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November 4, 2010

These Two Women are Comedy Gold, OBV!
by WomenInComedy - 0

I'd very much like to be a pop star who is my own back-up dancer. That would blow people's minds.Chris Cuddy

WICF 2010 stand-out performers OBV!, Christine Cuddy and Megan Goltermann, open a revamped run of their two-women show tomorrow night at ImprovBoston, in Cambridge, MA. OBV! is, in their words, “about us laughing at what's obvious to us: To expect the unexpected, aging is beautiful, zombies can be patient and sheep are everywhere.”

We were lucky enough to speak with Chris Cuddy during the run-up to tonight’s show and pick her brain a bit. So read on, dear reader, read on ...

WICF: Where, when, and how many times have you performed this show previously? How has it evolved?

Cuddy: Our first time performing this show was at last year's Women In Comedy Festival, which we had a blast doing. Since then, we've added sketches and videos. Including a music video! Our dreams are coming true! We even recorded the song in a professional music studio so I can pretty much die happy now.

WICF: Who's involved — who are your cast and crew?

Cuddy: The show was written by myself and Megan Goltermann. Our friend and fellow comedian Dana J. Bein is in it and is hilarious. And we couldn't be doing it without our tech mastermind Josh Garneau. He's so calm all the time. It's, well, calming.

We've also had some much-appreciated help from a LOT of our friends at ImprovBoston.

WICF: How did you guys come up with the brilliant idea for this show?

Cuddy: Well, a few years ago I was living in Chicago and Megan and I would call each other on Sunday mornings for a "Weekend wrap-up." One Sunday morning, I told her about an idea for a video sketch where we do a commercial for a party line set in Colonial America. So when I moved back we decided we not only had to film that, but we needed to do our own show.

WICF: Is it scripted? Improvised? A mixture of both?

Cuddy: Both! We got a lot of stuff! We're bursting at the seams with comedy!

Expect the unexpected, aging is beautiful, zombies can be patient and sheep are everywhere.Chris Cuddy

WICF: Are you winging it and relying on your collective comedic genius?

Cuddy: I think part of being a performer requires you to wing it at some point. Isn't that what makes it so exciting? Who knows what will happen?! The answer: Come to the show to find out!

WICF: How much prep. has gone into this show?

Cuddy: A LOT. I don't know how to quantify it. Let's do it in lack of sleep. Megan and I haven't slept in about a year.

WICF: Where do you want to take the show next? What's your goal for it?

Cuddy: We'd love to take the show to a bunch of festivals. So far we've applied to North Carolina, and of course, we'll submit to the next Women In Comedy Festival! The ultimate goal will be that we become super famous comedians/back-up dancers/pop stars. I'd very much like to be a pop star who is my own back-up dancer. That would blow people's minds.

WICF: What are your backgrounds — comedic, personal, professional, any of the three?

Cuddy: Megan and I met at ImprovBoston. We both went through the improv training program. I lived in Chicago for a couple of years and took classes at the Second City and Annoyance theaters. Megan is also a sculptress! Is that a word? She makes awesome sculptures. She's also a terrific cook. Seriously, go to her house right now and ask her to make you a pizza.

WICF: Do you want to talk about any outside projects?

Cuddy: Yes! I've recently become involved as a co-host of the ImprovBoston podcast! You can listen to it at this link!

Megan and I will be talking about our show in an upcoming episode!

I've been doing a show, when I can, with Shannon Connolly (currently on the [ImprovBoston] Mainstage, and in the [IB] Harold cast Maxitor) and Taylor Newhall (former [IB] Mainstager and current UCB student) called Lodge. The three of us come from townie families in real life so our show is us sitting around at local lodge playing KENO and talking about townie life. It's the easiest show to do because Taylor and Shannon are so quick and funny. That makes it the hardest show not to laugh onstage during. We don't do it that often since Taylor now lives in New York, but we've submitted it to North Carolina.

Megan and I also do Jess Sutich's storytelling show, A Night of Oral (Tradition), when we can. You should check it out! The first Thursday of every month at 10 p.m. at ImprovBoston!

WICF: How was your WICF experience?

Cuddy: AWESOME. Everyone was so friendly and supportive and we performed with The Gun Show that night, which was great. They had a great set. Ed. Note — That’s my old group! Yay! — Liz I had also performed in Cabin Pressure (which I co-created with Rachel Rosenthal) during that festival and it was just so fun. Megan was in that too! She played a great Katherine Hepburn-type character who you'll see in our show.

WICF: How did you guys start working together?

Cuddy: We started in an improv group called PANTS together. We wore funny pants! Our good friend, Dave Totty, put it together and we performed at The Cantab Lounge [in Cambridge, MA]. It was like a million years ago. And by a million I mean about 10.

WICF: How'd you come up with the idea for this particular show?

Cuddy: We do characters well so we wanted to do a show that had hilarious characters with unique points of view. So we drew from characters we each play a lot and made up some new ones.

WICF: Are you drawing on personal experience? Making it all up? Portraying lives you wish you'd led? Acting like people you know? Do you like them?

Cuddy: We have some old lady-New England characters that are definitely based on things my grandmother has said, and yes, I do like her. There are two characters who talk about lives we wish we led. And one sketch is literally an impression of my friend Selena. So yeah, we do draw on personal experience. How can we not?

