Archive for the Front for Evil Category

More Gelatinous Cubes

Posted in Front for Evil, Shows with tags , , on September 11, 2009 by Greg Landgraf

If it’s Thursday, there’s a new National Gelatinous Cube Attack Hotline video out. At least, for today and three weeks after this.

The caller in this one is a bit more advanced; she’s taking care of her family and her community. She’s got a broadsword.

Coincidentally, tomorrow’s Friday, and if it’s Friday, there’s a performance of Front for Evil at 10:30 at the Apollo Studio Theater, 2540 N. Lincoln. At least, for tomorrow and two weeks after it.

Poster for Front for Evil

Poster for Front for Evil

Now admittedly, tomorrow (or today, if you’re on the east coast, because I’m getting to this later than I expected) is not the funniest day of the year. But this show is really funny. So you have to come in order to maintain cosmic balance.

Opening Night Tomorrow!

Posted in Front for Evil, Shows with tags , , , , , , , , on August 7, 2009 by Greg Landgraf

Four months of writing and rehearsing culminates tomorrow at 10:30: Opening night of Front for Evil.

It’s pretty surprising how non-panicky the cast is. We had no last-minute rehearsals or cram sessions. Just our regular Sunday and Tuesday nights, and those were about as low-key as you could imagine for the last week before opening.

Sunday was our tech rehearsal. It was long and dull from an actor’s standpoint, because it isn’t about us. A tech rehearsal exists so that the person running lights and sound can figure out which lights to turn on when and when to press which button on the CD player. The actors mostly stand on stage so the tech person can see what will make them look best. (Or in some of our cases, least ugly!)

Tech rehearsals are often pretty miserable. But this one… not so much. It was well-organized and free of drama, thanks to the efforts of our director Jay and our tech guy Dominick.

Our Tuesday rehearsal was nothing more than a single run-through. We’re in a place where we know the show well but we’re still able to play within the scenes and surprise ourselves and each other. In other words, the sweet spot.

I feel like I’m coming off as artificially positive. But let me assure those of you who don’t know me: Nobody in the history of time has ever, ever, ever accused me of being positive when positivity is unwarranted.

To prove it, I’ll share one late setback. One more scene had to be cut this week. It wasn’t the fault of the scene; it’s a song, and we had to cut it because we weren’t able to get music recorded in time. Which is unfortunate, because we really liked it. But it will, at least, find another home somewhere. You will get to hear “Technically a Condom” at some point, I swear.

Front for Evil T-Shirt

Front for Evil T-Shirt

There are a couple of other bits of business to handle. First off: You can officially be indoctrinated into the Front for Evil with some Front for Evil merchandise. Buy the Front for Evil T-Shirt or Front for Evil magnets at our Cafepress store.

Second: 3LR has a new web series running: The National Gelatinous Cube Attack Hotline. Nine episodes in total will be produced, of which the first two are up on our YouTube page. Because, let’s face it, you’re worried about gelatinous cube attacks.

And last: You have taken the Are You Evil Facebook quiz, right? Right? Right! Good.

Mystery Guest Revealed!

Posted in Front for Evil, Shows with tags , , , , , , on July 30, 2009 by Greg Landgraf

Last time, we promised you a preview of which beloved characters would be returning in Front for Evil. We decided the best way to do that would be to turn the blog over to them for a guest post. So without further ado, please welcome:

Braun, Pete, and Britney

Braun, Pete, and Britney


Hallo, everybody! I am Pete, und my friendly friend Braun is sitting next to me und massaging my kneecap in a most masculine fashion!

Vee are very excited to be performing for you again very soon! Vee have a whole brand new song for you that vee will be singing for you. It is a nice summery song because it is summer outside!

Vee have an entire band this year. In zee picture you can see our Britney. She plays the hair. Vee also have a kazoo player und a xylophone player. She is very nice, and didn’t even get mad at me venn I accidentally spilled a whole gallon of mustache wax on her head. I vasnt mad either. That is only three dayses worth of mustache wax that I had spilled.

Braun und I hope that you vill come and see us as vee sing our summery tune at Front For Evil, vich opens next Friday at the Apollo Theater Studio at 10:30. You can see the detailses here. Vee would like you to laugh, und then vee will speak to you in an polite und friendly manner, und maybe aftervords, vee could lay on top of you und move up and down!

Bye-bye! See you soon!

July 21 Production Notes: Tribute to the Fallen Scenes

Posted in Front for Evil, Shows with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 23, 2009 by Greg Landgraf

Yesterday we worked a revised, and shortened, running order. A full hour (what we ran last time, a figure that omits two songs) is a bit long for a sketch show, so four sketches were removed and one song, which we haven’t run at all yet, wasn’t included. The net result: 50 minutes.

