Naked in a Fish Bowl
nytheatre.com review by Mark DeFrancis
August 17, 2007
You can read this review, or you can get to Naked in a Fishbowl. My ego aside, I suggest the latter. The four-girl crew is busy at the Soho Playhouse improvising a great 90 minutes for you at FringeNYC. The setup is the continuing story of four New York ladies, which writes itself a new chapter every night using the previous performances as a basis. The performers deal with past stories while setting up the next show.
The cast is a generous, talented, and hilarious crew. Lynn Rosenberg is the go-to girl of the group, playing the cynical screw-up. Her wit and sarcasm drive this piece from start to finish with a limitless supply of alchemy; she turns anything the others create into comic gold. Alongside her, Katherine Heller is a treat to watch, balancing humor while planting the seeds for further dialogue. She is constantly raising the stakes for the show, adding new ideas and plots, which keep the others on their toes and the audience involved. This desire, to never wallow in a conversation, but keep it fresh, is what makes Fishbowl a standout improv show. Brenna Palughi has crafted a character and keeps surprising us with her hilarious timing while being emotionally potent. Lauren Seikaly has taken on the toughest role as the responsible one, the team mother, but plays it strong. At my performance she crafted a brilliant ending that brought the piece all together.
This is without question a show to see. Improv either tries to be a traffic jam of one-liners or dies a melodramatic death, but director Hugh Sinclair and the ladies of Naked in a Fishbowl know how to make long-form a fusion of storytelling and high-wire excitement. They play off each other with ease, help each other out of trouble, and continue to build a world, which is a pleasure to eavesdrop on, right in front of your eyes. If you are still reading this, leave now. See this show this weekend and thank me later.