“Clues” – Totally Improvisational, Totally Enjoyable – Review
by Teri Phillips
Brandon Jepson is a very brave man. As the director of “Clues”, he happily relinquishes much of his professional control and places it in the actor’s realm. His sharp-minded cast toys with ever-changing themes and situations in true improv gusto. Make sure you arrive early, bring some interesting objects, a sharp wit, and some unusual circumstances because you will be encouraged to gloat over your suggestions which the actors will use, to thoroughly entertain you for the evening.
The packed house withstood the inclement rainy weather, which was perfect for a murder mystery setting by the way, and was totally ready for the occasion by inventing some unbelievable characters. Keep in mind each night is different, so you missed the first night’s memorable cast staring Phill Arensberg, portraying a nervous chain smoker trying to constantly memorize Pi. Jeannine Clarke, perfecting a black-eye-patched Russian-accented burlesque ‘entertainer’ decked out in vintage black velvet. Adrienne Cororan, characterizing a professional oral hygenist. Randy Miller, as “Cadbury” the white-gloved Butler, (yes, there’s always one), Jim Reardon, a rather obscure guy possessing a pessimistic outlook for everything. Phoebe Richards, unforgettable as the aging grey-haired dinosauric-faced Burlesque Madam. Jed Thompson, randomly displaying adrenaline rushes at the strangest moments, and Shira Wilson, taking the real-life identity of an unsuspecting audience attendee, celebrating her birthday that evening. Add in some random numbered sound effects, mix in a few names given to the characters picked from a box of crayons, toss in a few fascinating rooms for a mansion like a ballroom, a bowling alley and a moon gravity room (yes, a moon gravity room), you can get a pretty good idea of how fast-minded these actors need to be.
Eighty percent of this company’s earned income comes directly from ticket sales so it was good to see such an enthusiastic attendance. Each one of the character’s banter and their impeccable timing, gave birth to some memorable quips. The lines “your memory has left stains” and, “eyes on my face like fingers”, were my personal favourites. Each night a different line, each night a new plot, each night a new murder victim, each night a different murderer. Heck, even the director doesn’t even know. (I told you he was brave.)
If you like improv, enjoy murder mysteries, or just want to exercise some of your own creative juices by giving talented actors the “heebie-jeebies” while using their ‘little grey cells”, you owe yourself an evening out. Killing a little bit of your time will never feel so good.
Wing-It Theater’s “Clues” continues now through January 22 and from February 4 – 12th, at 5510 University Way N.E.,Seattle