Perhaps the best thing about the Stone twins, Adam and Todd ’05, is that there is not one but two of them.
Audiences got double the laughter and double the entertainment in “Stone and Stone,” the twins’ second annual variety show, performed last Thursday and Saturday. The show was initially scheduled only for Thursday; but much like a zygote splitting into two, Adam and Todd added a second, identical showing due to the large crowd refused at the door of the filled-to-capacity ’92 Theater.
As eager viewers piled into the theater on opening night, Second Stage members desperately tried to fix their faulty microphones to no avail. Several spectators, beer in hand, shouted, “We want Adam and Todd! We want Adam and Todd!”
In response to their fans, the twins appeared on stage, both dressed in khakis and almost-identical shirts (Todd wore the blue version and Adam wore the red, as they did in their days as youngin’s when they would wear the same outfits in different colors). As professional pianist Russell Daisy, hired by the twins, wound down his opening jingles, Todd attempted to placate the crowd.
“Thank you all for coming,” he said. “We want this to be as enjoyable as possible for you- do what you need to do to be comfortable. You can drink, smoke weed, stick a vibrator up your ass- whatever’s necessary.”
On that note, the two most recognized- and most often confused with each other- people on the Wesleyan campus began their variety show, entirely written, directed, and starred in by who else but themselves.
The fact that the microphone did not work became a running joke throughout the show for the twins, who gripped onto a water bottle instead while they each delighted the crowd with offbeat stand-up comedy routines. Adam’s crude style of stand-up, mostly revolving around masturbation and defecating, was familiar to many who had seen him perform as part of the Punchline comedy show in March, but some felt he reached an entirely new level in his half of “Stone and Stone.”
“The thing I really cracked up about was his crap that he drew,” said Liz Jones ’05, who performed in Punchline with Adam. “It’s just so uninhibited. I could never get on stage and do that.”
When he wasn’t showing pictures he drew of “the largest shit I ever took,” Adam gave the audience a glimpse into his private life, all while maintaining his natural disposition as a storyteller.
“I was rushing once and shat on my balls at a bathroom in the Metropolitan Museum,” Adam reminisced, right before he shared his woes with getting women. Interspersed with songs from Todd, Adam’s stand-up continued, touching upon bitter people and etiquette on saying “bless you” in the library.
These jokes contrasted with Todd’s operatic singing, both in English and Italian, exhibiting his skills after a semester in Italy with his rendition of “It’s now or never/O sole mio.”
Unlike last year’s “Stone and Stone,” when the line between the singing twin and the comedian twin was clearly drawn, this year each twin dabbled in both arts. Todd had about an even split between stand-up routines and singing old classics like “Beyond the Sea” and “With One Look,” with that special Todd Stone twist added to spice them up. Adam’s singing didn’t come until the very end, when the twins concluded with a satirical infomercial during which they advertised a Stone CD. Todd announced the songs, followed by Adam doing short sound bites for each of them.
“Who could ever forget the classic hit about the old man who had to remind his senile wife about a special moment, ‘Have I told you lately that I fucked you?’?” Todd asked the audience while Adam sang.
“I think they’re funny,” Jones said of the Stones and their humor. “It’s all in the genetics.”
Speaking of genetics, among the audience members were the Stone parents themselves, Andy ’67 and Merril Stone.
“I thought it was just wonderful. It was extremely sanitized and clean: I was a little disappointed that it wasn’t as gross as I was hoping for,” Andy Stone joked. “It was great to see the students so excited about it and to realize that it was a little difficult to get a seat!”
Adam’s “scatological” style of comedy seemed to jive more with his parents than with some of his fellow peers.
“I was surprised at how they could keep up that kind of humor and still keep getting audience response,” said Mariah Klaneski ’04. “I didn’t know what to expect: I hadn’t gone last year and heard it was really popular. They’re really funny, but I had no idea it would be so personal.”
“Adam’s wild. He’s a little graphic,” Merril Stone said. “Some kids asked me afterward, ‘Mrs. Stone, was it very hard for you to sit through this audience with these lewd jokes?’”
In response, Merril Stone just laughed and said: “We do not have shy boys; they’re very, very close and they were always funny and fun. I’m just so happy they’re doing this, it’s certainly a passion.”
“We just hope that the FCC wasn’t listening,” Andy Stone added with a chortle.
Then again, Adam’s style and Todd’s offbeat personality also served as a magnet for spectators.
“I had gone to the stand-up show that Adam had hosted and then after that a bunch of the upperclassmen I know said they [the Stones] had a reputation,” said Adam Read-Brown ’07, who has turned into a “Stoner” in the less-than-one-year time span during which he’s been at Wesleyan. “I don’t actually know either one of them personally. I actually had a last-minute pre-frosh from my hometown and I brought him to the show. I don’t know if he’ll come to Wesleyan now…but I think he enjoyed it.”
James Schoen ’05 summed up the appeal of the twin ensemble perfectly: “I went twice!”
In an exclusive interview with the megastars after the show, Adam and Todd communicated their thoughts on the performance, interrupting each other and finishing each other’s sentences.
“I thought it went very well. I was very disappointed to see so many people get turned away but I was honored by the large turnout,” Adam said.
“Adam was very assertive about doing another performance,” Todd continued. “I really felt at the end of the night like, do I want to do this again? It was exhilarating and exciting and I didn’t know if I would have that same level of energy. But it was flattering to know that so many people wanted to see our show, and how could we let them down?”
Due to the last-minute preparations, the second show was held in the MPR, which Todd and Adam said brought back memories of their original show from last year, “the birthplace of Stone and Stone,” as Todd put it.
Last week’s performance has sent the Stones’ star status to the sky, making them more popular than ever. They received and accepted an invitation from the Wesleyan Democrats to host last night’s WesDems fundraiser.
As for whether they are going to do a Stone and Stone show again next year, the twins responded in unison: “Definitely!”