Though it may lack Tina Fey’s hilarious impersonations of Gov. Sarah Palin, Alpha Psi Omega’s annual sketch comedy show, Live! with Alpha Psi, It’s Saturday Night!, will feature some political skits that are sure to have viewers’ sides splitting, organizers said.
“It’s a lot different from previous years,” said senior Chris Mazur, one of the show’s directors. “It’s more like Saturday Night Live (SNL) — it has more controversial stuff. The other shows kind of tip-toed around [issues], but this year we like to make fun of controversy.”
The SNL-esque show is back in The Spitz Theater this year, and will have two showings this weekend on — you guessed it — Saturday night.
Mazur and the other director, junior Brianna McIntyre, have been brainstorming and planning for Live! since last summer.
“When we got back here in September, we had auditions and picked the cast; we began teaching them sketch comedy and they began the writing process,” Mazur said.
Live! is a completely student-run production, from the writing to the directing. To help the cast get into the sketch comedy/improvisational mindset, they watched old SNL episodes and other examples of early sketch comedy.
“Our cast does everything, pretty much, and whoever writes [a part] also has a say in it,” Mazur said. “We give everyone a say in the show.”
Though the production is touted as being “student-run,” there is one exception: each year, a faculty or staff member hosts the show. This year, as a last hurrah to celebrate 28 years of service to the university, Associate Director of Residence Life Stephanie Polak was chosen to host the program.
“She is retiring [this year] and she’s well-known on campus,” Mazur said. “We figured she would be a great host because she will bring all different kinds of people.”
Polak was required to help write her monologue and memorize it for the show.
“I’m a nervous wreck,” Polak said. “I’m very flattered that I was asked, but I am really nervous.”
Trying her hand at writing comedy for the first time posed a challenge for Polak.
“I tried to say it all out loud — like I would perform it — and not write it down,” she said. “That worked better for me.”
With Live! being a student-run show, Polak was amazed at the level of skill in the cast’s work.
“I’m so impressed with the crew, actors and actresses,” she said. “[They are] so professional, so organized. Everyone has a part to play as well as a job to do. They are stepping up.”
The cast is mostly freshmen, a change of pace from previous years when there were more upperclassmen.
“We’re getting fresh faces this year and the talent is amazing,” Mazur said.
Polak believes the show will live up to past performances and that the audience won’t be disappointed.
“[The audience] can expect some surprises, a lot of laughs and can expect the whole crew to laugh at ourselves,” she said.