Brave New Workshop's “Snowplow”: Blizzard of Laughs

The Brave New Workshop has demonstrated amazing longevity—not due to big-budget props, special effects, or big names in the world of comedy (at least, not when they first start out), but for its consistency.  The 56-year-old comedy company is, simply put, really, really funny. With little-to-no wardrobe changes (outside of a couple wigs and a cat costume), a small stage and a solitary keyboard player providing the soundtrack, the current A Snowplow Named Desire shows why BNW is built to last.

Bobby Gardner kicked matters off with a warning to the crowd that the night’s humor might come off as insulting—and while he wasn’t lying, the show supplies ample laughs to counteract any sensitivities the crowd may initially experience. The first sketch is a two-person act skit between Tom Reed and Raj Ruler, exploring the innuendo that can be brought to the practice of baking, incorporating endless amounts wordplay.

A later sketch, that became an instant favorite of mine, deals with the use of one’s Netflix account. Gardner, joined by Melanie Wehrmacher, argues over matters such as the masculinity of the shows Friday Night Lights and Psych (a mixed matter).

Later, the skit that hit closest to home for me was “Meanwhile, in Edina.” As an Edina native, I had a good idea where the crew might go with this. Performed by Reed and Lauren Anderson, the pair came out with British-ish accents and a somewhat oblivious outlook on life as they attempted to “talk dirty” for the first time. Even as an Edina High School alum, my laughter-induced stomach pains were undeniable.

Perhaps my favorite skit of the night came towards the end, when actor/writer Matt Erkel taught the entire cast about the female anatomy from the perspective of a Russian OB/GYN specialist. A combination of brilliant satire and an accidental spit-take by Erkel had the entire crowd rolling, as well as the cast.

There’s still time to catch this Snowplow before it is put away for the spring. If you can’t catch this show in the next few weeks, BNW will be returning with A Pedalpub Named Desire; this spring edition will bring back the most popular skits from its winter predecessor, while integrating a flurry of new skits and songs.

The best part? They won’t need a big budget to do it. It’s why they’re so good, so popular, and ultimately, still around.