festival at Skidmore College. They also collaborated with the Naked Angels on Armed and Naked in America for which the team created an original short called “A Toast,” which was featured alongside works by David Rabe, Will Eno, and Jose Rivera. HST has performed at SketchFestNYC, ChicagoSketchFest, and the internationally renowned Piccolo Spoleto Arts Festival where they received an “A+” rating from the Charleston City Paper. HST is: Rebecca Brey, Jen Curran, Clayton Early, Faryn Einhorn, Katie Larsen, Adam Lustick, Billy Scafuri, Chris Smith, and Sara Taylor.