Reviewing improv comedy is tricky, because each show from the same players is likely going to be completely different. That said, I didn’t much like the Saturday night show featuring long-form improv from the team of Brian Kuwabara and Gabriel McKinney. It just petered out for me. I know I’m not the only person who felt this way: The show actually prompted my only irate phone call of this year’s Rogue from an audience member, this one from someone who considers herself an improv-comedy connoisseur and who was dramatically disappointed.
I’m certainly no connoisseur. And I’d like to give Kuwabara the benefit of the doubt, because I was so impressed with him in last year’s “Poe and Matthews.” He’s a dynamic presence on stage, and he has a great way of portraying wacky characters without overacting — something that takes quite the touch.
McKinney is appealing, too, especially when this show meandered into a few minutes of him portraying the Marlboro Man. But even with a clever connected narrative involving the Jurassic era and a 1990s coffee bar, the mild laughs came more as an acknowledgement of that cleverness and less because jokes were actually funny. Any performance — improv or not — starts out with a certain amount of audience goodwill, and this one started losing it a quarter of a way through. I’ll be optimistic and hope that remaining shows manage to click better.
Show info: 8:30 p.m. Thursday, 7 p.m. Friday, 1 p.m. Saturday, Dianna’s. Rating: PG-13. [Details]