While the show is fully improvised, it does have a structure, which I appreciate. Caleb introduces the show and gets the audience pumped, as he does with all BNW shows. But he sticks around, introducing each scene and explaining the rules of the game, and joining in on the fun. He encourages the Minnesota audience to participate by yelling out suggestions, or writing them down on a card for one of the games. He and the five performers (which on the night I attended the show included frequent BNW players Denzel Belin, Doug Neithercott, and Lauren Anderson, plus local improvisers Richie McLarn and Heather Meyer) then create a scene within the varying framework that was laid out, in pairs, small groups, or as the full cohort. Each one of these performers is so smart, and so fast, and so funny, it's a joy to watch them play (and sometimes crack each other up).
|the lovely and talented group of improvisers from which|
each week's cast is chose (photo courtesy of BNW)
A seventh member of the cast is Jon Pumper on keyboard, improvising a constant soundtrack to the scenes. It's so subtle and fits the story so well you almost forget it's there, until he throws in a little Wicked or a "Somewhere Out There" when the moon is mentioned. And sometimes maybe the music even directs the tone or story, especially during the musical.
Laughter truly is good for the soul, and the body, and the mind. It's Not the Heat, It's the Stupidity is an opportunity to forget the stupidity of our world and daily lives, and just laugh. And this talented group of humans shows that they're just as funny (if not funnier) when making words up than with a written script. See them now through August 5, after which they'll presumably return to their scripted format. Or maybe not, if this is a big hit!