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.


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.