Speech Pieces: Guilty Pleasures

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There are some speech pieces that, without fail, grace every tournament despite their hollow plot lines, clichés, awkward transitions and stereotyped characters. Sitting through one of these overdone performances can be annoying to competitors and judges alike, but every once in awhile, a piece that isn’t completely awful gets a bad reputation.

I have a confession to make.

I love “Funeral Parlor.”

This Christopher Durang play is one of my all-time favorite comedic Duos, but I’ve never been able to admit it. Why? Because I’ve seen it performed a million times by a million different teams, and no one has ever done it justice. In fact, it has failed miserably in a lot of rounds I’ve been unfortunate enough to witness.

Durang is tough to tackle, and some people just don’t get his style. Somehow, though, I still believe that if a strong, dedicated, talented team read the script (and understood it), it could be fall-out-of-your-chair hilarious. (I’m also a sucker for Ken Bradbury’s “Open to Interpretation,” the spoof on Hansel and Gretel's trek through the woods. What? You know you secretly love it, too.)

No matter how overdone or stagnant some pieces may seem, I’ll always have a soft spot in my heart for some of their admittedly cheesetastic lines and hard-to-catch humor.

So, there you have it. I’m not proud of it, but everyone is entitled to a few guilty pleasures.

What about you? What piece are you embarrassed to love?

I also love "Funeral Parlor." But I am not ashamed. I love Durang. Great source of monologues for auditions as well.

hmmmm, I always loved to see "Variations on the Death of Trotsky" by David Ives. Another piece that is hard to perform but oh how I love it.

And I totally was an Original Comedy junkie (as was everyone else due to the sheer awesomeness; so no guilt being a sheep). If I didn't break that's where you would find me. Shame so few people get to enjoy this event.

I love how you can see a piece a million times, become overly familiar with it, but still get blown away when you see someone perform it who just nails it. It's like you're watching something you have never seen before.

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