So before the show even starts someone in the audience, obviously a good friend of the performers, drops an expletive about a previous review of this show – so i had better tread lightly here. Jimmer Lowe and Stephanie Neale , the creators and performers, of Open Mic Relationship, set us up with two friends who both want to be standup comedians. Oh … they’re best friends.
The two are funny together, have a great rhythm , and with an audience obviously made up of family and friends, get some great laughs. But even without the stacked house they are genuinely funny. Jim has an awkward , uncomfortable in his own skin vibe, that he uses to good effect and Stephanie is a pixie like blond that plays against type and hits some zingers at the audience that they eat up. All well and fine except ……
Here’s the thing. The beginning of the show is awkward at best with no clear way to know when it’s started, despite the actors using this as a bit. Also they completely cop-out on the ending. As a matter of fact there is no ending really. At the end the characters get a chance to play a big club and the majority of the play is the lead up to that moment. But once they do their five minutes at the club we get “thank you everyone for coming out”. There was such a great opportunity here for them to wrap it up with their awkward try at romance ( seen previously) or to give us a “Jim went on to…and Stephanie is now ….” . But we get no ending and not really a beginning.
Don’t get me wrong . They are funny. The references they drop are for the crowd still in, or just out of, school and most of which I got and are funny. The mental health rap was clever and Stephanie’s failed romance bit was great but in the end were left with a standup routine and not a play. And maybe that’s ok. So if you want to have some laughs and not see a play ( though they could make one with some help) then go see Open Mic Relationship