Free To Decide
offers a choice on Monday nights: Three accomplished improvisers showing
a lot of edge, or an amusing but constrained group spoofing
members of Liberty Inn, a new trio at the Upright Citizens Brigade
Theater comprised of Chris Gethard, Anthony King and Zach Woods (each a
member of another larger improv team at UCB), are skilled at finding
counterpoints to each other.
performance October 10 paired off with documentary-form improv group
B-Rollís Fact or Fiction show, they immediately established themselves
as three old friends who didnít see each other very often and were
having dinner Ė one of whom is now happily married with a kid while the
other two still languish in lonely single-hood.
casually tossed out the idea that his character is suicidal, while King
reveals that his was suicidal a few years back until he met his wife, so
they arenít afraid to go dark; and Gethard expanded the world by also
shifting into the role of the waitress serving everyone, who seemed
Inn, which will play again with B-Roll next week, is interesting to see
mainly because it puts together these adept improvisers who arenít in
the same group and produces colors that they might not get to show with
their regular teams.
delivers a good variation on typical long-form improvisation. Groups
like UCBís Real Real World and MC2ís Character Dog Run deliver whole
shows where each group member plays a character, but they plan those
characters in advance, just the action itself gets improvised. B-Roll
carries exact characters created on the spot through the whole
improvisation within a tight format of putting the action in the context
of an imaginary documentary film.
does rely on a certain structure to frame its improvisation, immediately
casting one member as a narrator, and giving each duo that does
something an immediate second beat Ė with the first beat lit more
intimately and the second beat with the whole cast lit behind the duo.
B-Rollís performance unfolded, each duoís story was then revisited in no
particular order and eventually the duos interacted, all within the
context of a documentary about the lives of workers in an Office Max
store and others whose lives intersected there.
Melton of the group hit on a good satirical point about Office Max
owning its sidewalk and parking lot as well, affecting the efforts of
Porter Masonís hippie protestor character. Also, the lighting technician
was indispensable to B-Roll by alternating the aforementioned spotlights
and bright full lighting with fadeouts for the scenes, adding to the
while amusing, B-Roll only flirted with the type of edge that Liberty
Inn seems to have down pat in its improv. It would be interesting to see
how they might fare with pre-defined characters.
B-Roll: Fact or Fiction runs again 8 p.m. Mondays, October 17 with
Liberty Inn and October 24 with Five Dudes.