September 18, 2020

Mixed Signals shows sense of humor at ‘Date Night’

Devoe introduces the comedians to the audience. (Heidi Cho / Arts & Entertainment Editor)
Devoe introduces the comedians to the audience. (Heidi Cho / Arts & Entertainment Editor)

By Heidi Cho
Arts & Entertainment Editor

Students dressed in their Sunday best were serenaded by the Mixed Signals’ warm-up noises — a cross between yodelling and screaming — outside of the Library Auditorium on Sunday, Feb. 10, as the group prepared to present its “Fancy Date Night” show.

The comedians entered in pairs, sporting formal attire and laughing with one another.

Once everyone was on stage, Nolan Devoe, a senior communication studies major, announced the new members of the group, as well as older members of the group who will soon graduate as “Bignals.”

The group then jumped into its first improvisation scenario, in which the actors in the scene incorporated a key word that was provided by an audience member.

Logan Paul was the inspiration for the scene, which included a director and three actors playing as a protective mother, a lovestruck daughter and a reckless boy that is taking her to prom.

“Just because I smoke my weed with Juuls—” said Dylan Lembo, a freshman international studies major, in character as the obnoxious bad boy defending himself to his date’s mother.

Devoe played the director, and had the actors repeat the scene three times, changing it to reference Logan Paul more and more each time.

The first time, Lembo and the other performers could talk normally. The next, the three actors were all zombies acting out the scene. Lastly, the three actors could only communicate in trumpet noises, which produced fits of laughter from the audience.

The category for another scene’s conflict was first-world problems, and an audience suggested that there should be no Wi-Fi in the scene.

A couple played by Paul Chukrallah, a junior marketing major, and Stephanie Sonbati, a freshman English and journalism and professional writing double major, tried to post a selfie of themselves on Instagram.

Mixed Signals members from the seats onstage provided the error and retry sound effects when this phone failed to connect to her house’s Wi-Fi, because her dad changed the password on him.

“The last girl I dated gave me Wi-Fi the first night,” Chukrallah said to his girlfriend of four hours in the scene.

Coyly, Sonbati said that she knew how to reset the Wi-Fi by going to the modem in the kitchen.

After double-checking the girl was of age, the boyfriend agreed to “do it in the kitchen.”

When Chukrallah and Sonbati went to push the modem’s power button, Sonbati instructed, “Two fingers.”

Whenever a scene was losing steam, the Mixed Signals would introduce a new element, like sound effects or a fictitious loose emu, to the scenario from the sidelines.

For the game “World’s Worst,” Devoe pulled out a piece of loose-leaf paper with audience role suggestions for actors to impersonate.

Any actor could step forward and act out a few seconds of any scenario in the game.

The “World’s Worst” game is a favorite of Emily Litwin, a junior marketing major.

“They’re a really close knit group,” Litwin said.

In another game, actors would even “swipe” or change the scenario around on each other seamlessly, showing how well the members knew each other’s capabilities and strengths.

Sam Miller, a graduate student and English major, found the group’s chemistry to be one of the best parts of the show.

“They are always trying to learn and get funnier,” Miller said. “They have a good sense of what people can handle.”

Miller “loves the Sigs,” and attends many of their shows.

Another crowd-pleaser the group performed was a scene involving Charlie, an unseen character whose traits were developed by actors onstage as the scene progressed.

Charlie would then walk on stage, exhibiting all of the traits mentioned. To everyone’s amusement, Charlie was a lasagna lover, and an excessive fainter in the presence of a masked doctor.

The audience had a hilarious night out with the Mixed Signals. The group delivered crowd-pleasing pair scenarios and hilarious group scenes, and may have left some audience members hoping for a second date.

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