But today’s post isn’t about what’s in the show. It’s about the sketches that got cut.

They’re not bad sketches, and they certainly could show up in other places. (At least a few of the sketches in this show were originally written for other things.) But in the event that they don’t, let us now pay tribute to them.

Farewell, The Gym. This one fell into sort of a special category. This and one other sketch utilize that old comic trope, the voice over. We really didn’t want to have two voice over scenes, so one of them had to go. This one had a bit of creepiness, but so does the other. This one had exercise, while the other has bowling, which is technically an exercise, so that’s a wash also. I think the deciding factor was that The Gym had a psychiatrist, which brings back bad memories. (It’s a psychiatrist’s job.)

Sayonara, Irritible Vowel Syndrome. This was one of the more dramatically rewritten sketches; its setting was relocated from a printing press’s type tray to a Scrabble bag. That change also made the title wholly inacurate; on the type tray, the vowels were irritible, while in the Scrabble board, it was the consonants that were ticked off. Sadly, the poor gramatical oddities that are valid words that have a “Q” but no “U” will now be lost to the world forever. (Unless you refer to one of the many web sites that list them.)

So long, Beauty Knows Pain. This beauty knows the pain of non-performance. It’s a shame, for everyone at this particular reunion has changed for the better, in just the way that they don’t at real reunions. With it cut from the show, Derick’s efforts at learning how to pronounce the word “decolette” were in vain.

Bye-bye, Betty Buchanan. This talk-show based wife-swap may have broken up Jake and Gloria, but I guess they got the last laugh. I think we can safely blame Oprah for this. Hopefully it will cause a giant feud with her, which will produce ample publicity for us and guarantee massive glorious success. That would be wonderful.

Pity we never met you, Bob. This innocuous-sounding song never made it into our rotation. A shame, as it is one of the few songs to contain the phrase “geosynchronous satellite” in a reasonably melodic way. The antihero of the song, an evil genius named Mr. Bad, will have to remain jealous of evil supergenius Bob for a while longer.

One final curiosity related to the cuts. Of the sketches that I wrote that made our final considerations, fully half made reference to the chemical element uranium. (This is hardly surprising. One of my personal life goals, immediately under “learn Esperanto,” is to become a nuclear power.) One of these references was in the first draft of Irritible Vowel Syndrome; this reference disappeared when the setting changed to the scrabble board and the letters changed from U, O, and G, to Q, F, and U (respectively). The second was in Bob, as he bemoans his defective centrifuge, which precludes uranium enrichment. The third reference to uranium, in a sketch that remains in the show, was dropped in a final revision for the hilarity of the ununs—the super-heavy radioactive chemical elements with names like ununbium and ununquadium that have only been created in labs, in quantities of a few atoms at a time. As a result, Front For Evil is now a uranium-free zone.

July 19 Production Notes: Technicalities

Posted in Front for Evil, Shows with tags , , , on July 21, 2009 by Greg Landgraf

Our Sunday rehearsals are a bit abbreviated. Our director, Jay, teaches at Second City before our rehearsal. Then, she teaches at Second City after our rehearsal. As a result, we’ve got a bit under two hours with her, followed by a bit of cast time to run lines on our own.

So yesterday, we quote-unquote only did the staging of one scene. It’s about birth control, and technicalities that you shouldn’t really don’t want to have to think about when you’re talking about birth control. It’s also one of the two musical numbers that will have full recorded accompaniment.

It took a while because the staging mutated far beyond what anyone could have expected. What started as just a simple series of three vignettes (think “Interjections” from Schoolhouse Rock, only with condoms) became a more complicated series of three vignettes, with a pair of couples, and a pair of inner monologues, who then have their own attempt at a one-night stand.

I think it will be more clear when it’s on stage. If not, well, just assume that there’s a couple singers who invade people’s bedrooms at night, and then meet up afterward.

July 14 Production Notes: Yep, the Show Exists

Posted in Front for Evil, Shows with tags , , on July 18, 2009 by Greg Landgraf

I have to admit: I was not at my best for our Tuesday rehearsal. There’s a perfectly good reason—after four 15-hour work days, I pretty much needed sleep, rather than more concentrating.

Nevertheless, I was there, and not even wholly useless. We did two things. First, we ran what will in all likelihood be our opening scene. It went far more easily than it had any right to. And it should work well as an opener; it’s got a bit of screaming, a bit of desperation, a bit of realistic pinball action, and some—rather a lot, actually–begging.

After that, we did a run-through of nearly the entire show. 17 scenes; the only two missing are the two songs that will have prerecorded accompaniment, which isn’t quite ready yet.

