Anthony J. Piccione, Contributing Critics - New York City
With spring time creeping right around the corner, that means only one thing in the worlds of comedy and independent theatre: The return of the long-running Improvisational Repertory Theatre Ensemble, with their latest season at the Producer’s Club in Hell’s Kitchen. Having managed to catch all four of their shows during their season last year, I recently had the chance to return and see their most recent outing, and their first of 2019.
As the title suggests, the show revolves around a bachelorette party – with a bride to be and all her friends – filled with balloons, amusing cakes, and live entertainment galore. However, as the show progresses, things get awkward as the groom to be appears, along with a certain unwanted guest from Tammy’s past that isn’t exactly who anyone would want to be around as they’re about to get married: her previous fiancé!
Perhaps one element that helped is that the audience participation level in this show’s concept was more than I’d seen from previous IRTE shows. From the minute the house is opened, the talented cast of actors – as usual, a mix of IRTE veterans and newcomers – greet theatergoers as if they’re arriving at the party themselves. Over the course of the next 90 minutes, audience members are then invited to help advance the show’s plot by participating in various games and contribute suggestions on how to handle various situations that pop up.
While last year’s shows from this group certainly had no shortage of entertaining moments that audience members could enjoy, I couldn’t help but feel that this was a significant improvement on that, and it left me – along with the rest of the audience – laughing non-stop and wanting more, by the end of the night. If this show is any indicator of what to expect from the rest of their season, in terms of quality, then 2019 should be a very good year for IRTE.
“Tammy’s Bachelorette” stars Nannette Deasy, Robert Baumgardner, Jamie Maloney, Isabella Church, Evie Aronson, William Berg, Sam Katz, Claire Kraus & David Jay.
“Tammy’s Bachelorette” is conceived by Nannette Deasy and directed by Robert Baumgardner, featuring tech director Curt Dixon.
“Tammy’s Bachelorette” – presented by Improvisational Repertory Theatre Ensemble – runs at the Producer’s Club, located at 358 W 44th Street, New York, NY, from March 8th-16th. For more information, please visit www.irteinfo.com