Review: Parameters at Errant Phoenix Productions

Showtimes: A One Act Festival With a Twist!: Fri 8pm, Sat 8pm, Sun 2pm; Through 6/23; $16-$20; Errant Phoenix Productions at Thistle Dew Dessert Theatre, 1901 P St.;
Rated 3.0

A one-act festival gives you plenty of chances to start over with the audience. That’s especially true of Errant Phoenix’s Parameters: A One Act Festival With A Twist!, a show comprised of four 10-minute scenes, each executed twice. The second time around, charming, witty and encouraging show host Steve Ibarra solicits suggestions from the audience that are jotted down then foisted upon the actors, leaving them to grapple with celebrity impressions, accents and film styles.

Improvisation brings good and bad things into the mix. Some folks seemed to thrive on it, like Claudia Wrazel in the spectacular one-act Skin Off the Top, written by Karina Summers and directed by Shane Robert. Wrazel, opposite a delightfully crooked Marco Tabayoyon, belted out an improvised rap. The scene would be worth rewatching unadulterated by parameters a second, third—or even a fourth time.

Noises in the Walls and Micro-Aggressions have their moments, along with some likable improv from Jacob Padua and Linda Taylor.

Without giving away the clever punchline, But Wait, There’s More! suffered from a lack of nuance and pretty much hit only one note.

Come ready to chime in with fun suggestions. Half the show is steered by them, so jump in with “pet therapist,” “preachy dental hygienist” and shy away from the obvious ones. A disclaimer: Your experience may vary.