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Waitstaff sets the stage

The sketch comedy troupe prepares to take the stage at Helium Comedy Club.

The Waitstaff has shed 13 members over the last 10 years and called two venues home. Even its name was different before 2003, when members performed as The Dive. But what remains is a troupe that has weathered many a storm to become one of the best-known sketch comedy acts on the Philly scene.

“I think we have our own voice all of a sudden,” says Gerre Garrett, who has been with the group since its inception. “In the beginning, the sketches just came one after the other and didn’t have much vision beyond that. Just in the last two years, we’ve come up with a show that’s greater than the sum of its parts. It’s a theatrical event, not just a sketch show.”

This week, the Staff is attempting to break into uncharted territory with a headlining performance at Helium Comedy Club. The space is a far cry from the friendly confines of the group’s usual theatrical haunts: Helium is a stand-up comedy venue, and that presents a few challenges for these stage veterans.

“We chose a lot of what I consider to be our standards — stuff that I know can work in any kind of space,” says Garrett. “We’re really jazzed about this show, because it taps us into an audience that’s looking precisely for comedy.”

 
 
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