Politico, Politico, Inc., at the Playground. At least this troupe aims to do something important with sketch comedy: inspired by over-the-top patriotism and small-minded politicians, it attempts sharp, relevant political satire. Unfortunately, that's rarely attained. While a few segments draw smiles of recognition, most of the offerings range from dull to stupefying.
Min-aha Beeck, Cholley Kuhaneck, Marc Ovies, and Sven Wechsler may be well-informed, and they have some good ideas, taking us to the international space station and to a summit meeting between Ariel Sharon and Yasir Arafat that's more like a blind date. But they appear to have no talent for comedy. They don't provide any actual characterizations, have little or no ability to improvise (evidenced in one failure of a scene based on audience suggestions), and obviously don't know how to edit or when to end a sketch. To top it off, although they can't sing, they close this interminable 50-minute show with a musical number that includes some smart lines but ends the evening on a sour note. Matt Hovde directs the proceedings at a glacial pace that makes us think we'll be voting in the 2004 election before we hear a rewarding punch line.