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Saturday, June 18, 2016

TENNESSEE WILLIAMS UNSCRIPTED

 Like the familiar adage that you can never step into the same river twice, Impro Theatre Company promises that any performance that you see in this current offering will be unique.  Garry Marshall’s Falcon Theatre in Burbank regularly hosts this brilliant company of actors and this production must not be missed!  Impro’s current theme turns on the works of master storyteller, Tennessee Williams.  The set by Michael C. Smith and lighting by Leigh Allen evoke Vieux Carre and the torid days and nights remembered in Williams’ plays that feature equally steamy characters, each with a story to tell.  Spot on costumes by Sandra Burns and tech improv cast member in the booth Madison Goff tie the show together. 

There’s improv and then, there’s Impro!  With all respect to Merrie Masquers, The Committee, The Wing, The Groundlings, Whose Line is it Anyway and The Spolin Players, Impro takes the craft of improvisation to new heights.  However..  Howevah.. there might be a slight problem as the tale of vacationers on a mountain top in Florida evolves (do not expect to be taken to Florida or up on a mountain top when you go)..  in that the laughter as the story takes shape is raucous.  As intimations of Blanche DuBois and Big Daddy evolve with other characters whom you may remember from Williams’ familiar plays, twists and turns in the hands of these professionals just keep twisting and turning. 

I did not make note of last night’s players and so making specific comments about who played whom is impossible.  And, as the players rotate from night to night, like Forrest Gump’s momma always says, “You never know what you’re gonna get.”  In fact it really doesn’t matter.  The energy of the cast with subtle music and sound effects; expert lighting that the improv director in the booth provides, it’s a guaranteed entertainment that Tom, himself, would probably enjoy while taking copious notes to create new versions of his classic pieces.

With lines like “After I started puking, he shut up!” and the Bobo's description of his wife as a “smoky carapace” of herself, it’s clear that the actors have steeped themselves in this unique genre of the fifties and the lives and times of these shadow people who will live but once and drift away, perhaps a reflection of our own sweet bitter memories in a darkling mirror. 

The cast changes with each show.  The ensemble includes: Nick Massouh, Lauren Rose Lewis, Dan O'Connor, Edi Patterson, Michele Spears, Jo McGinley, Floyd VanBuskirk, Stephen Kearin, Kelly Holden Bashar, Ryan Smith, Kari Coleman, and Mike McShane. 
Photo Credit Sasha Venola

If you love the theatre, rush to The Falcon and spend ninety minutes steeped in laughter, y’all. 

IMPRO THEATRE’s Tennessee Williams Unscripted

FALCON THEATRE
4252 Riverside Drive
Burbank, California 91505
Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays
Through July 31, 2016
Tickets and Information
818 955 8101
falcontheatre.com




1 comment:

  1. Fantastic! Love Stephen Kearin, he's an astounding talent. Truly one of my heroes. Catch him improvising or doing his one-man show. Amazing.

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