SHELLEY McLENDON and Michael Fetters stand in a darkened theater wearing matching Adidas sneakers, rocking on the balls of their feet, WAITING FOR YOU. Because you're at an orgy? Because you're in a shark tank! Because everyone in this production runs around so damn much, waving a huge flag that reads "THE" on one side and "ACES" on the other.
The Aces are writing and performing partners McLendon and Fetters, here directed by John Breen. McLendon's a member of improv group The Liberators; she and Fetters also starred in Road House: The Play!, which Breen directed (McLendon's Bad Reputation Productions produced). The Aces' latest sketch comedy show, For Your Pleasure, introduces a sexy houseboy-like addition to their previously exclusive performance partnership—prop master and magician's assistant Marshall Bradley, displaying some really top-notch flag-waving and shirtless snack-serving.
(History has proven I'm partial to a to a shirtless man serving me food. I want to think I'm more cerebral, but as soon as some half-nude dude is serving me snacks in the dark I'm so there.)
The general premise of For Your Pleasure is that we, the audience, are guests at either a dinner party or, yes, a polite evening orgy. Interspersed between name-dropping accounts of our hosts' musical, sexual, and humanitarian exploits, the Aces and company rearrange the set to portray hilarious situations. Some common themes: attraction, relationships, and love. The culminating scene: sloths in love. Some of these sketches stand alone (the aforementioned sloths) while others (like lesbian Wild West outlaws) build as the show progresses.
I had a hard time telling if anything in the production was ad-libbed: The sentences that came out of McLendon's mouth were both topically referential and at the same time total nonsense. Would anybody really write that into a script? I didn't think we lived in such a nice world. My faith in humanity has been restored! Thanks, the Aces!