THE RESISTANCE IMPROVISED by the company (Kicks and Giggles Entertainment). At Randolph Theatre. July 8 at 4 pm, July 9 at 1 pm, July 11 at 2:45 pm, July 13 at 10:15 pm, July 14 at 3:30 pm. See listing. Rating: NNN
This year is a light one for improv at the Fringe, with just a couple of shows in the program claiming to be improvised and this is probably the strongest. That’s based on its cast, which features comedic talents with geeky bents, like Ryan F. Hughes (from 2017 Fringe hit Welcome To The Bunker), Jon Blair (creator of the spec-fiction comic What It Was Like) and Kat Letwin (PotterProv), and also, its canny stage adaptation (by director and narrator Maddox Campbell) of the board game The Resistance.
There are eight people in the cast, but only six perform each show. Audiences can choose to know at the start which two play traitorous spies, or they can try to figure it out as the narrator sends the post-apocalyptic rebels on missions whose success or failure rest on the presence of a spy.
The format keeps the show moving at a brisk pace, and breaks up the improv pitfall of characters standing around talking by forcing them into action-heavy “missions.” It may also prevent the performers from taking the show on a wildly unexpected adventure, but at the show we saw, the audience certainly appreciated the format’s consistency.