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New sketch comedy at DSI

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Usually there's a learning curve as artists acquire new techniques and technologies. That's definitely the case with The Forefathers, the second foray in recent months into sketch and longer-form comedy by a constellation of eight young comedians led by head writer Aaron Keck and co-directors Zannie Gunn and Rick Skarbez at Carrboro's Dirty South Improv. Their goal: give scenes from American history the Reduced Shakespeare Company treatment while the performers develop their comic acting and timing chops in a new format. When the writing's not tight, scenes like that of a second Constitutional Convention (with a pointless Weekend at Bernie's tie-in) just drag. But when they are, this group scores points. A late-scene mashup of every presidential speech contains the stirring words, "A government of the people, by the people, and for the people did not have sex with that woman—but we did have a date with infamy." Now they've got to work on that delivery...

A $10 ticket for the closing run this Thursday night gets you in to see a group that's making interesting headway, followed by a stand-up improv showcase where a different handful of comics rock the mic in separate five- to 10-minute sets. Last Thursday, a grinning, semi-shy Matt Krantz had the loopiest views of the evening. For a night in a comedy lab, I'd say it's worth the price. Check it out.

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