Do you understand what the IT guy is talking about?
Neither do The Water Coolers. Like a Seinfeld episode set to music, or a Dilbert cartoon sprung to life, this New York-based sketch comedy troupe both celebrates and eviscerates modern corporate culture in all its fast-talking, slow-moving absurdity.
At 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 25, The Water Coolers will bring their signature mix of original songs, satirical vignettes and pop culture parodies to the Edison Ovations Series at Washington University in St. Louis.
Tickets are $35, or $30 seniors, $25 for WUSTL faculty and staff, and $20 for students and children. Tickets are available at the Edison Box Office and through all MetroTix outlets. Edison Theatre is located in the Mallinckrodt Center, 6445 Forsyth Blvd.
The Water Coolers
The Water Coolers were conceived by the husband-and-wife team of Thomas Michael Allen, co-creator of the Off-Broadway hit Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding, and Sally Allen, a corporate trainer and former conference planner.
Looking to combine their areas of expertise — comedy, music and business — the couple assembled a crack writing staff from both the theatrical and corporate worlds. Included are professional composers and comedians as well as a top sales manager, a retired CEO and an editor from Smart Money magazine.
The result unites the goofy, improvisational charm of Saturday Night Live with a seasoned executive’s pitiless ear for office bravado. Original songs include the office anthem We Are the Sales Reps and the wistful ballad Nowhere Close to My Quota (set, respectively, to the tunes of We Are the Champions and Somewhere Over the Rainbow).
Other topics range from the perils of air travel (What Are They Doing Way Up In First Class?), to decoding the mysteries of Casual Friday and the happy hour recriminations of Panic Monday.
Though initially presented at professional conferences, sales meetings and other corporate events, The Water Coolers quickly expanded to a successful Off-Broadway show that E! Entertainment’s Daily News called “the sleeper hit of the season,” along with a national tour and productions in Chicago, Atlanta and Miami.
“Anyone who suffers through the 9-t0-5 grind … will find plenty to relate to in The Water Coolers,” noted the New York Post, while The New York Times called The Water Coolers “truly funny,” adding that “office life’s loss is show business’ gain!”
“The Water Coolers have got the American workplace nailed,” adds Fred Grandy, a former U.S. congressman and CEO of Goodwill Industries. “The hassles, head-trips, and hook-ups of our modern corporate culture are all captured in songs that are funny, lyrical and dead on.
“Move over, Microsoft. The Water Coolers have a new ‘office suite’ we’ve got to install.”
Founded in 1973, the Edison Ovations Series serves both Washington University and the St. Louis community by providing the highest caliber national and international artists in music, dance and theater, performing new works as well as innovative interpretations of classical material not otherwise seen in St. Louis.
Edison programs are made possible with support from the Missouri Arts Council, a state agency; the Regional Arts Commission, St. Louis; and private contributors. The Ovations season is supported by The Mid-America Arts Alliance with generous underwriting by the National Endowment for the Arts and foundations, corporations and individuals throughout Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Texas.
WHO: The Water Coolers
WHEN: 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 25
WHERE: Edison Theatre, Washington University, Mallinckrodt Center, 6445 Forsyth Blvd.
TICKETS: $35; $30 for seniors; $25 for WUSTL faculty and staff; $20 for students and children. Available through the Edison Theatre Box Office, (314) 935-6543, and all MetroTix outlets.
SPONSOR: Edison Ovations Series
INFORMATION: (314) 935-6543 or edisontheatre.wustl.edu