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Safety in Numbers

Jean Villepique and Rebecca Drysdale are inspired with Tiny Spectacular group, but their limits become evident in Magnet Theater duo improv show.

Having seen Rebecca Drysdale deliver a stand-out and inspired performance as part of improvisational group Tiny Spectacular at Magnet Theater, it seemed natural to think that her duo improv show with Jean Villepique would prove to be equally inspired if not more so.

While amusing, “Villepique and Drysdale, Motherf*ckers!”, which runs again Friday, January 5 one more time before returning in March, didn’t reach the same level as the larger group’s show. Perhaps they need the energy of a larger group to work off, or maybe a larger group simply generates more ideas to work from, but as a result their duo show didn’t reach the same heights.

Villepique actually fared better in this show than in Tiny Spectacular, where she didn’t add much and seemed scattered. Here she delivered whacked-out characters and ably played straight-person to Drysdale. In fact, the duo were adept at switching off between being the unusual characters and contrasting normal ones.

Villepique and Drysdale do sustain long scenes although often have to move on to the next scene or pre-written introductory bits simply because they’ve run out of gas with a scene rather than definitively ended it. They anticipate each other’s moves well and react accordingly, but often this is more by riffing independently rather than collaboratively.

This still works to some extent -- as in scenes where Drysdale plays a male boss who makes Villepique’s secretary uncomfortable because his shorts are a little too revealing when he sits, as well as another where Villepique’s single mom (to Drysdale’s daughter) repeatedly snap into hysterics while she gives her daughter a driving lesson.

At one point, Drysdale does show a bit of what she does with Tiny Spectacular in a scene where’s she callous at her mom’s funeral, saying “Good riddance, cunt-bag.”

For the low admission price of this show (and in general at Magnet Theater), it’s not a letdown per se, but it should be said that there are improv duos (such as Weirdass, once reviewed here) who operate on a much higher level.

See prior review of Tiny Spectacular.




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