San Francisco Fringe 2022
Nationally touring improv duo, Bingewatch, takes the shows that you love to watch and mashes them together to create the pilot for a show you’d obsess over for months.
Diana Brown and Dan Wilson’s energy and enthusiasm for their improvised show is infectious!
They ask the audience for suggestions and select two shows currently binge watched by audience members. At the show I attended the popular series selected were Yellow Jackets and Rick and Morty. The former is a psychological thriller series and the latter is an animated science fiction sitcom, neither of which I was familiar with. However, Brown and Wilson quickly took their places on either side of the stage and became different characters having a conversation.
They believed in what they were doing and this transferred to the audience. Both actors are professional and went into character straight away and it is clear that they work together regularly and have a lot of experience and training doing long form improv. This is the kind of improv technique that tells a long continuous story and this duo are experts!
The trust and respect needed to sustain approximately forty five minutes of one completely improvised story, where every event and sentence of dialog is made up on the spot, with no script, other than the imagination is admirable. Improvisation is never easy, even for seasoned actors, but Brown and Wilson make it look easy and are ready with inventive ideas without hesitation.
In one scene, they both look up at the sky together in sync, as if rehearsed, but we know it is not, because they only received the inspiration for the story a few minutes earlier. In another scene Dan has an item in his pocket and shows Brown, who wonders at this invisible mimed object with a big button on it. What happens when they press the button? Well all kinds of things as the scene transforms into another time and place. The tension of the new situation is palpable and Brown and Wilson use physical acting that adds to the atmosphere and visual storytelling of a this improvised play!
There is complicity with the audience as we all figure out what is happening together, in this case this is the audience and the actors! Audience members whose favorite binge watch series were chosen are very attached and have approving looks on their faces, and for those of us who are unaware of the series, we are equally entertained.
This is an inventive show with humor and drama, and very well performed. Every show is completely different!