FACT! The dudes in the 3rd Floor are probably the funniest people in Portland. ANOTHER FACT! Their latest show, The 3rd Floor XXVI, is one of their best in recent memory—hilarious and weird and amazing and inventive and clever. ONE MORE FACT! If you miss XXVI, your life from here on out will likely be joyless and sexless, and will stretch on for countless dark and lonely years.
Less plot dependent than the 3rd Floor's previous productions, the scattershot XXVI features sketches about everything from a time-traveling pharmacist to panty-stealing ninjas. Also included: the funniest sketch about pancakes that's ever been performed, and the best use of Bonnie Tyler's "Holding out for a Hero" since Kevin Bacon showed those dipshit hicks what was what in Footloose.
While the 3rd Floor's female members are missed in this all-male show, the shrunk-down ensemble is still in fine form. (And don't worry, ladies, the overall estrogen balance is maintained—the 3rd Floor's show is followed by a performance by Portland's only female sketch comedy group Eastland Academy.) New addition Melik Malkasian—better known as the star of local films Film Geek and The Auteur—proves a fantastic addition to the cast, which also features the always-excellent Andrew Harris, as well as Jason Rouse (who, after several shows of being a supporting cast member, thankfully gets more to do here).
If there's one disappointing aspect to XXVI, it's that there aren't any video segments. In previous shows, the 3rd Floor have utilized short films throughout, proving themselves not only some of Portland's best stage performers but also some of its best filmmakers. But while it's lame to not have any video pieces this time, it's hard to complain when the rest of the show is this goddamn great.