Out of Character at The Playground Theatre (February 6, 2015)

Tonight’s show is at The Playground Theatre.  What?  You thought it was closed?  The wall on the side says celebrating 15 years, 1997 – 2012.  Surely if it was still open in 2015, they would have updated that.  Nope!  When you look in the front door, you can’t see anything, it’s just dark.  The lights that should be lighting the sign saying The Playground are either burned out or not on.  Thus, it is no surprise that the only people in the audience tonight are performers.

The theatre itself is quite small with 4 rows of about 20 seats each.  It’s BYOB, so don’t forget to bring drinks, perhaps from Paired Wine, which had a complimentary wine tasting with appetizers just before the show.

Despite the small crowd, the host comes out with enthusiasm.  He introduces the first act, in which he is a member.  The suggestion for their scenes is Fight Club.  Each of the four members tells a story about a fight they experienced followed by an improvised scene inspired by the story.  The stories were interesting, but the scenes didn’t add much. The second group’s suggestion is sleeping in.  A scene takes place with a man hitting the snooze button.  It was a snooze worthy performance.

The final group is Out of Character.  One of the members addresses the audience in character as Gooch.  He’s a jock running for student council speaking to the school.  This initial monologue was prepared and then the following scene about a school shooting is improvised.  The crowd laughs as the characters react nonchalantly to the occurrence of gunfire in the building.

Overall, it’s about what you would expect from a small theatre.  When there isn’t much of an audience to feed energy from, it’s hard to keep up the intensity.  Hopefully they’ll spruce up their outer appearance to attract a bigger crowd.

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