By: Thomas Bell ~Guest Writer~
Xavier Players’ “Toolbox: Take 2” once again delighted audiences with a show that not even the actors knew was coming.
Billed as “a new show every night,” seniors Brandon Martin and Will Clemens directed a cast of seven Xavier students in the improvisational comedy show that has become a Players fixture over the years.
This incarnation of “Toolbox” was a bit different, however, as the cast strayed from traditional, short improv games to a long-form show with one central plot.
Although the difficult performance style made a few scenes appear unnatural and forced, the actors were able to bring in laughs throughout the night.
After the doors opened, early-arriving audience members were treated to open warm ups.
These warm-ups were not only beneficial to the performers, but also allowed the audience a glimpse of “Toolbox’s” greatest strength: hilarious short scenes accompanied by brilliant physical humor.
After a brief introduction by the student directors, an audience member named the soon-to-be play “Milk of Mother’s Kindness,” the cast’s sole prompt for the entire show that night.
By introducing other characters throughout the show, the actors developed the performance into the story of cruise ship murder plots, ghosts and a mother’s love.
Although the material sounds dark, the cast brilliantly used their wit to draw swells of laughter from the audience.
However, as the show continued, many scenes fell flat. The actors were often confused when one scene began and another ended.
This long-form production caused many actors to seem more worried about filling time rather than ending a scene strongly.
Although not every scene was a hit, “Toolbox” was filled with bellows of audience laughter that deemed the production a success and left audiences excited for the next installment of this great Xavier production.