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Monday, August 08, 2022

An adult Christmas rap, a retirement home spelling bee and the worst family Christmas photo ever taken will all take place on Friday night at the Hippodrome State Theatre.

These scenes will be brought to life by Just Kidding, Gainesville’s newest student-run sketch comedy group. Their debut show is at 8:30 p.m. Friday at the Hippodrome.

“Just Kidding is hopefully an hour and a half of your life that you just get to not take yourself seriously, not take anything too seriously and just have a good time,” said Lauren Killer, a 20-year-old UF theatre junior and founding member of Just Kidding. “It’s about laughing at yourself and other people.”

Just Kidding was founded in the Spring by a group of friends in UF’s School of Theatre and Dance. It evolved over the summer, and now, the group’s vision is becoming a reality.

“We’re just a group of friends getting together who are passionate about it,” said Chaz May, a UF musical theatre sophomore and founding member.

This was May’s first time writing comedy sketches.

“I’ve acted in a lot of things, but writing, seeing the words you write on stage and said by people who are Equity performers is really, really cool to see,” the 19-year-old said.  

Viewers can expect a lot of fun and a lot of laughter from this show, said Just Kidding cast member and UF musical theater freshman Bradley Cloversettle.

“It’s been a lot of fun because we can veer off from the script, and it’s more about fun instead of a structured script process,” said Cloversettle, 18. “We just have fun with it and let our imaginations run free.”

Cloversettle said the opening number of the sketch is probably his favorite.

“I don’t want to give anything away, but it’s about a crazy director who wants everything to be perfect, and he’s directing a community theater, and he wants everything to be a little more professional than it actually is,” he said.

Just Kidding isn’t only a live show. It will also be streamed online through the group’s YouTube channel. Those who can’t make it to the live show can watch it on justkiddingcomedy.com.

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Tickets are free and available on the Just Kidding website.

“We hope that people come, and they just keep an open mind and are just prepared to laugh at themselves and the show,” May said. “It’s not trying to make a point. It’s just fun.”

[A version of this story ran on page 5 on 12/7/2014]

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