Acting sketchy: Downtown sketch comedy show skewers the ’90s

Candy land: Sketch group American Candy at the Actors Fund Arts Center, where it will perform “A Very ’90s Christmas” on Dec. 13–14.
Photo by Stefano Giovannini

This sketch comedy group may sound sweet — but do not let the name fool you.

American Candy, a local company of 25 laughter-loving writers and actors, plans to really sink it teeth into ’90s pop culture in its holiday show at the Actors Fund Arts Center in Downtown on Dec. 13–14.

“I think American culture is so rich with humor. It’s candy to me,” said creative director and co-founder Hollie Harper, who coined the group’s name in 2009.

Though many look back on the era of “Saved By The Bell” and Kriss Kross with a heavy dose of nostalgia, American Candy prides itself on the attitude that nothing — not even “Family Matters” — is sacred.

“I don’t think that in comedy you can ever draw the line, and if you do it better be in pencil,” said Megan O’Leary, who, like most of American Candy’s members, shares acting, writing, producing and directing duties within the group. “The joke either works or it doesn’t, but no subject should be taboo. One of my favorite sketches, ‘Slave Workout,’ had 20 people buckled over with laughter for every one person who cringed. You just need to keep pushing the boundaries.”

The ’90s will not be the first decade the group has skewered with its sketches and songs — previous productions have included “The Super ’70s” and “Welcome to the ’80s.”

“We love looking through time and finding crazy gems from other eras,” said Harper.

In that spirit, American Candy’s upcoming show, “A Very ’90s Christmas,” will cover rapper Ol’ Dirty Bastard, the TLC—Pebbles feud, and ’90s reggae, among a host of other subjects. The diverse range of topics will have the actors switching between many hats — hopefully at least one of which is a “Blossom” hat.

“I play Dolores O’Riordan of the Cranberries; Dawn, a racially confused and profoundly religious 16-year old; Mrs. Claus; and a die-hard Barry Manilow fan!” said O’Leary.

“A Very ’90s Christmas” at The Actors Fund Arts Center [160 Schermerhorn St. between Smith and Hoyt streets in Downtown Brooklyn, www.actorsfund.org] Dec 13–14 at 8 pm. $20.

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