Show Review

Evening of Performance offers unique spin on comedy

I don’t have a lot of experience with theater or much knowledge about the medium. So, right until the lights dimmed, I found myself questioning whether I’d enjoy RPI Players’ Audience, a play by Michael Frayn, or whether I’d just not “get it.”

All that changed when the play started; the storyline follows the antics of a typical audience watching a play. Among other things, it showcases specific people: a spoiled brat with her embarrassing father, a mom and daughter who can’t see eye to eye, a couple that’s not really a couple, and, my favorite, the exasperated theater manager trying to get the audience to enjoy the show “properly.” Throughout, certain members of the audience on stage commit some of the typical faux pas of theater goers—disturbing their neighbors’ peace, sitting in the wrong seats, arguing over seats, laughing like maniacs, leaving during the show, and so on.

I found myself grinning throughout the show. It had tons of slick jokes that’ll fly over your head if you’re not paying attention. But if you are, you’re rewarded for it. It’s lively, upbeat, and features solid acting.

If you, like myself, haven’t gone to many plays in your lifetime, you’re probably skeptical of the medium. Despite my lack of exposure to the art, I really enjoyed it. It’s a much different kind of fun compared to the comedy you find on television or most Netflix specials, and has its own unique charm.

Overall, I enjoyed myself during this dress rehearsal and I’d recommend seeing it during An Evening of Performance, which will include not only Audience, but improv by Sheer Idiocy and various other performances that change each night. It will be showing at 8 pm on February 8, 9, 14, 15, and 16 at the RPI Playhouse, and is $5 with a Rensselaer ID.