Welcome back to the blog! SO glad you decided to join us again. I’m Sophie if you’ve forgotten already, and if you focus your attention to the image beside this text, you’ll see what my Youtube recommended queue always looks like. I am a HUGE fan of relaxing sounds and if you thought that an RNL theme like Chill Lo-fi Beats To Relax To was something up my alley, then boy were you right.
And it very likely will be up your alley too!
Let me start by saying that I was added to the RNL cast group chat to help me get the ball rolling on this whole blog thing, and these kids are weird. Weird and also so funny, making me wish I was added to this group chat long before a week ago and could have been observing these superb exchanges of content between the cast for many months.
I will be the first to admit it. I have made a lot of mistakes since my time here at Rutgers began. One of the most prominent ones that comes to mind is deciding to take an H bus from Scott Hall to the SAC on a cold night to avoid the short 4 minute but frigid walk back to my dorm. Thinking I had outsmarted the RUScrew, I climbed aboard the bus with confidence, but felt a rush of terror set in as I realized the bus has SKIPPED its stop at the SAC and was headed straight for Route 18. I sat miserably as I endured a 30 minute ride around a dark Busch campus until we finally washed ashore on College Avenue once again, and I STILL had to make the cold walk home. Mistakes.
Another one would be how I somehow managed not to have seen a production of RNL in the past two years of being a student here. Whether it be going home for the weekend or somehow managing to convince myself that one more night of studying would be worth it (this is never the case), I have never actually sat in the audience at RNL. That all changed on one fateful night, Monday of tech week. Perched between associate producer Sabrina Dunn and frontman Jack Bravstein of musical guest Jack and the Me Offs, I could not have been in a better position to embark on my first RNL experience.
In short, RNL is a Cabaret specialty. A completely student run, written, directed, and acted night full of comedy sketches and a performance by a musical guest. It is all of this AND it is truly impressive. To watch the funny show unfold before my eyes I constantly have to remind myself that my friends and peers completely created this piece from scratch. It’s completely awesome.
Host Eve Heinrich is coming at this process from more of the comedy side, rarely partaking in theater shows. However, as the host she not only gets to perform her own monologue towards the start of the show but appears in multiple sketches as well.
My friend, Jack Oliver, is one of the newbies of the RNL cast, but also wrote and directed some of the sketches you’ll be seeing as well. This is what he had to say about his first experience being a part of the show:
“Getting to see my first sketches I've ever written being put on is so surreal, and hosting Weekend Update is something I knew I wanted to try and do when I had first seen John Lerman and Chris Michael [refer to old RNL blog posts if you don’t get the reference] kill it beforehand. I've been fortunate enough to see some of the great RNLs from past years, but I'm so excited because the new members of the current group bring so many new and different things to the table”.
Self proclaimed oldest member of RNL, (I fact checked this and she is indeed the oldest member of the cast) Madhu Murali, is debuting in her FOURTH production of RNL. I sought her out to obtain some of her wise words of RNL wisdom, she says: “The irreverent and hysterical culture of RNL lives on, and I hate these dweebs”. Extremely encouraging.
Mohsin Sharif, Artistic Director of Cabaret Theatre, is really happy to be a part of RNL, as it is one of his few opportunities to step out of his E-board position and take the stage. Here he tells me a little more about what makes RNL so different from other Cabaret projects, “RNL is really great because it’s a shorter, more casual process with less rehearsals than a typical main stage. You have the flexibility of being able to experiment and mess around without the weight of a massive production on your shoulders. If you screw up, it’s all part of the style of the show and you just go with it: It’s essentially like you have your own playground”.
Playground indeed. Sometimes everyone was having so much fun at the rehearsal that it was nearly impossible for me to interrupt and ask a cast member for a quote. In fact, before I was even able to get a true word from Mohsin, Sabrina Dunn offered to help me conduct my interview by filling in for him. And as close as I feel her responses were to real words that would come out of his mouth, for the sake of my authorial integrity I eventually decided upon using his words over hers.
According to Soren Morici, time really does fly when you’re having fun: “RNL has been one of the most chill production experiences ever. No joke. It is surprising how quick it goes. People reading this will either be seeing RNL [If you’ve read this far into the post you better be seeing RNL], have already seen RNL, or be my concerned parents wondering who “RNL” is and why have I been spending so much time with her. To those who haven’t had their ticket pre-ordered already, as my lovely friend Katie Toledo would say, “DO THE THING!” I am so stoked for this host. Eve is gonna rock ya’ll socks off!”
Soren seriously hit the nail on the head with two things here: Eve is amazing, and y’all need to go ahead and buy your tickets. Now.
Here’s one last closing word from Nish Bagchi (RNL Coordinator), who really made this whole show possible: “Being RNL coordinator has been a hoot-n-a-holler! Each actor has something uniquely funny to bring to the table, and our newest members have really been putting 150% of their effort into the process. Come, come, COME because we have a bunch of characters for you to meet— from dogs to directors to crazy Aunts. Can't wait to chill with yall”
Honestly— writing this blog post was hard for me because I barely typed anything in my notes as I was watching the run. I was truly far too busy enjoying myself, sweating out of my eyeballs and trying not to pee my pants (help, do I have a problem with bodily excretions?). I know we are still establishing this trusting relationship, but just believe me on this one. Don’t make the same mistakes I did for two years, don’t miss out on RNL this weekend. If you do you are missing out on one of the most entertaining nights of the semester. And if you don’t like it I will personally refund your ticket cost.
RNL XIX: Chill Lo-Fi Beats To Relax To opens this Friday October the 4th at 8pm, and also shows Oct 5th at 8pm and 11:55pm.
Host: Eve Heinrich
Musical Guest: Jack and the Me Offs
Tickets are available for purchase at:
For more information visit our Facebook event page:
Photos courtesy of John Hennessy (spelled correctly this time)