A three-man one-man show

ComedySportz presents Patrick Romano and Benjamin Behrend's 'Two-Man One-Man'

2 minute read
Behrend and Romano are the show's unwilling and unlikely stage partners. (Photo by Becca Lambright.)
Behrend and Romano are the show's unwilling and unlikely stage partners. (Photo by Becca Lambright.)

ComedySportz has been running two shows every Saturday night in Philadelphia for over 25 years. This year, they're also hosting other improv troupes and comedy shows, such as a revival of Philadelphians Patrick Romano and Benjamin Behrend's 2017 Fringe Festival entry Two-Man One-Man on Friday nights.

It's a goofy, wonderful gem.

These University of Pennsylvania grads concocted a simple, fun scenario: two performers have booked their one-man shows in the same Fringe space at the same time. The dour facility manager (Joe Miciak), speaking into a microphone from the booth, insists that both perform, switching off every few minutes. After all, "Milk" — the next show, in which a woman "milks a cow, and it is beautiful" — will soon arrive for its own time slot.

Hilarity, as they say, ensues.

Parody Doubled

Romano plays Arnold in "The Misunderstood Unspoken," an angsty autobiography of a privileged Main Line kid who wants to wring a victim's relevance from his dull childhood. He was Arnie until September 11, 2001, when he dramatically became Arnold (though 9/11 had little effect on his life). He uses abstract movement and artsy affectations to share his inner turmoil, inviting the audience to take a "collective soul breath."

Behrend plugs in a microphone for a standup routine called "Love: In the City of Brotherly Love," during which his character Miles complains about his love life, especially the woman who dumped him. He jokes about "throuples" — couples who date a third person — and performs some strained impressions of celebrities, from Matthew McConaughey to Robert DeNiro. An undercurrent of desperation makes him more weird than funny.

For extra laughs, the program includes these characters' bios.

Clash of titans

Each solo performer sits in the audience awaiting his turn, and heckling one another. The hourlong show builds expertly, including some actual improvisation when Miles solicits audience volunteers to play "Blind Date." The boys' ire builds to hilarious combat, choreographed by Bryant Edwards and narrated by Miciak like a prizefight.

In a nice twist, each learns a little from the other: "I use too many kitchen props," Miles admits. Arnold confesses, "I use too many convoluted metaphors comparing myself to black Americans." They cap Two-Man One-Man with — of course — a rousing song-and-dance number, arranged by Eric Lifland: a fitting crescendo for a sublimely silly show.

ComedySportz also has Matt&, an improvised show performed by Matt Holmes and an audience stranger, running Sunday nights through March. Murder Manor: Golden Girls Edition visits in April, and a fully improvised multimedia puppet show will be staged in May. ComedySportz always performs Saturday shows at 7 and 10pm.

What, When, Where

Two-Man One-Man. By Patrick Romano and Benjamin Behrend. ComedySportz Philadelphia. Through March 30, 2018, at the Playground at the Adrienne, 2030 Sansom Street, Philadelphia. (484) 450-8089 or

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