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Crapshoot! Liquor, Laughs and Luck O’ The Dice

by Karen Tortora-Lee on June 29, 2012

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So, what is a crapshoot, exactly?  Basically it’s something risky — something that depends more on luck than on skill … something that has an unpredictable outcome.  But the secret to the success of Rising Sun Production’s monthly show Crapshoot! is that while a lot of it is wildly unpredictable, it’s sitting on the shoulders of talented folks who have a solid improv foundation and are pretty much ready to handle whatever gets thrown at them.  More luck than skill?  I’d say there’s skill aplenty here, and it comes zooming at you at 90mph in this variety show.  The result is a boisterous, crazy, sometimes chaotic but always hilarious night of pure enjoyment that offers up nothing but silliness, fun and entertainment.

The format for Crapshoot! is simple – and they stick to it. Part improv (well, more than part) part talk show, part audience participation, part balls-to-the-wall hilarity … these folks will do anything to give the audience a good time and I left with my sides hurting from laughter.  Just be warned if you answer their sweet-faced “Do you want to play a game?” with “Yes” then your name is going into the pool of volunteers who will be called up to the stage.  While it’s all in good fun, if you don’t want to play, make sure you don’t submit your name card.  If you do wanna play however … be ready for anything.

Each show is different but I can assume the basic premise will be the same. On my night host Mia Y. Anderson had the audience in the palm of her hand as she immediately warmed us up with material that was both prepared ahead of time as well as tossed off on the spot. As a full-fledged bisexual she had full license to flirt with any and all who caught her eye, and she did so with a naughty wink that never went too far.

There was just enough variety – served up in short segments – to keep the movement going: a talk-show format, some interviews with “Nurse Betty” where questions were taken from the audience, a game show (cue giant puffy dice) that was so hilarious I couldn’t catch my breath. The audience is encouraged to liquor up beforehand (and during!) so the looser the crowd the better the show.

Intersperesed between all the games, fake commercial breaks, and white fly girl dancing, there is some out-of-the box improv done on the spot to real life postcards and love letters – supplied by the audience.  (“BRING YOUR POSTCARDS, HIGH SCHOOL LOVE LETTERS, DIARY ENTRIES AND BREAK UP STORIES AND SEE YOUR MEMORIES ACTED OUT LIVE ON STAGE FOR THE AMUSEMENT OF OTHERS!” Click here to submitAll names will remain confidential.) Bad handwriting often proved to be the speed-bump which brought this otherwise funny bit to a halt.   I’d suggest perhaps vetting the cards before hand – not for content but for legibility.  Still, on my night the audience gamely rooted the cast on and was duely happy with the results.  It’s all in good fun, folks.

Coming in at just around an hour this later show is the perfect way to start an evening of hi-jinx of your own … see the show, get in a few laughs and then hit the great bars in the area. While almost all of your experience may vary, chances are this capable cast will do right by you.  You’ll have a blast.  And that, my friends, may be a crapshoot, but it’s also a pretty safe bet.

The cast I enjoyed on Thursday June 21st for Crapshoot! was:

Host Mia Y. Anderson
MC/Pianist/Closing Act: Michael Burns
Fly White Girls: Samantha DeSimone, Amanda Berry, Haley Selmon
Cowboy Deuce: Ryan Dursek
Nurse Betty: Sarah Norris
Jackie Walker: Haley Selmon
Wish you Were Here (Postcards Players): Mike Burns, Sarah Norris, Ryan Dursek, Amanda Berry
Post-Apocalyptic Mailman: Carl Fengler
Game Squad: Amanda Berry, Sarah Norris, Carl Fengler


Third Thursdays of each Month!
Remaining shows:
Thursday July 19
Thursday August 16th  
UNDER St Marks
94 St Marks Place @1st Avenue
Featuring a Rotating Cast:  Akia, Amanda Berry, Andrea Cordaro, Bonnie Jean Warren, Carl Fengler,  Elizabeth Burke, Haley Selmon,  Joe Beaudin,  Katie Mueller, Kelley Evans, Mia Y. Anderson,  Michael Burns, Ryan Dursek & Sarah Norris
Produced by Rising Sun Performance Company 
Concept by Akia
Co-Direction: Derek Shore & Akia
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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

MaryAnn DeSimoneNo Gravatar June 29, 2012 at 11:48 pm

Thoroughly enjoyed Crapshoot (6/21/12) creative, funny, entertaining

TiffiniNo Gravatar June 30, 2012 at 10:55 am

Sooooo much fun! I have been to the past two shows and plan on going in July again!

Bill BuchananNo Gravatar July 4, 2012 at 8:15 pm

Nice review, Derek. Wish we were there to enjoy the fun.

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