If you can’t stop singing, “baby, you’re a firework,” when you see the name of this group, then you don’t have the kind of love for Katy Perry that we hold deep in our hearts. We think that Human Fireworks, a crew comprised of Theatre 99 regulars, are as passionate about things that go sparkle as our gal Perry is, and we know that from the way they start the show. Every performance begins with the warning, err, preface, that “things are about to get weird.”
“It’s one of my favorite groups to perform with,” says Betsy Harper, a regular in Human Fireworks. And Harper promises us that she doesn’t usually pick favorites. After letting the audience know that weirdness will ensue, Human Fireworks (who may or may not explode, you’ll have to see for yourself) kick things off by stating one true thing. Harper says that this opens the performers and the audience up to being vulnerable, which always makes for good comedy.
Harper admits that sometimes the performers find themselves in over their heads with their one true thing — “You’re like, ‘Why am I telling this story?'” she says. But they have no choice but to run with it, and at the end of the show Harper says everyone’s just a little bit closer.
“It’s a larger group this year,” says Harper of the gang. “The new players will spice things up.” You may have seen Human Fireworks before — they perform at Theatre 99’s Laugh for a Lincoln once a month, which keeps those creative juices flowing.
As for the show’s inspiration, other than those true stories, Harper says that everyone comes into shows with whatever’s on their mind. Obviously, with Comedy Fest landing on inauguration weekend, new president Trump is, consciously or not, on everyone’s mind. Harper alludes to the current state of the country, saying, “We all need a bit of laughter.”