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The Blue & Gray Press | October 20, 2017

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Ha-Ha’s for Ta-Ta’s Brings Laughs for a Good Cause

By BRIDGET BALCH

For those of you who are unaware – that is, if you haven’t left your room in ages – October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. You might have seen the rock by Woodard painted with a giant polka dot bra or the string of multi-colored bras that hung around Ball Circle last week. All this led up to UMW’s major Breast Cancer Awareness event: Ha-Ha’s for Ta-Ta’s.

I don’t know if it was the student comedians, the good cause or the Build-a-Bear vouchers that came with donations, but whatever it was, a large enough crowd showed up to cause the Underground to break several fire safety rules. The show definitely lived up to its name as student comedians drew laughs from the audience.

The comedians that performed stand-up acts were junior Kyle Allwine, junior Maura Monahan, senior Ashley Townsend Hart, junior Isaac Whalen, senior Kyle Dratwa, junior Mitchell Bass, sophomore Amanda McCullough, junior Chris Vellucci, and alumnus Bryan Keys. Sophomore Abby Kimmitt hosted, introducing the comedians with quirky facts about them.

The performers brought a variety of comedic styles to the stage, some more successful than others. McCullough entertained with stories of her unconventional relationship with her mother, which is, as McCullough claimed, “backwards.” She shared an anecdote of how her mother put her on limited profile access on Facebook and denied her relationship request. McCullough’s cynical humor and true stand-up language use made her one of the stronger acts of the night.

Dratwa’s intelligent, dry humor provided a different comedic style. His jokes included making fun of himself, claiming to be the “least threatening person in the world,” and biblical references like discussing what it must have been like to be Solomon commanding that a baby be cut in half.

“Kyle was my favorite,” said sophomore Robbie Clark.

“His humor was smart, subtle and–– despite [getting] less laughs than he deserved––he still maintained his stage persona,” added junior Edmund Brown.

Whalen captured the audience with his sarcastic humor, political jokes and impressions. He closed his skit with an impression of a BP executive on board the Titanic saying, “what leak?”

“Isaac was the best because he addressed the awkwardness and thus made it less awkward,” said sophomore Leslie Boyette.

“I laughed at most of his humor,” agreed sophomore Keelin Haw.

For veteran Bingo players, it was nostalgic to see former Bingo host Keys on the stage of the Underground again. In fact, as part of his act he told a story of when he played Bingo on a cruise and attempted to take over Bingo calling when they didn’t use the jokes he did when he called Bingo at UMW.

It was Chris Vellucci, however, who stole the show. He admitted to procrastinating on preparing his skit and even made Kimmitt stall for him when he suddenly had to go to the bathroom right before his turn to go onstage. Vellucci’s great personality and ability to make the audience relate to his comedy made him a hit.

His use of physical comedy was superb. He acted out the dilemma of tucking in the last corner when changing bedsheets and used great sound effects, like making the sound of Snapple cap popping, really adding to the hilarity of his act.

“Chris was the best because I could relate to his jokes,” said sophomore Ann Carroll. “They were really personal.”

The event was a huge success. Not only were the masses entertained, but over 200 bras were donated to the Bra Recyclers Foundation, which gives bras to women in communities that cannot afford to buy their own. Over $800 was raised for Networks of Strength, a foundation that helps with counseling of Breast Cancer patients.

“We got an awesome turnout,” said Vellucci, who helped plan the event. “Last year we filled up the Underground, but this year we packed it. We actually had to turn people down telling them that there was no more room. The entire thing turned out a thousand times better than I could have expected.”

[image courtesy Anne Elder/Bullet]