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The Groundlings R.V. and Camper Show

Much more purposeful and relevant than average comedy-club fare, "The Groundlings R.V. and Camper Show" has nothing to do with sleeping out under the open sky, but everything to do with what human beings do on the planet, particularly in Los Angeles. In 18 mostly pointed sketches and one improv set, the Groundlings troupe delivers humor and comment in two fast-paced hours.

Much more purposeful and relevant than average comedy-club fare, “The Groundlings R.V. and Camper Show” has nothing to do with sleeping out under the open sky, but everything to do with what human beings do on the planet, particularly in Los Angeles. In 18 mostly pointed sketches and one improv set, the Groundlings troupe delivers humor and comment in two fast-paced hours.

The show features micro-act plays separated by live music. Unusual for a format like this, all 18 sketches, written by the performers, elicit worthy laughter, and several are exceptional.

For instance, in “Quick, Turn Us On, We’re Live,” two television newscasters (Vic Wilson and Tim Bagley) milk a story about a police chase on a freeway, putting inane sound bites on the obvious, trying to make “news.”

“Creative License Expired” has cliche ram into reality with a screenwriter (Mike Hitchcock) getting into a conversation with a homeless person (Wilson).

A man and woman (Patrick Bristow and Karen Maruyama), both dog aficionados, meet for the first time in “Dog Park.” Their mannerisms have taken on the characteristics of their pets.

Bristow’s elastic methods and wit also stand out in “To Tell the Truth,” where his killer impersonation of Jane Hathaway steals the segment, and in “Tagged,” a monologue where he’s covered in graffiti from sitting at a bus stop.

Jennifer Joyce creates a perfect impression as a troubled teen trying to keep her sanity while battling her manipulative mother, played by Mindy Sterling.

Also in the adept cast are Mike McDonald, Mary Scheer, Tony Sepulveda and Jim Wise.

Director Deanna Oliver focuses her cast on comic moments that spring from character, and she keeps the pace fast.

Musical director Willie Etra, on keyboards, and Teddy Zambetti, percussion, provide spirited music between skits.

The Groundlings R.V. and Camper Show

(Groundling Theatre, Hollywood; 99 seats; $ 17.50 top)

  • Production: The Groundling Theatre presents sketches and improvisation written by Tim Bagley, Patrick Bristow, Mike Hitchcock, Jennifer Joyce, Mike McDonald, Mary Scheer, Tony Sepulveda, Mindy Sterling, Vic Wilson, Jim Wise. Directed by Deanna Oliver. Opened June 18, 1993; reviewed June 19; runs indefinitely.
  • Crew:
  • Cast: Cast: Tim Bagley, Patrick Bristow, Mike Hitchcock, Jennifer Joyce, Karen Maruyama, Mike McDonald, Mary Scheer, Tony Sepulveda, Mindy Sterling, Vic Wilson , Jim Wise.
  • Music By: