La Bohème, Thu 4 Jun
Boasting world-class improv, the Changing Jennifers troupe set a high bar every time they take the stage and then go to work clearing it. They start by playing a quick bit of word-association with the audience until they have a few touchstones to work into their performance, and from there, it’s rapid, non-stop improv for the next hour. The end result is a frenetic, raucous, and frequently hilarious experience that had the capacity crowd at La Bohème on the edge of its collective seat.
On this particular occasion, the touchstones included elephants, strippers, cigarettes, stilettos, and a garrotte. Some of them would prove pivotal to the action, as the resulting performance involved various wild animals as characters, including an elephant. Others made a momentary cameo, or in the case of the strippers, provided a character with a brief change of vocation.
The main constant in this performance was absurdity. A synopsis would read something like: A case of mistaken identity in the African jungle leads to the systematic elimination of the human male population, following on to the destruction of many forms of wildlife, a CWA induction, scone recipe wars, and the ostracism of the zebra.
One of the highlights occurred when a character offered her firstborn baby with arms outstretched, and subsequently offered her teenage son as well. The logical paradox was caught on the spot and without missing a beat, the teenage son demanded answers about his biological origins.
Through it all Sam, Alia, Eden, Dan and Phil kept a brisk pace, playing at least three characters of varying genders each through frequent scenery and location changes, tapping in and out rapidly enough that the players constantly rotating on and offstage demonstrated impressive footwork and coordination.
Overall it was a relentless display of skill and charm by seasoned professionals that comes highly recommended.
Changing Jennifers perform at La Bohème on the first Thu of the month throughout 2015.