Production Not Another Theater Company
Where The Sports Bar, Locker Room, 528 Hiawatha Blvd Syracuse
Next Performance Jan. 28, 2012
Review by Zoha Arshad
What do Superman, Shakespeare, and teenage pregnancy have in common? The improv comedy piece, ‘Don’t Feed the Actors’ connected the dots for the audience in a number of side splitting acts. The cast of six were engaging, quick, and most importantly aware of the fluctuating moods within the crowd.
For an improv group to nail comedy, timing is key. If a joke seems to be failing, move on-and that is what this particular cast was brilliant at doing. Describing themselves as one of ‘Syracuse’s finest trained, but poorly paid artists,’ they wove their way through current affairs, sex, racism, and onto infomercials.
As I watched people convulse with laughter, and gasp for air I wondered what really made this troupe click, and realized it was chemistry. The cast had a seamless, woven chemistry that fed off the audience’s approval and hammered on. The actors were your average ‘Janes’ and ‘Joes’; no fancy costumes or makeup, just denim and tees, with a simple philosophy. Talk common sense and make people laugh.
The atmosphere was laid back- no high tech sound and light systems were on display, but the humor was just right. The crowd threw out suggestions for scenes and the actors delivered. At certain points I felt that the acts were being stretched out, and perhaps the entire show should have been less than two hours but watching Dustin Czarny act as a pregnant high school girl, looking for her ‘baby daddy’ made it all worth it.
The acts performed by the troupe, with liberal doses of audience involvement and suggestions, were witty, and politically out there. Libya featured as a main act, as did the ‘occupy’ movement. No leaf was left unturned. No subject was deemed too risqué. To be an engaged member of the crowd however, one had to be on top of their game and aware of current events. This seemed to pose little problem for the audience which leaned towards the older side.
It was refreshing to watch a comedy piece that wasn’t inundated with expletives. Don’t Feed the Actors, was wittily crafted and played out, and was perfect for anyone interested in politically and socially motivated comedy.
Check out this DFTA improv game: Helping Hands http://www.facebook.com/v/10150334488874103