>>> Fringe Review: True Blue

TRUE BLUE by a Vagrant and Bad Dog Theatre. Robert Gill Theatre. July 3 at 10:30 pm, July 5 at 8 pm, July 6 at 4 pm, July 8 at 1:45 pm, July 10 at 9 pm. Buy tickets. Rating: NNNNN

Improvisation at Fringe is usually synonymous with going for as many laughs as possible, so it takes guts to be a replacement show (it’s not listed in the Fringe guide) and then perform a one-hour, long-form unscripted police drama that focuses more on telling an intriguing story with believable characters than making an audience howl.

Under the skilled direction of Colin Munch, these improv veterans really pull it off. The set-up is the same each time but the show will always unfold differently. When I attended, Munch and Amy Matysio played the detectives while the rest of the cast undertook supporting roles to tell the story of a love-triangle gone wrong. Flashback scenes worked particularly well. Together they created a story arc, propelled the drama and clarified confusion along the way.

For example, when two characters ended up with the similar last names of Lindrum and Lindros, someone quickly explained that one was a cousin of the hockey player Eric. Standouts include Paloma Nunez and Kevin Vidal, but everyone gets solid stage time. And although it’s not the end goal, they will certainly make you laugh.

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