By Debbie Kagy
Allen Rueckert directs Denim on Denim in the Renegade Players’ first original production. Tales of superheroes, babies, ninjas, murder, and romance come together here to create an environment full of awkward moments and outrageous circumstances.
Rueckert and cast-mate Betina Mustain wrote the bulk of this 19-piece sketch show and both are standouts in the eight person ensemble. One of Rueckert’s best and creepiest characters comes during the sketch “Meet the Lecters” while Mustain shines in both “Yale Girl” and “Johanna’s Yoga Class.” Wilson Better, Dennis Boyle, Theodora Greece, Matt Gsell, Emily O’Meara, and Anthony Trexler round out this talented cast.
Many of the sketches are presented by projection to offer the audience a distraction from the set changes. “Civil War” in particular is a hilarious voiceover sketch about the woes of communication between soldiers and their loved ones.
Very few live sketch shows take the time to create a full production environment, so Denim on Denim is a welcome change. Every character in every scene has head-to-toe wardrobe including makeup and wigs. There is a minimal set, but enough to actually have a bed, an operating table, a couch, and a torture chest full of torture devices. Along with the lighting, music, and multimedia, it feels like a complete show and well worth the meager ticket price.
If you’re interested in a good laugh outside the standard standup or improv performance, then Denim on Denim is definitely the show to see.
Denim on Denim plays Thursday at 8 p.m. and Fridays at 6 p.m. through Sept. 29 at The Renegade Theatre located at 1514 N. Gardener St. in Hollywood. Tickets are $10. For reservations call (323)874-1733 or go to denimondenim.eventbrite.com.