This weekend, Hinman Production Company (HPC) showcased its eighth Binghamton Night Live (BNL), “BNL 8: Based on a True Story,” and lit up the audience with cleverly relatable skits.
HPC hosts BNL each semester, echoing the popular Saturday Night Live. This semester’s show was written by eight student writers and directed by Thomas Morzello, a first-year graduate student studying public administration, and Sean Velazquez, a senior majoring in anthropology who has previously acted in four BNLs.
The show began as the directors sprinted back and forth across the stage, setting the atmosphere and hyping the audience for the high-energy acts to come. Michelle Rinaldi, a senior majoring in biology who came to her first BNL this weekend, said the skits resonated with aspects of current pop culture and conquered the great struggle of modern comedy by maintaining relatability with the audience.
“I didn’t expect it to have so many references to Binghamton [University],” Rinaldi said. “I like that I can relate to some of the comedy that’s happening.”
Such references included a skit about a student from Rhode Island having an alien sister speaking an extraterrestrial language, mocking views on out-of-state students. The show also included a skit about a wizard working in the Pods section of Glenn G. Bartle Library, complete with a gray beard and wizard hat, convincing a student to think like a printer, feel like a printer and be like a printer in an effort to finally be able to print out an assignment.
Other skits drew on various pop culture themes. A fight scene in Walmart between a YouTube influencer and Logan Paul was completed with a cameo from JoJo Siwa. Another skit featured an intense fight arising from the struggle of assembling an IKEA desk, repurposing lines from the recent Netflix film “Marriage Story.”
With each coming semester, BNL leans more heavily on its actors’ musical talents, and this rendition was no different, as various acts involved singing.
“We got very ambitious in the writers’ room and talked about what it would be like having a musical theatre-type skit, full of choreography and all of that mess, and it came together,” Velazquez said. “There’s one skit that’s just one big song — that’s been new and challenging and a ton of fun.”
HPC member Philip Rossillo, a senior double-majoring in political science and history, said the show was a success.
“This was one of the biggest audition seasons for BNL,” Rossillo said. “I’m happy to see that more people are getting involved with HPC.”
Editor’s note: Copy Desk Chief Lia Berger was a writer for this semester’s BNL and did not contribute to the content of this article.