Enter The Laughter Zone At The Falcon Theatre

By On September 8, 2013

Twilight Zone UnScripted is so hilarious, you should make it part of your diet. You’ll probably lose five pounds just from laughing so hard.

The Ensemble of Impro Theatre’s Twilight Zone UnScripted at the Falcon Theatre.  (Photo Courtesy of Dan O’Connor)

The Ensemble of Impro Theatre’s Twilight Zone UnScripted at the Falcon Theatre. (Photo Courtesy of Dan O’Connor)

Falcon Theatre’s latest gift to Burbank is the Impro Theatre, and it really does put the “pro” in “impro.”  The audience gives the actors a word or short phrase—some person, place or thing—and then the amazing ensemble proceeds to improvise a 30-minute Twilight Zone episode on the spot. Before the performance is over, they will have done this four times.

And what the Impro Theatre does is the comedy equivalent of a high wire act. Except that in the case of this super-talented ensemble, somebody deliberately shakes the wire every so often. And once in awhile, somebody teeters on one leg, as if about to fall. Except that no one does. (Or at least they to grab on to the wire in the nick of time.)

Nick Massouh and the Ensemble of Impro Theatre’s Twilight Zone UnScripted at the Falcon Theatre.  (Photo Courtesy of  Chelsea Sutton)

Nick Massouh and the Ensemble of Impro Theatre’s Twilight Zone UnScripted at the Falcon Theatre. (Photo Courtesy of Chelsea Sutton)

To draw humor from the very act of on-the-spot improvisation without sacrificing the humor within the story being improvised—well, that has to be one of the most difficult comedic challenges you can imagine. And the cast of Impro Theatre pulls it off, giving us a double dose of laughter.

The original Twilight Zone was brainchild of the late, great Rod Serling, with his distinctive voice and opening patter. In its day (late 50’s/early 60’s), Twilight Zone was arguably the most original, inventive show on TV. Perhaps because of its sci fi/fantasy themes, the series could comment on social issues that other TV shows wouldn’t dare touch. The Improv Theatre’s comedic inventiveness pays a very fitting homage to a series still beloved by so many of us.

Stephen Kearin, Jo McGinley, Kelly Holden-Bashar and Brian Lohmann in Impro Theatre’s Twilight Zone UnScripted at the Falcon Theatre.  (Photo Courtesy of Chelsea Sutton)

Stephen Kearin, Jo McGinley, Kelly Holden-Bashar and Brian Lohmann in Impro Theatre’s Twilight Zone UnScripted at the Falcon Theatre. (Photo Courtesy of Chelsea Sutton)

You don’t have to be a Twilight Zone aficionado to enjoy this show. But if you are, you’ll have the additional pleasure of hearing improvised dialogue that captures the Twilight Zone’s cadences and conventions.

During the intermission of Friday night’s performance, the delight of the audience in the lobby was palpable. The only bellyaching from this show will be from the comedy crunching your abs.

Kudos to directors JO McGINLEY and STEPHEN KEARIN and their wonderful ensemble cast.

The Falcon Theatre is located at 4252 Riverside Drive in Burbank.  Show runs through September 29, 2013. Performances are Wednesday through Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 4 p.m.  Weekday prices are $34.50 to $37.00; weekends are $39.50 to $42.00. Student rate is $27.00. For tickets call (818) 955-8101 or go to Falcon Theatre.com.

Brian Lohmann and Mike McShane in Impro Theatre’s Twilight Zone UnScripted at the Falcon Theatre.  (Photo Courtesy of Chelsea Sutton)

Brian Lohmann and Mike McShane in Impro Theatre’s Twilight Zone UnScripted at the Falcon Theatre. (Photo Courtesy of Chelsea Sutton)

Kelly Holden-Bashar, Jo McGinley, Lisa Fredrickson and Floyd Van Buskirk in Impro Theatre’s Twilight Zone UnScripted at the Falcon Theatre.  (Photo Courtesy of Chelsea Sutton)

Kelly Holden-Bashar, Jo McGinley, Lisa Fredrickson and Floyd Van Buskirk in Impro Theatre’s Twilight Zone UnScripted at the Falcon Theatre. (Photo Courtesy of Chelsea Sutton)

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