Here’s Kinsey Labberton’s full interview with the musical improv group, I Eat Pandas. They perform tonight at Theatre 99 at 9 p.m. You might also check out this video of the duo. They’re constantly asked why they don’t have their own TV show. Here’s their answer (In case you’re wondering: No, it has nothing to do with oral sex)

Bear Baiting

I Eat Pandas (and so can you!)

By Kinsey Labberton

I Eat Pandas does what it takes Andrew Lloyd Webber years to do: create a musical from start to finish all in the course of an evening.

One hour, three mini-musicals, lots of laughs. That’s what you’ll get from co-stars Glennis McMurray and Eliza Skinner.

And you thought Evita was off the chain.

The group formed in 2003 after taking second place in a three-on-three improv competition at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre. After receiving a standing ovation, they’ve continued the show ever since.

“The stories are generally peppered with heartwarming songs like ‘Being a Ballerina Is Fucking Hard,’ ‘My Mother Made Me This Costume (But I Wanted to Be an Astronaut)’ and ‘Everyone I Work with Has Mustaches,” says Skinner.

Timeless classics the whole family will love.

You might have heard McMurray’s voice before. She has also done a lot of voice-over work, including commericials for Playtex Gentle Glide Tampons.

It’s a voice you can trust.

Skinner has just been nominated for an ECNY award (New York’s original comedy awards) for Best One-Women Show, Eliza Skinner is Shameless. I Eat Pandas was nominated for an ECNY award for Best Improv Group.

“We are firm believers that musicals should make people fall in love, make wishes come true, and occasionally describe what it looks like when your eyeball pops out of your head,” Skinner says.

“We kind of live for festivals!” McMurray says, referring to their gigs at the Charleston Comedy Festival. “It gives us an entire new audience and we get to meet the greatest people. I’m sure Charleston will be no exception.”

McMurray says the musical portion is an added bonus.

“Although its musical improv, we work hard to make it a show that would stand on its own without music,” she says. “Music adds that extra-magical something, but without it we think it would still be a damn solid show.”

The lure of the musical comedy genre — as any fan knows — comes from the sheer audacity of an actor to stop action and break into song. This is I Eat Pandas’ expertise.

“You will get insane absurdity, but you will also get heartstring-tugging honesty,” Skinner says. “And probably some rap. Glennis is very good at rap.”

“We are both in love with musical theater,” McMurray adds. “So it’s easy for us to pull off the ‘I’m going to sing right now and you’re not going to think it’s strange at all thing.’

“And it’s true. I’m very good at rap.”

I Eat Pandas

Sat. Jan. 19, 9 p.m.


Theatre 99

280 Meeting St.

(843) 514-ETIX, www.etix.com