The Austin American Statesman
Big Stinkin  Review 1998

APRIL 28, 1998
Review: Daugherty Arts
Center,  April 25 10:00 p.m.
Oui Be Negroes
Houseful of Honkeys
Hosted by
Fred Willard
Review by J. C. Shakespeare

Fred Willard certainly seemed more at ease with the intimate setting at Daugherty Arts than he'd been on stage at Palmer Auditorium. Willard's subtle but frantic schtick translated well to the crowded, smaller room. And the venue was perfect for the most brilliant pairing of troupes in the festival; throw Oui Be Negroes in with a Houseful of Honkeys and you've got a race riot of laughs.

Artistic Director Shaun Landry led her Chicago based troupe, Oui Be Negroes, through a long form Improv based on an old timey church service complete with sermons, prayers, and spirituals. Their comedy was interesting, funny, and fresh; hopefully their success will pave the way for more African American troupes in the future.

Meanwhile, the Houseful of Honkeys romped through a series of Improv games structured around a game show format (Willard was hilarious as the nervous, inept host). While Improv games can turn quickly into clunkers in the wrong hands, this large cast of talented actors used everything from musical numbers to pantomime to create a real synergy of spontaneous laughs.