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”
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