On Friday, April 16, the Hinman Production Company (HPC) premiered its 10th production of Binghamton Night Live (BNL) called “BNL: Perfect 10.” Produced once per semester, the show is similar to Saturday Night Live and showcases multiple different sketches written by different members.
The show opened up with its co-directors Madeline Ross, a senior majoring in cinema, and Ethan Rosenblum, a junior double-majoring in cinema and environmental studies, debating on what to call the 10th show. They went back and forth between “BNL 10: Ure” in honor of being seniors and “BNL : sions Rise” because of the argument over the title. Finally, they decided on the perfect title: “BNL: Perfect 10.”
“I found HPC and auditioned for BNL 5, or 6 and was finally able to find my people,” Ross said. “I always wanted to direct my final semester of college. I wrote and directed half of the show, along with Ethan, which was a really great way to end my college experience.”
Binghamton Night Live (BNL) has been a recurring series for five years now and has undergone some changes as a result of the pandemic. BNL used to be performed in front of a live audience, which allowed the cast to pick up on the energy of the audience. However, even with the sketches now being filmed, there are benefits to this. Rosenblum discussed the benefits of the new platform.
“We do Zoom rehearsals and then the sketches would then be made on Zoom and others in person,” Rosenblum said. “The prerecorded video gives us more options for editing than we would have on a stage show, which is the upside to it.”
Ross, however, spoke on the downfalls of having to film BNL during a pandemic.
“A lot of comedies definitely rely on the audience and hearing the reaction of the audience,” Ross said. “A lot of our actors were remote, or not comfortable filming in public, so we weren’t able to be there to coach them. So during rehearsals, we had to really work on this and give them feedback and laugh, so that they know they are being funny.”
Overall, BNL was a perfect way to wind down from a long week and have a few laughs. “The Male Gaze” written and edited by Ross, stood out as one of the funniest sketches all night, which poked fun at the idea of “the male gaze” being confused with “male gays” during a Zoom class. We have all experienced our fair share of technical difficulties over Zoom this year and this sketch brought that shared experience of poor audio and Wi-Fi connection together with humor.
Another one of the best sketches all night was “Bikini Wax Monologue” written by Lorin Miller, a junior double-majoring in English and Italian, and edited by Ross. The sketch was able to combine shared experiences and highlight the humor within. This sketch focused on the inner thoughts someone has when getting a bikini wax — hiding the underwear, pain and vulnerability. Miller was able to expose the inner thoughts many had when going through this, while at the same time shaping it into funny, relatable content.
“BNL: Perfect 10” cast a humorous and familiar light on many of the experiences we have all faced. Much like its inspiration, SNL, the show is able to wrap up events and news of the week, all while twisting it into a comedy show. “BNL: Perfect 10” is available on YouTube for anyone interested in viewing it.