XXVI_POSTER

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THE XXVI FILES
SKETCH COMEDY GENIUSES, THE 3RD FLOOR, ARE BACK WITH A NEW SHOW. WELL, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?
Erik Henriksen

FACT! The dudes in the 3rd Floor are probably the funniest people in Portland. ANOTHER FACT! Their latest show, The 3rd Floor XXVI, is one of their best in recent memory—hilarious and weird and amazing and inventive and clever. ONE MORE FACT! If you miss XXVI, your life from here on out will likely be joyless and sexless, and will stretch on for countless dark and lonely years.

Less plot dependent than the 3rd Floor's previous productions, the scattershot XXVI features sketches about everything from a time-traveling pharmacist to panty-stealing ninjas. Also included: the funniest sketch about pancakes that's ever been performed, and the best use of Bonnie Tyler's "Holding out for a Hero" since Kevin Bacon showed those dipshit hicks what was what in Footloose.

While the 3rd Floor's female members are missed in this all-male show, the shrunk-down ensemble is still in fine form. (And don't worry, ladies, the overall estrogen balance is maintained—the 3rd Floor's show is followed by a performance by Portland's only female sketch comedy group Eastland Academy.) New addition Melik Malkasian—better known as the star of local films Film Geek and The Auteur—proves a fantastic addition to the cast, which also features the always-excellent Andrew Harris, as well as Jason Rouse (who, after several shows of being a supporting cast member, thankfully gets more to do here).

If there's one disappointing aspect to XXVI, it's that there aren't any video segments. In previous shows, the 3rd Floor have utilized short films throughout, proving themselves not only some of Portland's best stage performers but also some of its best filmmakers. But while it's lame to not have any video pieces this time, it's hard to complain when the rest of the show is this goddamn great.

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THE 3RD FLOOR XXVI
3RD FLOOR PROVES LESS CAN BE MORE
Grant Butler

One of the fun things about watching The 3rd Floor over the years is the way the sketch comedy troupe expands and contracts from show to show, incorporating different actors into its lineup in service to the hilarity of the moment.

With "The 3rd Floor XXVI," which opened Friday night at Miracle Theatre, a stripped-down crew of five actors coaxed big laughs out of oddities like suicidal hula dancers, panty-stealing ninjas and a depressed pancake cook. Unlike some 3rd Floor shows, these sketches are linked by their randomness, rather than some over-arching theme. This scattershot approach makes for a real guilty pleasure: No big-picture messages tonight, folks - just big fun.

Each performer gets a chance to shine. Among the standouts: troupe leader Ted Douglass as a maniacal would-be tyrant who can hypnotically get people to dance to the themes from long-dead TV shows; and Andrew Harris literally gets to spread his wings as a trash-talking, spandex-clad variety show host.

Most impressive of all is new troupe member Melik Malkasian, a terrific young actor who in the last few years has starred in a couple of terrific made-in-Portland indie films, "Film Geek" and "The Auteur." He delivers some of the evening's funniest moments, as a Mexican mariachi player who can't really play the guitar; and as the bloated leader of a perverted crime syndicate, who is prone to wardrobe malfunctions.

While most of the show is fast-paced and fresh, a few segments lagged in their timing - something sure to tighten as the show's run continues. But there's big energy here, even with the small cast. Sometimes less really is more.

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THE 3RD FLOOR XXVI
A SKETCH COMEDY SPECTACULAR
Stephanie El-Hajj

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to watch a comedy YouTube channel sans the loading between videos, or buffering interruptions, or annoying popups? Better yet, streamed…. LIVE? Ah, I can see you’re intrigued.

3rd Floor, a Portland sketch comedy group comprised of the hilarious Michael Fetters, Melik Malkasian, Ted Douglass, Jason Rouse and Andrew Harris, is that, and so much more.

These guys put out hilarious, purely original sketches, in a seamless stream, of comedic genius. Better yet, the tiny Miracle Theater cozies up the audience and actors, so that you’re a part of the action. Just beware of sitting too close.

Highlights: The failed surprise birthday, ninja drama, Tom (oh god, Tom), and some undeniable cast member sexual tension (ahh I kid, I kid).

The best (worst?) part is that no amount of explaining can accurately describe the show, and any attempt will make me sound crazier than the Burnside locals. You’ll just have to experience the madness for yourself. Go. Seriously. But get there early, there’s limited seating.