Temperatures have reached record highs in the city lately, and many New Yorkers are dreaming of surf and suntans. For most, a day on the beach, away from this concrete oven, seems like a blissful fantasy. But the boys of Tybrus could potentially ruin the tranquility of such reveries forever with their new production, You're Out Too Far! Tybrus is a two-man comedy team that consists of Justin Tyler and Jonathan Gabrus. Tyler and Gabrus (TYler + GaBRUS = Tybrus) are the writers and stars of this show, a capricious look into the lives of Cooper and Riley, two eccentric lifeguards who act out "manly vignettes" to impress babes, fall into vivid dreams of homoeroticism, and release unspeakable bodily secretions into the ocean. If nothing else, Tybrus's production has expanded my vocabulary—I hope to use the word "hydrodump" in a sentence very soon. Whereas poop jokes and barf jokes are enough for some comedians, Tybrus will unflinchingly stick the climax of Good Will Hunting, as well as the profession of any poor sap in the audience, into the toilet too.
In fact, Cooper and Riley seem to be prisoners of Tybrus's sadistic sense of humor. There are enough gross-out high jinks in You're Out Too Far! to keep up with the American Pie movies, but to simply write this off as adolescent would do a disservice to the imagination behind it. Tybrus could have allowed these lifeguards to be one-note caricatures, but Cooper and Riley are two refreshingly divergent personalities.
Tyler's Riley plays his butch girl-chaser mostly straight, while Gabrus's Cooper is ill-equipped for lifeguarding. Among Cooper's many loves are "Dungeons and Dragons," three-day-old milkshakes, and keeping potato chips in his Speedo. This distinction between the characters allows Tybrus to form a hilarious and innovative narrative that never peters out.
Director Adam Pally obviously has a handle on Tybrus's sense of humor and has accommodated the two performers' strengths. As my undergraduate directing professor told us on the first day of class, the easiest way to become a successful director is to always work with brilliant people and never get in their way.
That said, one crucial problem with the piece was the use of UCB Theater's space. A huge black post in the center aisle blocks sight lines, affecting views of anything within a few feet of it onstage. Unfortunately, from where I was seated the "Lifeguard Station" was completely blocked. As a result, I missed what sounded like (based on audience response) a lot of good sight gags. Moving this action a few feet toward the audience members or away from them should solve the problem and would allow everyone the pleasure of seeing Cooper's "white and viscous" sweat.
The Upright Citizens Brigade has a long heritage of catering to unique voices and personalities in sketch and improvised comedy. Tybrus is a worthy part of this tradition, as Tyler and Gabrus provide stomach-turning tomfoolery of the highest caliber. And somehow this material, while at times disgusting, is as refreshing as a summer breeze. Tybrus will present You're Out Too Far! only two more times in August, so get your beach bags ready and wait for the whistle.