There is no shortage of gifted comedians in Indy as evidenced by popular groups and events such as Act a Foo Improv Crew, Three Dollar Bill Comedy, ComedySportz, IndyProv, Off Topic Improv, Gal Pal Comedy Fest, Buddy Buddy Improv and comics such as Jason Adams, Claire Wilcher and Todd Kenworthy.
Adding to the richness of the local comedy community is Defiance Comedy which presented “Brozone: The Story of Clay.” I saw the show Wednesday at the adventurous White Rabbit Cabaret in Fountain Square.
Producer Matt Kramer, founded Defiance Comedy in 2012 with a goal of bringing live sitcoms to the local entertainment scene. Forming a collaboration with White Rabbit Cabaret, Kramer went on to present such shows as “Jesus is My Roomie” and “Mom and Pop Porno Shop .” Later he created “Brozone.” It’s a series that focuses on “the story of five 30-somethings who deal with the realities of life, love, and money, while they chase their dreams of one day becoming the Midwest’s most famous boy band.” says Kramer.
Defiance’s “Brozone” shows are presented in runs which consist of three to four episodes spaced two weeks apart. Occasionally, the group presents “reruns” to update those fans who might have missed an episode. Kramer says that one of the reasons he started the group was to accommodate the schedules of talented friends whose lives were very busy and who couldn’t commit to a show with a traditional run. “The episode format makes it so I can use talented actors for an episode or two, and then they can pursue other endeavors.” according to Kramer.
Defiance Comedy has also made a name for itself as a result of hit shows it has presented at the IndyFringe Theatre Festival. They include “Enter The Brozone,” “Camp Summer Camp” and most recently, “Haul & Oatz: Time Traveling Detectives” which was the #4 best-selling 2016 IndyFringe show.
“Brozone: The Story of Clay,” written and directed by Kramer and produced by Molly North, examines the origins of the group’s newest member. The cast (each member uses his/her own name) includes Clay Mabbit, Ryan Ruckman, Adam Tran, Davey Pelsue, John Kern and Chelsea Gill.
Mabbit was especially appealing as the sweet and beguiling newcomer. Clay’s story begins when he is an I.U. college student who performs with his singing partner and best friend (Kern). They call themselves Coke and Gay. After Kern betrays him by sleeping with his treacherous girlfriend (Gill), Clay’s journey continues with a stint as a washroom attendant in a strip club where he encounters customers (Tran and Ruckman) with whom he participates in a hilarious production number during which the trio performs with a couple of the club’s droll strippers (Pelsue and Gill). Credit for the campy choreography goes to Callie Burke and Audrey Stonerock. Later Clay finds himself homeless, living in a cardboard box and tripping on drugs with his dealer (Pelsue). Kramer’s goofy material which included some silly potty humor was delivered by the likable cast that exhibited effective timing. Their vocals were better than average too.
Defiance’s next two shows take place on Oct. 26 (episode 2) and Nov 9 (episode 3). On Dec. 8 the group’s annual fundraiser features a lip sync battle and includes a raffle and auction of donated items and services. For tickets and information about these events call the White Rabbit Cabaret at (317) 686-9550
The troupe’s holiday show, “Love Accurately,” a comic homage to “Love Actually,” runs Dec. 2 – 12 at the IndyFringe Basile Theatre. For tickets and information call (317)522-8099.