Rapid Fire Theatre’s Todd Houseman and Ben Gorodetsky build a funny and captivating evening of long-form improvised storytelling in folk lordz, which plays through July 12th, 2015 a part of the Toronto Fringe Festival.
As with most Improv shows, folk lordz begins with Houseman and Gorodetsky asking for some suggestions from the audience, upon which they will create the evening’s stories. For this show two concepts have already been established, one story will be told in the style of a Cree Origin Story (taking liberties with this genre for, as Houseman explains, these Origin Stories are usually memorized meticulously and handed down identical from generation to generation) and a Chekhovian drama that explores the general darkness of the human condition, and the third is left entirely up to the audience. From there the audience suggests the more specific details for each of the three stories, which left us with an Origin Story of How Birds Fly, a Chekhov play about the toxicity of sibling relationships and an Anime story about the PanAm Games.
The three stories are woven together, with incredible pacing and a simultaneous raising of the stakes as the scenes in each of the three stories unfold. The plot points in each are tightly integrated, sometimes so much so that one marvels at Houseman and Gorodetsky’s memory for details. They both fluidly slip into all the parts, which is really neat, and of course, since it’s improv, the audience delights just as much when something goes a little awry (like having difficult maintaining a funny voice) as they do when everything is flawless. Houseman and Gorodetsky are also able to snap out of the scenes to break the fourth wall and further comment on these moments, which usually makes them even funnier.
These two performers have excellent energy, a playful rapport with one another and great, creative, physicality. Truly, anything is possible in this room, and the magic is palpable.
TWISI FRINGE RATING:
Folk Lordz plays at the Factory Theatre Studio (125 Bathurst Street) as part of the Toronto Fringe Festival at the following times: