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Some Filter Required

PIT-based group No Filter present a high-concept improv show using regular pre-determined characters that needs a bit more than its concept to find its way.

No Filter, an improvised show at the People’s Improv Theater, running again 8 p.m. Fridays August 11 and 18, shows brief glimpses of potential but all too often falls back on double entendres and misses connections between players.

Billed as “Improvised Entertainment News,” No Filter is built around the concept of going behind the scenes of an entertainment news show. Vincent Dunleavy plays the vain self-absorbed host of the show, and those characteristics are the only notes he really sounds, other than the aforementioned double entendres of “cats” and “pussies.”

Dunleavy played off the recent story of Mel Gibson’s anti-Semitic tirades by suggesting to Matthew L. Weiss, in character as Mel Gibson’s rabbi, that he pick up change from the ground, making the host’s character clueless about the stereotype. Weiss didn’t react to this, continuing to play up the track he was already on, so this came off like the two characters were in different scenes. (Weiss is given changing characters in each show, while other cast members have fixed roles within which they improvise).

One major theme the group hit on -- characters with halitosis -- worked a lot better than trying to pluck humor out of an entertainment “scandal” like Gibson that’s probably already been done to death on TV and the Web. Eventually a cat belonging to one of the show’s correspondents, played by Melanie Girton Hewett, falls victim to someone’s bad breath.

The second plotline No Filter pursued in its August 4 show was about a boat race to benefit an animal shelter, in which the show’s staff would be racing against the Bill O’Reilly show. Kelly Moylan stepped into the role of Bill O’Reilly with enough take charge attitude to pull this off within the action of the scenes even though she resembles him in no other way, and by doing so redeemed what could have been a bit too convoluted.

No Filter does have potential to develop, but will require a bit stronger focus in playing scenes and more aptitude at connecting and working off each other in their improvisation.



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