Review by Bill Garry
Nichols and May. Stiller and Meara. Lanzet and Voeltner. You know the first two sets of names as legendary male/female comedy teams. Let me introduce the third -- Josh Lanzet and Lindy Voeltner -- who have what it takes to also become comedy legends, judging from their Fringe show, "Dating: Adults Embracing Failure," now in an extended run on Hollywood's Theatre Row.
This two-person show, written by Ms. Voeltner and Mr. Lanzet and directed by Andy Eninger, is a scripted series of sketches about fresh and/or tired and/or true romance. There's the sagas of the Kung Pao Chicken couple, the Crossword Puzzle Couple, and the Subway Busker couple. And a hilarious series of rapid-fire pick-up and break-up lines (including audience participation) -- all performed with great chemistry, comic energy, singing talent, and sweetness. The laughs come from simple, honest conflicts that everyone who has ever been in a relationship can relate to.
Ms. Voeltner, Mr. Lanzet, and Mr. Eninger are talented mid-Westerners who have extensive credits in the Chicago Improv scene. The show, however, does not include any of the danger and spontaneity of Improv. It's actually a little 60s (shades of Ozzy and Harriet; some weird filler about mimes, believe it or not) and a little vanilla (no heat; no adult language.) A little raunch and roll would have added some spice -- and danger -- to balance out the sugar.
And one more thing: the name, "
Dating: Adults Embracing Failure" doesn't really represent the sweet, positive comedy of the show, nor the chemistry between Mr. Lanzet and Ms. Voeltner. These up-and-coming comedy legends deserve top billing.
Lanzet and Voeltner are easy to fall in love with. But the choppy, regimented, blackout staging gets in the way; transitional patter would have been more satisfying.
Like the legends before them, Lanzet and Voeltner are more night club act than stage show. They would make great late-night talk show guests (are you listening, Jimmy, Jimmy and Stephen?)
Thursday nights at 8 PM
thru September 3, 2015
The Hudson Guild Theatre
6539 Santa Monica Blvd. Hollywood, 90038
Tickets are $20 and available at www.plays411.com/dating