R&L XVIII: It's So Good and I'm Bitter

Hi everyone. My name is Katie Siegel, and I’ve been fired.

Colin Armstrong, John Lerman

Colin Armstrong, John Lerman

If you don’t know, RNL is a student-run, written, produced, and acted sketch comedy show put on at Cabaret Theatre. Last semester, I had a distinct pleasure and honor to host RNL.

I believed I did an okay job hosting the last RNL. (Which was, as some may say, truly legendary. No one has said it to me, but they may say it. One day.) Sure, maybe I talked about the number 7 for a few minutes longer than necessary, and maybe I shouldn’t have punched Mohsin in the face when he stepped on my line, but I thought I did okay for my first time.

But honestly, I never imagined that once the show closed that Chris Michael would pull me aside and say to me the words that evoke to many the image of our current president:

“Yes we can.”

Then, after a short coughing fit, he finished with, “...fire you.”

Madhu Murali, Christopher Michael

Madhu Murali, Christopher Michael

So I was fired. And that’s fine. I have other things going on. I’m getting back into knitting. Trying to figure out exactly what bitcoin is and how I can get ahold of some. I don’t need to waste my time with a group of some of the funniest people at Cabaret Theatre, putting together the final Rutgers Night Live of the 2018-19 season.

But I’ll admit, curiosity got the best of me. How good could RNL be fairing without me to carry the show? Granted, it was always great before I got there, but you know what they say: once you go Katie, you can never go...back. Yikes. Moving on.

So I donned my usual disguise (which is just me but with lipstick) and slipped through the back of the theatre to spy on a rehearsal. Sure, Cabaret Theatre is fairly small, and everyone saw me, but surely no one knew who I was. Because of the lipstick.

Jessica Acierno, Steph Bradli, Nish Bagchi

Jessica Acierno, Steph Bradli, Nish Bagchi

Listen folks. I’ve said this before. Although I can be a diva, an actress, a daughter, and a journalist (in that order), I am a journalist first and foremost. And a journalist has to be honest. RNL XVIII is a non-stop laugh fest. I laughed so much–not because I wanted to, but because I had to.

My good friend Larry “Hey Larry” Fried was also in the audience, although I wasn’t sure if he was also there to spy or was genuinely just taking photos of the production. At one point during the run of the show, Larry said, “I can’t take clear pictures because I’m laughing too hard.”

Colin Armstrong (I think)

Colin Armstrong (I think)


I approached cast member Madhu Murali (still in disguise) and asked her if this show’s any good.

“It’s pretty funny, man,” she said, obviously falling for my disguise. “We do sketch comedy and things. I like it a lot.”

I asked RNL coordinator Chris Michael for a word about RNL. After much thought, he said: “Phlegm.” I thanked him and moved on.


-Chris Michael

I approached Steph Bradli and asked her what she thought audiences were going to like most about this RNL, but before she could respond, we were interrupted by Oren Merhav loudly asking artistic director Maya Mitterhoff, “Hey Maya, do you refer to your family photos as ‘pictures of the Mitterhooves?’”

So flustered by Oren’s interruption, Steph turned back to me and said, “Um...I think that they’ll...really enjoy...um...I don’t know, Katie!”

Blast. My cover had been blown. I fled.

Madhu Murali, Chris Michael, Abby Weinick, Francesca Petrucci

Madhu Murali, Chris Michael, Abby Weinick, Francesca Petrucci

But as I raced for the door, I bumped into the one person I dreaded seeing all night. My replacement, Colin Armstrong. And I had one question for him: “How dare you?”

Of course, I didn’t actually ask him that, because my professionalism got the best of me, as it always does. I instead asked him how this experience hosting has been for him, hoping that he’d tell me it’s been a miserable experience and that he wishes someone else (perhaps someone with previous hosting experience) would swoop in and host this RNL in his stead.

“It’s been great,” he said instead, his voice cracking slightly with emotion. “Everyone at Cabaret is really nice, and the RNL cast has been wonderful.”

“Okay, fine,” I responded, digging for dirt, “but do you really think people are gonna like it?”

“Yeah!” He responded cheerfully.


“I think there’s gonna be a lot of oo’s,” he continued, “and a lot of ahhs. It’ll be great!”

Before I could take my leave, he said, “You hosted last semester, right?’

I’m sorry, did NO ONE see the lipstick? Respect the disguise, people. Rude.

“Hard act to follow,” Colin said, “but I’ll try.”

This guy is the WORST. But his stand-up literally made me double-over laughing multiple times, so I GUESS that makes him a “fantastic host” or WHATEVER.

So anyway I guess this blog post is done. RNL XVIII is hilarious and full of funny, talented, truly kind people, so go see it if you’re into that sort of thing I guess. God. It really grinds my gears how funny it is. Here’s another photo Larry tried to take while laughing.

Oren Merhav

Oren Merhav

RNL XVIII: The Sacred Juul will be at Cabaret Theatre on:
Friday, February 8th at 8:00pm
Saturday, February 9th at 8:00pm
Saturday, February 9th at 11:55pm

hosted by Colin Armstrong, with musical guest Disco Kale.

Tickets: sabo.tix.com

More information: https://www.facebook.com/events/398008990950512/

Photography by Larry Fried (often while laughing)