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Having a Ball

UCB assembles an all-star cast for inventive and entertaining improv performances

Pictured: Peter Gwinn; Scott Adsit.

The Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre has brought together some star improv performers for a one-hour show it’s calling “Let’s Have A Ball,” which returns March 10 and 31 at 7:30 p.m. both nights.

Taking part in the March 3 performance were Becky Drysdale, Scott Adsit, Peter Gwinn, Laura Krafft and Christina Gausas. Adsit (best known now as a cast member on “30 Rock”) and Gausas proved the most inventive in the group, building scenes such as one where she’s nonchalant when he confesses a murder but he goes ballistic when she in turn confesses sabotaging an old lab partner’s experiment.

Drysdale seemed at sea at first but had found a way to glue varied scenes together with a recurring motif of claiming other characters were just showing up and doing their thing and playing out their actions in her house. But Drysdale also led a great group scene as Vanna White -- supposedly retired from Wheel of Fortune and now leading women in a vagina appreciation class (conducted with pocket mirrors).

The other centerpiece of the hour turned out to be a scene where Krafft played a woman fired from her Pottery Barn job who shows up unwelcome in the middle of the night at her friends’ house (Gwinn and Drysdale playing the couple). The whole group then turned the scene on its head, playing the point of view of the managers and the store who fired Krafft.

Describing all these scenes makes them sound pretty complex but the group made it all make sense on the fly, not to mention highly entertaining.

Kay Cannon, Paul Dinello, Brian Stack and Miriam Tolan are also billed as members of this ensemble but weren’t present for this show; so the next performances could be a mix and match of those mentioned here and these others.




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