With their first offering, The Chicks Have Hatched, the sketch comedy troupe On the Rag didn"t lay a complete egg, but their presentation of 16 vignettes was spotty at best. Kate Ayers and Sara Locker, in an attempt to send up "comedy from a feminine perspective," have created some genuinely hilarious moments and characters. The duo, ably abetted by Jason Bohler, Chris Goldfarb and Zane Seal, run the quality gamut on this set of unrelated skits.
Chris Goldfarb, Zane Seal, Sara Locker and Kate Ayers (clockwise from top) perform in "The Chicks Have Hatched."
Locker, as the lisping, narcissistic psychologist Dr. Barbie, was brilliant, incredulously grabbing the Rorschach blots from her flummoxed patient, exclaiming, "Here, do you want me to tell you what"s in them?" But watching Ayers as Chippy, a pet of indeterminate species and unpredictable mood swings, is difficult. It"s not the performance; Ayers is wonderfully athletic, reminiscent of Buster Keaton, but the subject matter has nothing to offer. Chippy growls. Chippy enthusiastically laps at a cheek. Chippy goes to the bathroom. In the second act we get a redux where we learn that Chippy doesn"t like water. Ayers" penchant for agitated theatrics is better used as Mona, a fully developed torso attached at the waist to her more mobile Siamese-sister "Leggy Lona." When Mona decides to spice up her life and tricks her sister into going on a blind date, what could have been just a great sight gag ended up being the high point of the show. Throw in an appliance psychic who crosses paths with a chatty vibrator, a pair of young lovers who learn the importance of open communication and feminine hygiene and some lipsticks whose names (Baboon Ass Red, Trashy Tangerine, Orgasmic Orange) elicit some odd behavior and there are plenty of laughs to go around. With just a little more quality or a little less quantity, this could have been a great show. Its stronger moments still make it worth the visit. The Chicks Have Hatched is playing Fridays and Saturdays, 8 p.m., at Bookmamas, 944 S. Meridian, through Aug. 31. Tickets are $4 plus the role of one die. Call 632-6657 for more info.