by Michael Corbett Chances are, you’ve made a mix tape in your lifetime. The reasons for creating one can vary wildly; perhaps you wanted to introduce friends to new music, win the heart of a crush, or create a soundtrack to help you get through a painful breakup. For the cast of DCH’s new sketch revue show, Various Artists, mix tapes became a point of inspiration, and eventually a theme to build their show upon.
As a revue, Various Artists was created organically, without any scenes planned ahead of time. “We walked in with nothing,” said Zack Muhn, the show’s director, “we said: let’s improvise, let’s go with whatever is on our minds right now.” Through their improv sessions, themes began to emerge.
Cast member Nick Scott, spoke of the process, “With this show, we put a bunch of scenes together and began to see what the theme was. We’d ask ourselves, what do these scenes have in common? Relationships and music, it’s like a mix tape.” Once a theme was established, Muhn helped to further immerse the cast in it by having them create a mix tape of their own to share with the group. “From those mix tapes, we got the show’s soundtrack,” Muhn explained, “There were whole sketches that arose because a song would remind a cast member of something and we’d build upon that.”
The show’s soundtrack is as varied and unpredictable as the sketches themselves. The Buggle’s “Video Killed the Radio Star” serves as the death knell for the career of a radio DJ in over his head, while Chris Issac’s “Wicked Game” provides the theme song for a man’s struggle to resist the sweet seduction of baked goods. “For the cast, it was a lot about love, it was a lot about emptiness and loneliness and what happens when relationships die.” Muhn added, “And sex, lots and lots of sex.” Never is that more apparent than a sketch featuring The Diviynls’ hit song “I Touch Myself” wherein we’re shown the complications Spanx can create during an intimate encounter.
By the time the show’s closing musical number “My Love Will Be the Death of Me” rolls around, you’ll have experienced terrible human resources employees, an insatiable hot dog, a frightening look at Christian Sex Ed., and much more. The show will make you laugh, maybe it will make you cry, and it will probably leave you feeling a little confused, or even disturbed; just like any good mix tape.
Various Artists will be performed every Thursday night in May. The cast consists of Shawn Frambach, Noa Gavin, Tabitha Muhn, Michael Rapp, Maggie Reith and Nick Scott. David Allison serves as Assistant Director, with Zachary Muhn as Director.
Mike Corbett is a blog intern for the DCH blog and a Level 2 Sketch Writing Student. You can read more of his comedy stylings HERE.