Music, goofs and spoofs for Lampshades

 

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The College was graced by recognizable celebrities last week, as performing duo The Lampshades, featuring Kate Flannery (best known as Meredith from “The Office”) and Scot Robinson (the waiter from ‘Anchorman’), performed on Thursday, Nov. 14.

The show, which was free to students and SAF funded, consisted of not only the lounge-show-style performance by the headliners, but also an introductory show by the College’s own Mixed Signals.

In a sharp change of pace from a typical show, the Lampshades’ performance revolved around musical comedy. In a satirical knockoff of the kind of lousy show you might see on a cruise ship, their performance was complete with audience interactions and some improvised bits, too.

“We started doing this act years ago in Chicago and took a break for a while when we lived in separate cities. But we’ve been performing every week for five years,” Flannery said. “We’ve really developed the show.”

“We had been fans of old, obscure music, and we realized that each of us had individually wanted to do something like a lounge act, so that’s really how the show started,” Robinson said.

Musical numbers for the show often merged two songs together, with each performer taking on a different number while making some attempt at dancing along with the music.

“I was tone deaf while she was formally trained in musical theater. So they’d be doing a song and I’d hear a completely different song,” Robinson said about the origins of their musical style.

“We’re not big on harmony that’s why we ended up doing a lot of mash-ups — two songs played at the same time — because the weakness of the harmony becomes the strength of doing two songs at once,” Flannery said.

In between the musical numbers, Flannery and Robinson took on the roles of two characters you might see in a low-budget lounge act that has long since outlived fame and fortune.

Flannery portrayed a character overeager to not only remind the audience that the two were “Not a couple!” while propositioning the young men in the audience, while Robinson acted as a drunkard — complete with running offstage at one point to refill his glass — just looking for a ride home after the show.

Most members of the audience got involved with the show, either clapping along with the beat of well-known songs or laughing at the antics of the characters on stage.

For the hopeful future comedians in the audience, the show was simply a good time.

“We kind of went into this knowing it would be a musical comedy show, which is much different from what we do,” sophomore English and education double major Steven Munoz said. “So we were just sort of watching to enjoy it. It wasn’t so much a learning experience as it was something we could enjoy. Every time we see someone else perform it’s just exciting.”

After the performance was over, Flannery and Robinson stuck around, snapping pictures and joking around with students who stayed to greet them.