WICF: How has the show changed since you first performed it?

Cuddy: I'd like to think we're less nervous but I think we're more nervous. We've brought back characters for this show and changed them a bit. We've learned more about who they are and wrote them accordingly. Also, I'm twirling a baton in this show. You're welcome.

WICF: How is this show different from others you've done?

Cuddy: It's the hardest, most important show I've ever done. With other shows (including the ones I helped conceive) I was strictly a performer and there wasn't as much riding on it. This show is our baby! I hope the delivery goes smoothly.

WICF: What's your comedic experience been like — The A-Team, Ruckus, FNFO, Theater Sports, any other show you'd like to talk about? Shows in other theaters? Other cities? (Bonus question: How has this show been different?)

Cuddy: Megan and I did TheaterSports (which is now Friday Night Face-Off) together. I think we both felt like babies doing that show. It was our first regular improv show we were each cast in. She was in the Ruckus for a bit and then became the director, which is great because she is great at editing sketches. I did a lot of showcase shows this year, which was exhausting and exciting. Cabin Pressure, and Spice — a variety show conceived by Kristina Smarz.

Megan and I were both in Crime Solving Bear, created by Mike Morrell. It was so much fun doing a show with a bunch of friends while we all wore huge animal heads.

Megan and I would often made appearances on the no-longer-airing Boston News Net, a news show conceived by JR Strauss and Ian Brownell. That was always fun. They did a great job at writing material for people and playing to their strengths, while sticking to the tone of the show. And I got to read off of a teleprompter.

I was also in a show in Chicago at The Annoyance called Bear Force One. It's Air Force One with a gay president and a Christian terrorist. I was the Christian Terrorist. Again, you're welcome.

I'm now on the extended-Mainstage at ImprovBoston, which has been fun. I figure I have to take someone out to get bumped up to Mainstage so I'm practicing my ninja skillz.

We love sitting on porches. We've been doing fall fun activities ... It's like we're a bunch of 5th graders who go on a lot of field trips. But replace the chaperones with beer.Chris Cuddy

WICF: What's your creative process like?

Cuddy: I hate to give away our secrets, but there's a lot of wine involved.

WICF: What's your favorite bar in Boston/Cambridge/Somerville?

Cuddy: Mine is any bar my friends are at. Seriously. I really don’t have a preference. I end up at places, usually, because of proximity. I'm at The Field a lot. And Highland Kitchen. I'm also a card carrying Elks Club member. So there's that. Megan loves the sun pouring through the windows at Miracle of Science.

WICF: What do you do for fun? What do you want people to think you do for fun?

Cuddy: We love sitting on porches. We've been doing fall fun activities. You know, apple picking, pumpkin carving. It's like we're a bunch of 5th graders who go on a lot of field trips. But replace the chaperones with beer.

I spend a lot of time on my friends Ken and Selena's couch watching Discovery Health. Megan has a vegetable garden.

WICF: Who would win in a fight — the new A-Team, or the original line-up?

Cuddy: Ooh! I like this question! Okay, the original A-Team was clever and smarmy, but they never killed anyone. The new A-Team would probably kick some serious ass. OR the universe would explode before the fight could start. That's my answer, exploding universe!

WICF: What are your favorite movies/TV shows/comedians/websites/blogs/places to shop/people to work with/foods?

Cuddy: 30 Rock, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Arrested Development. Obviously, my favorite website is Rachel Rosenthal's Bridesmaiding website, which I've contributed to. I have to say one of my favorite movies of all time is the original Superman with Christopher Reeve. I hate shopping. I actually am looking for people to take me shopping because I dress like a homeless person. There are too many favorite people to name that I love working with. I'm very lucky. Foods? Well I love the fries and honey mustard sauce at Friday's. Megan and I bonded over our secret obsession with that place. Sure, you feel close to death when you're done, but it's the perfect hangover food. And aren't hangovers supposed to feel like death anyway?

WICF: Beer or whiskey?

Cuddy: I don't want to live in a universe where I have to choose between those things.
Megan's answer is Briskey.

WICF: Are the rumors true?

Cuddy: I hope so. That means people are talking about us! for tickets
Runs Fridays, 11/5-12/10
$16/adults, $12/students and seniors
Shows at 8 p.m.

 Chris Cuddy (on the left) and Megan Goltermann (on the right, obv).

Megan Goltermann has been a cast member at ImprovBoston for seven years. After performing with Friday Night Face-Off for five of them, she began directing and performing with the Ruckus sketch group. She is currently co-writing and performing a two-woman show entitled OBV! (Abbr. obviously!) with her writing partner, Christine Cuddy. When not on stage, she moonlights as a sculptor and obsesses over whom to put on her apocalypse team.

Chris Cuddy has been with ImprovBoston off and on for seven years. Cuddy performed with TheaterSports from 2004–2006, then headed to Chicago, where she studied and performed at The Second City and The Annoyance theaters. She has joined comedic forces with Megan Goltermann to write and perform OBV!, a two-woman show. She has co-created and performed in numerous showcase shows at ImprovBoston, including Cabin Pressure and The A-Team. Cuddy also really enjoys bringing her townie roots to life in the three-person improv show The Lodge. When not performing, Cuddy writes pop songs and figures out which Elks Lodge to drink at next.

Interviewed for WICF by Liz McKeon.

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