On Monday night, local sketch comedy group the Sixth Borough takes to the Balcony stage at the Trocadero to present Christmas Is So Special: A Murder Mystery. We sat down with group founder and ensemble cast member, Tabitha Vidaurri, to take a look back at what they’ve done in the past year, and get a little insight on things to come.
PI: Tabitha, the Sixth Borough’s premier run of shows was Philly themed. Then you moved on to Adults for the Fringe Festival. Now with run number three, you’ve decided to tackle the Holidays. What can we expect from a holiday-themed murder mystery sketch comedy show anyway?
TV: Christmas music, gift-giving, ghosts and blood. You know, standard holiday themes.
PI: They say that the third time is a charm, but you’ve already been charming audiences… so what are you doing to step up your game for this show?
TV: This show will be similar to our Halloween show, where we’re treating it as a “special”, as opposed to a large-scale production like our Fringe Festival show. The style is reminiscent of old television holiday specials, where the host says things like “Oh, hi. I didn’t see you come in” to the camera. But ours has murders.
PI: The holiday season can illicit thoughts of home, warmth, giving and loved ones… or for others the bitter cold, transportation delays, obligatory family visits and greedy consumerism. Where do you fit in with that? Will we see that influence in the show?
TV: That’s funny because we all have varying opinions on the holiday season, literally from loving it to hating it. This bipolar spectrum of emotion serves as a narrative thread throughout the show. There is one thing we all do agree on though, and that’s eggnog.
PI: Well, speaking of agreement, how do you think your group’s creative process has changed since you all set out to do your first show?
TV: Now that its been about a year that we’ve been working together, we all know each other’s individual strengths and styles a lot better. Everyone has their individual writing processes, but when we sit down as a group to workshop the scripts, its an equal give and take from everyone. Our creative process hasn’t necessarily changed, we’ve just gotten more comfortable with one another. Gregg almost always rehearses nude from the waist down.
PI: On Monday night the Sixth Borough will be playing the balcony at the Trocadero Theatre. Playing the Troc has become a sort of coming-of-age stop-off for musical groups the likes of the Foo Fighters, Ween, Linkin Park, the Dead Milkmen and My Chemical Romance. Would you say it holds the same kind of intrinsic value for sketch comedy?
TV: Well, I’ve always wanted the Sixth Borough to be the Linkin Park of sketch comedy, so we should fit right in at the Balcony. But in all seriousness, we are going to be sharing a stage with Needles Jones, who is a true comedic genius. That’s plenty enough for me.
PI: There are several other sketch comedy groups that’ve been making headlines and turning heads in this city. Give me three adjectives that describe what sets the Sixth Borough apart…
TV: Tonic. Histrionic. Supersonic.
You can check out Tabitha, along with the rest of the Sixth Borough (Corey Cohen, Emily McGraw, Gregg Gethard, Jason Messina & Patrick Kelly) in their FREE holiday special this Monday night.
The Sixth Borough presents – Christmas Is So Special: A Murder Mystery
Monday, December 3rd @ 10pm
The Balcony at the Trocadero | 1003 Arch Street
21+ w/ ID | No cover