Sunday, November 23, 2008

Fall of the House - Episodes 1 - 4

Action/Adventure Theater
October 30 - November 23, 2008

Review by peanutduck

Episode 1:

Heirloom gourds + beer + friendship + shorty-shorts aerobicizing = season premiere of scrumptious tossed improv salad of VERY Portland FotH. Witty cynicism, cozy cast sprinting with ridiculous mouth-fumbles. Not (yet) side-splitting as last season, but establishes characters, sets up future conflicts, whets appetite; exactly what a premiere should do.

Episode 2:
If semi-relieved by giggle-inducing moments integral to improv, episode veered uncomfortably close to self-absorbed reality television territory. I did welcome Sam’s (Amanda Jensen) frantic return and am increasingly attached to sweetly pained Julie (Aubrey Jessen) and her noir fantasy; just wanting more through line diversity from standard 20/30-something searching-for-myself fare.

Episode 3:
Raw, poignant prelude-to-a-date scene is why I tough-love FotH - genuine, open beats of heart-strung reality that hush audience, or, conversely, crack them up, frequently overdone or sentimentalized in film and theatre. A/A should harvest Sam’s (Jensen) freneticism, thereby solving energy crisis. Olivia’s (Thompson) absence welcome. Eagerly awaiting unicorn’s import.

Episode 4:
No one beats FotH for timeliness, detail: continual stuffs of twentysomething and, honestly, all generations – fluid sexuality, dashing from and chasing love, loneliness and comfort … jumbled with Tetris championships (what shape tattoo would you get?), slutty evenings. Neatly wrapped cliffhangers left me curious, if dramatically wanting higher stakes, surprises.

3 comments:

Tim Krause said...

Saw this last night and gotta say it remains one of the most exciting, refreshing and damn funny things happening on Portland stages. The cast is a welcome mix of familiar faces and new blood, and improv'd relationship-driven material is as true as ever. It’s a blast. Go see it.

Anonymous said...

Awesome first episode! Great cast, great laughs, great plotting - OMG Olivia!!! Just wanna open up her brain and put it on a slide and stick it under a microscope and go "Ew!" Still the most impressive theatre work happening in town, kudos. And what he said - Go see it!

Anonymous said...

I saw episode two and was a little disappointed. Yes, there were some good giggle moments, but I agree with peanutduck...a little lacking in focus. It's still so much fun though...I'll try again for episodes 3 or 4.