‘This Is The Week That Is’ at 1812 Productions in Philadelphia

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1812 Productions consistently brings Philadelphia great comedy year after year. This Is The Week That Is is no exception with current events changing daily showcased in a sketch comedy meets satirical news show. This Is The Week That Is in its tenth year, and lucky for us, it’s right in the middle of the 2016 presidential race in our backyard.

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The Week That Is addresses the big issues: race, politics and Star Wars. This show is full of politically relevant sketches, and one of my favorites is the hilarious Run-The-Country-My-Way, a Project Runway style competition between all of the Presidential Republican Candidates for their spot at being president. Others include a cordial invitation to Donald Trump’s Christmas Party, Keeping Up with the Caucasians (a racist ghost is included), and of course, more Star Wars.

Director and creator Jennifer Childs has stuck with the project since its inception, and thank goodness for that. This show is punch line after punch line in the absolute best kind of way. Childs has cultivated an impressive group to create these relevant jokes every day, and complements the group with her hilarious performances of Hillary Clinton and Chris Christie.

Talented veteran writers/performances include Aimé Donna Kelly, Dave Jadico, and Alex Bechtel. New members to the gang, Justin Jain and Sean Close, add wit and humor to the ensemble. The cast’s ability to change from crazy character to even crazier character in seconds is not just impressive, but one of the most entertaining performances I’ve seen in Philadelphia this year.

Alex Bechtel electrifies with stunningly accurate impressions throughout, embodying the perfect Tim Gunn, C3PO, Al Gore, and many more. Also working as the musical director and accompanist, Bechtel arranges hilarious re-writes of Broadway classics for After Hours with Hillary, a Hillary Clinton Cabaret as well a few originals. Sean Close is up there with Colbert, Stewart, and the other political satire greats as head anchor for This Is The News That Is. Not to mention his awesome Chewbacca.

Costumes by Lauren Perigard Kaisoglus provide clothes for the endless string of characters. Lance Kniskern (based off original design by Adam Riggar) creates a simple design that gave room for Drew Billiau’s exciting lighting and Jorge Cousineau’s amazing projections and sound, changing locations throughout the show.

And the audience got a special guest: Philadelphia’s own Mayor Michael Nutter made an appearance. He made the crowd go wild. So you never know what you’re going to get at This Is The Week That Is.

To quote Childs’ Hillary Clinton, “Al Gore thinks I’m funny. What better endorsement do I need?” Well, I think the entire ensemble is hilarious. My name is Rachel Beecher and I approve this message. This Is The Week That Is 2015!

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1812 Productions’ This Is The Week That Is plays through December 31, 2015 at Plays and Players Theatre – 1714 Delancey Place, in Philadelphia, PA. For tickets, call the box office at (215) 592-9560, or purchase them online.

Running Time: Two hours, with a 15-minute intermission.

RATING: FIVE-STARS-82x1555.gif