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Con-Quest, Sid Richardson College’s all-original musical, is an entertaining and goofy escapade, entwining serious thematic elements with lighthearted and often hilariously lewd humor. Sid Richardson’s basement creates a cozy ambience, and the close quarters blur the border between audience and stage, bringing the audience closer to this fast-paced comedy. 

The story, conceived and written by Sid Richardson College sophomore Sam Pearson, opens with the hero and protagonist, the flawed but nerdily charming Roman Polovchik (Matthew Greene, Sid Richardson College sophomore) sleeping next to his “bro” Max Borgensheim (Sid Richardson College sophomore Gabby Parker). The plot sweeps the hapless Roman from a comically exaggerated consulting job interview to an excruciatingly pathetic surprise birthday party thrown by Max and her delightfully easygoing girlfriend, Alli Cohomo (Hanszen College senior Jessica Henson). The cluttered and gritty Sid Rich basement atmosphere complements the minimalist props and lighting, framing the narrative in a sort of extended fantasy realism, giving depth to poor Roman’s ostensibly pathetic existence. 

As the plot develops, Roman’s sole joy and raison d’etre is revealed to be cosplay. Although at times the dialogue limits itself with its consistent focus on this theme, the majority of the humor is well-delivered and easily consumable by the broader audience. The live band’s extensive repertoires of inspired transitionary tunes and even a soft keyboard solo add verve and enthusiasm to the performance. However, the volume was far too loud during musical numbers.  

Generally excellent acting gives a certain resonance to the plot, with impressive emotional range by Roman and beautiful onstage chemistry between Max and Alli. Kumar Franco (Sid Richardson College senior Adam Griffin) and Madam Landlady (Sid Richardson College sophomore Zara Khan) are notable for their creative comedic presentations of the stereotypical drug dealer and landlady, respectively.

Serious thematic elements are delivered better with a chisel than a hammer, and Con-Quest certainly takes this to heart. The lively choreography and witty dialogue mask, but do not obscure, the play’s most central hard-hitting motif, the carefully developed conflict between intransigent responsibility and playfulness. The daunting prospects of an adult job, sexuality and poverty are present but almost unrecognizable due to the irreverent and farcical, but highly self-aware, treatment they receive. Although the play’s resolution largely glosses over these deeper themes, any firm resolution would have ultimately been untrue to the light and quirky eccentricity that is the stock and trade of this show. 

The impromptu rap “poems,” lewdly humorous puns and consistent jabs at the hypocrisy of absolute political correctness (“That’s micro-aggression, man!”) make this play a hilarious, albeit guilty, humorous indulgence.