EVERYTHING ELSE IS SOLD OUT by Claire Farmer, Jessica Greco, Shannon Lahaie, Chris Leveille and Gavin Pounds. Helen Gardiner Phelan Playhouse. July 2 at 7:30 pm, July 3 at 4:30 pm, July 5 at 6 pm, July 6 at 11 pm, July 8 at noon, July 10 at 3:30 pm. Buy tickets. Rating: NNNN
Dame Judy Dench’s latest show isn’t as perfect as last Fringe’s That’s Just 5 Kids In A Trench Coat. But they’re continuing to evolve into one of the freshest and smartest sketch troupes in town.
The five writer/performers aren’t content with merely sending up current trends and issues, although there is a very funny take on the ubiquitous Ubër app and one sketch very cleverly captures millennials’ anxiety about becoming adults.
They’re best when they go surreal or silly, such as Chris Leveille’s monologue as an aging, toupee-wearing vampire trying to meet friends, or a brilliant bit in which a man (Gavin Pounds) is intrigued by what’s in a woman’s (Shannon Lahaie) closet.
The troupe’s men aren’t afraid to go physically all out, Leveille playing a literal troll and Pounds morphing into a grunting caveman at one point.
Not that the women (Lahaie, Claire Farmer and Jessica Greco) slack off. They do great work in an amusing scene about the witches from Macbeth trying to organize their schedules, and dominate the show’s most inventive sketch, which follows the surprising outcome of a drunken girls’ night out. This last sequence nicely shows off Paul Bates’s clear, unfussy direction.