Doing a full run-through is the first time that you can really look at a show and say, “Yep, it exists. It’s a real thing, it’s going to happen.” That isn’t to say there’s not still work, or even that it’s finalized—the run-through took 60 minutes even, which is too long for a sketch show, so stuff will be cut—but it’s still a nice feeling.

Sunday, if all goes well, is music day. And I’m reasonably confident that I’ll be fully awake for it.

Front for Evil: The Poster

Posted in Front for Evil, Shows on July 12, 2009 by Greg Landgraf

That’s right. We’ve got the promotional poster for Front for Evil designed and about to be printed. But you lucky ones get a preview of it.


Poster for Front for Evil


July 7 Production Notes: Drinking, Drugs, and Chemistry

Posted in Front for Evil with tags , , , , , on July 9, 2009 by Greg Landgraf

We picked up rehearsal on Tuesday, in various states of refreshment (and, in one case, hobblingness) from the Fourth of July holiday. It proved to be a productive one; we worked something like seven scenes, and all of them were credibly off-book. (This was, if you recall, our assignment from last week, and a week ahead of our original plan.)

There was a long stretch of working scenes that I’m not in, so I spent part of rehearsal catching up on my rest, and making the unhappy discovery that the benches at Johnny O’Hagan’s are more comfortable than my bed. But I was upright for some notable discoveries by the cast:

* Jess is pretty awesome when stage-drunk, and she gets stage-drunk quickly, from just a couple sips of imaginary stage liquor. While alcohol abuse is evil (rather than Evil), her sudden realization that she’s two-fisting is a sight to behold.

* We’ve got a sketch called “Rehab.” (Don’t sing the song, or I will be forced to reach through the internet and slap you.) Doug’s impassioned explanation of how he got to go rehab (don’t say ‘no no no’ or I will slap you) is a thing of beauty. SLAP! I warned you.

* While this won’t show up in the final show–it’s the result of a dropped line on my part–I’m delighted to have caused the phrase “You forgot rhenium, jerk!” to be uttered for possibly the first time in recorded history. Way to go, Derick!

I’m missing Sunday’s rehearsal–I’ll be at a conference for my day job through Tuesday morning, at which I’ll be doing things that include interviewing Paula Poundstone–but watch here for an exciting non-rehearsal-related update coming soon.

June 24 Production Notes: Dorkflirt!

Posted in Front for Evil, Shows with tags , , , , , , on June 25, 2009 by Greg Landgraf

Our rehearsals for Front for Evil are, at least until we get closer to opening night, Tuesdays and Sundays. Which means that most of our updates will be coming shortly after those days.

So far, we’ve had three or four full rehearsals with our director Jay, and we’re making good progress on the initial run-throughs and refinements of our sketches. Yesterday we worked:

The Dorkflirting Sketch: Not the real name of the sketch, but the actual name would be a bit spoilery. And in fact, the dorkflirting isn’t even a particularly prominent part of the scene. It will, however, be a memorable part of it —  a few of the discoveries we made will ensure that.

The Stumps: Another sketch that’s going to be awfully memorable, in a funny-but-may-haunt-your-dreams kind of way. That is the sketch’s real name, and it’s potentially a bit spoilerish, but probably not. The conclusions you would draw from the title alone might be in the ballpark, but the devil is in the details.

Irritable Vowel Syndrome: This is probably the trickiest one in the bunch. It’s got two significantly different versions–the emotions are the same in each one but the setting and the specific points the characters make are not even close. We’re going to try to combine the best bits of both, while eliminating the jokes about typography and Welsh. (There are jokes about typography and Welsh in one of the versions. Both are funny and wholly legitimate, but they may lose some humor for people without the relatively obscure background knowledge.)

and Little Louise: A favorite of ours, although it’s actually a holdover that was written for Awkward Turtle but didn’t get used there. And good thing, too, because Jay has turned it into a singing, dancing, inappropriate-dramatic-monologuing, whoring-for-lollypops spectacular.

Coming Soon: Front for Evil

Posted in Front for Evil, Shows on June 12, 2009 by Greg Landgraf

It’s not true that blondes have more fun. Evil has more fun. Sure, great things can be done by good people, but it’s the bad guys who enjoy life and look good doing it.

Front for Evil, the second sketch comedy show from Three Legged Race, explores evil in all its forms. At least, the enjoyable ones, like pirates, rehab, Hollywood agents, and alcohol. Not evil like racism. We’re opposed to that.

Directed by Jay Steigmann of Back Table Productions, Front for Evil opens August 7 at the Apollo Studio Theater, 2540 N. Lincoln. It runs Friday nights at 10:30 through September 25, and tickets are $12.