By Dana Casadei
Nowadays there seem to be cruises for everyone. Disney cruises for the family; singles cruises for those looking to find their soul mate (or hook up with some randoms); and ones for those crazy spring breakers. The Abandon, the cruise ship in Go Comedy’s “Ahoy!” may not really fit into any of those categories, but it is still one heck of a good time.
The cast of six, and director Bryan Lark with assistance from Joe Hingelberg, wrote the script for this vacation cruise ride. As soon as it begins guests are greeted by Garrett Fuller and Pete Jacokes, playing what would best be described as cruise directors. After shouting out some interesting cruise facts, with “Six of you are going to try to push someone overboard” being my personal favorite, the adventure begins.
During the 80-minute show, viewers go everywhere from the buffet line, to a yoga class and a zip line excursion, with Fuller and Jacokes coming back to guide us along the trip and make sure the safety marshal is doing her job. FYI, the safety marshal is a randomly picked audience member at the beginning of the show, one given a binder titled “Safety Marshall’s Guide to Not Getting Everyone Killed.” There’s also a murder, and some choreographed dancing to “Walking in Memphis”… but I’m giving it all away, aren’t I?
Let me say now that the cast works exceptionally well together, even when things don’t go quite as planned. During the zip line excursion, told with Barbies and some creative stage placement, there was a little bit of a mishap, but the actors didn’t miss a beat, proving again and again how well their improv skills are.
If reviews were allowed to write closer to 1,000 or 1,200 words, I would gladly write paragraphs about each of the six actors, but alas, that would be a bit much. I’ll only mention a few of my absolute favorites, even though they all have a moment or two that will catch your attention.
A few weeks ago I saw Lauren Bickers in Planet Ant’s “Action Sports News,” and frankly, I wasn’t all that impressed. I saw other reviews mentioning how great a comedic actress she is, and after seeing her in “Ahoy!” I now understand the brilliance, and high praise, of Bickers. Whether it be playing the ship’s attorney or one-half of two very different couples, she constantly delivers.
As for the boys, I have to mention Jacokes again. When he walked out with Billy Joel’s “In the Middle of the Night” playing, doing this strange, spazzy dance was the moment I knew he had to be mentioned. Jacokes has fantastic comedic timing throughout, even when he’s a depressed magician or a monkey named Daisy.
He also plays half of my favorite pairing of the night: Bickers and Jacokes as the crankiest old couple one would probably meet on a cruise. They’re filled with piss and vinegar, and have so many zingers at others and each other – including “I can’t hear you over all the Nazis I killed” – that you can’t help but smile every time they’re onstage.
The crews’ costumes, which stick to blue slacks for the ladies, khakis for the men, and button-up shirts, fit perfectly. Their light blue ties that have anchors on them are a great touch. Costume and prop master Tommy LeRoy adds little details that make all the difference, with additions of hats and scarves, among other things, creating completely different characters.
Even if a cruise isn’t on the top of your “must do” list, it would be an absolute shame not to check out “Ahoy!”
Go Comedy! Improv Theater, 261 E. Nine Mile Rd., Ferndale. 8 p.m. Thursday-Friday through May 31. 80 minutes; no intermission. $15. 248-327-0575. http://www.gocomedy.net