p>You’re not alone if you’ve looked at Theatre 99’s Piccolo Fringe schedule this year —nearly a dozen top-shelf comedy acts from near and afar, spanning 17 days at both the American Theater and Theatre 99 — and been a little intimidated. There’s sketch comedy galore, one-handers, a Star Wars trilogy reenactment, straight plays, backwards plays, comic history, an SNL cast member, and a cornucopia of improv — from Shakespeare-style long-form to the talk-show format of Mary Kay Has a Posse and the short-form games of The Have Nots!
Where to begin?
Better to ask, perhaps, where to end.
This Saturday, as Piccolo draws to a close, Theatre 99 brings down the curtains on its Piccolo Fringe by hosting a Finale Jam that includes not just home-team improvisers The Have Nots! but as many of its visiting artists as are still in town and able to stand on a stage. It’s the best single way to get your laugh on and also catch a Pu-Pu Platter-style sampling of the best the Fringe had to offer at this year’s festival.
“The past couple of years the Finale Jam has been an effin’ hootenanny. It’s been one of those rare times in life when planned chaos comes off great,” explains Have Not! Greg Tavares. “We still do some of the long-form jams and some games. And in between that stuff we’ll fill in with bits and samples from some of our visiting artists who are still in town. It’s been kind of a variety show thing over the years.”
The Finale Jam has proven so popular in the past that Tavares says they decided to present two of them this time.
“We’ll change up the playlist for both of the shows, just to mix things up a little. We always plan it really late because we want it to be as fresh as it can be. It all depends of who’s still around and who wants to play. Nobody yet has turned us down.”
A word of advice: don’t expect to buy a ticket at the door. Seats for the Finale go faster than Gas-Ex samples at a chili cook-off.
PICCOLO FRINGE FINALE • Piccolo Spoleto’s Piccolo Fringe at Theatre 99 • $15 • June 10 at 7 and 10 p.m. • 2 hours • Theatre 99, 280 Meeting St. • 554-6060
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