by Sarah Weber
Off Off Broadway, New Comedy
Presented by the Recent Cutbacks
Tickets $20 | Runs through 27 July 2015
When I first read the title Hold On To Your Butts, I thought it was simply a reference to Samuel L. Jackson’s famous line from Jurassic Park. It wasn’t until after the show I realized it is also a legitimate public service announcement—you will laugh your butt off, so hold on! This sliver of nerdy paradise makes references to every memetic moment you remembered and forgot from that '90s classic we all love. Are Comic Con’s overlords reading this? Because I cannot imagine a single nerd who would not fall in love with this backside-splitting parody.
The quick witted Nick Abeel and Kyle Schaefer portray every single character and dinosaur of the film while the indispensably funny Kelsey Didion provides every sound effect from opening credits onward. The plot is the original Jurassic Park concentrated into one hour. For those of you who have been living under a rock since 1993, the sequence of events are as follows: a paleontologist discovers a fossilized mosquito with preserved dinosaur blood; a team of scientists use this blood to clone dinosaurs; some very wealthy men have the brilliant idea to open a park of these cloned dinosaurs; the brilliant idea goes horribly wrong.
The show doesn’t quote the film word for word. Of course, they preserve the classics (“Dodgson, Dodgson, we’ve got Dodgson here!”), but the rest either exaggerates already over-the-top scenes or makes self-aware remarks on how this is, after all, a staged performance. Some of my favorite moments are Kyle Shaefer’s interpretations of Dr. Malcom’s eccentric quirks and excessive use of Um’s and Ah’s. Didion’s foley sound effects are characters in their own right that both bring to life and poke fun at Jurassic Park. The scene where the character John Hammond stops the action entirely just to make a sandwich is made that much funnier by Didion’s perfect timing. It’s a treat to watch her create these effects on stage.