Improv is ruthless to performers who are slow on the uptake. And unfortunately, too many of these populate the large cast of Theatre Momentum’s debut offering. The show is divided into three sets of long-form improv, approximately twenty-five minutes a piece. Each has its own jumping off point. “Moniker” is fueled by an audience suggestion of the worst/best nicknames, an interesting idea poorly executed on opening night. The scenes shifted with no apparent logic, and it was difficult to track a larger storyline. But that’s improv; sometimes it can be so haphazard, neither the audience nor the actors know what’s going on. “Myth” (the least defined of the themes) suffered from similar problems, but the cast boasts the presence of Seth Dodson, who is tall and lanky and brings a unique-geek quality to the stage, and Amy Phillips, an intense, icy blonde who is an exceptionally confident performer. She understands how to outline a character in a matter of moments. (Too many of the women here seem out of their depth and unsure of how to push a scene forward.) “Missed Connections,” which uses real Craig’s List postings for inspiration, is the strongest of the three sets. The specificity of the blurbs, I think, helped the cast better focus their comedic noodlings. They created defined worlds and believable characters. (Keep an eye on Phil Handal.) Best of all, even the less-seasoned performers got off some funny lines. (Nina Metz)
Theatre Building Chicago, 1225 W. Belmont, (773)327-5252. Wed 7pm. $14.