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State of Confusion

Magnet Theater’s Hamilton & Falcon muddle through improv without sparks

By Bethany Trottier / Jester correspondent

“Hamilton & Falcon (Definitely),” a new recurring show at the Magnet Theater featuring Rachel Hamilton and Jesse Falcon, is billed as “exploring the endless opportunities of the unknown.”

Their March 10 performance began with the usual improv theater practice of taking shouted one word or phrase suggestions from the audience, but even this was suspect, as a seeming plant boomed out “Julie Taymor” (the recently fired director of Broadway’s troubled Spiderman musical) in a very articulate voice. This came amid a din that including one person who probably had a few too many cans of PBR yelling out “knuckles” repeatedly.

Anyway, the duo only improvised one or two riffs that had anything to do with Taymor or the Spiderman musical before completely dropping that subject. Not that a long-form improv has to stick to the suggestion throughout, but Hamilton and Falcon seemed to be drawing from pre-conceived material, and flailing at it, even still.

The duo didn’t stick with any one set of characters long enough to develop them. Each scene seemed to be an unconnected set piece of its own, with no link as to why the characters ended up where they did. For example, one scene began with an old lady with a ferret stuck up in a tree, which a strapping young man comes to save. They banter. This was one of the more amusing portions, but the jokes seemed premeditated. The old lady talking about how she was “closed for business down there – I rolled down the curtain in 1984.” The young man asks, “Are you hermetically sealed? Does it look like a scar?” After a few male-enhancement pill jokes, and then the old lady accidentally taking her club kid daughter's illicit drugs, the players grab two chairs set down side by side and proceeded to play a young couple in a roller coaster just about to take off.

While Hamilton and Falcon seem like capable performers, one expected more spontaneity and verve out of an ostensibly improvised performance, or at least some happy accidents. Both of them were very comfortable and energetic on stage and quite engaging. There was just too little connection between scenes and they weren’t finding the humor in the scenes they presented.

“Hamilton & Falcon (Definitely)” returns to The PIT on Thursday, March 24.



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