REVIEW: HOME @ Chicago Improv Festival

A Beautiful Portrayal of Truth.

HOME: An Improvised PlaySometimes people say not all actors are improvisers, but all improvisers are actors. HOME: An Improvised Play is the greatest supporting evidence of this statement I have seen thus far. This show stole my heart. Brett Elam, Erica Elam, Jet Eveleth, Ian Forester and Kristina Johnson are the cast of this dramatic improv masterpiece and if you ever find yourself with the chance to see it, you absolutely must.

We were brought to a front porch and the rest unfolded from there. Everyone had one character and one character only, which had to be carefully created to allow for the necessary callbacks and assist in tying up loose ends at the end of the show. We found out that the three women were sisters who had to bury their mom that morning. Brett Elam played the childhood best friend and Ian Forester played the doting husband in denial of his pending divorce with Eveleth.

Every relationship was rooted in truth and honesty. Each scene was genuine and relatable. The tears cried were very real and tugged on heartstrings throughout the entire audience. It was captivating. HOME accurately displayed so many different relationships that we have in our daily lives and how they are all tangled with one another. Sisters who loved each other but don’t always get along, a marriage that had fallen apart and lovers who had lost their way. The death of a parent, the responsibilities left behind, the people left behind, mental instability, gentle honesty and unrequited love all quietly wove their way into one another throughout this performance.

Every cast member was amazing. Truly selfless, supportive and essential. However, I have to tip my hat to the ladies in this show. Kristina Johnson is one hell of an actress. Her character was a bit brash at times, but it was a strong choice and she was always in full control. Jet Eveleth. I’ve seen Jet perform a number of times, but I have never, ever loved her more than in HOME. For the first time I felt as if a velvet curtain had been pulled back and I was privvy to see the strong core of an actress that I believed lived inside her but has always been masked by characters on stage in improvised comedies. If I could have it my way, I would want this Jet all day every day. Her honesty, imperfections and character flaws were so beautiful. I absolutely loved her. Lastly, Erica Elam, is brilliant and was the pinnacle of the show. She made smart, strategic and vulnerable choices. She held back nothing. Every word was said with poise and patience. Her laughter lit up the room and her tears broke your heart. She is an overwhelming beauty who delivers lively calmness and peaceful serenity. She was simply stunning in every way.

I have never seen anything like this. Dramatic improv needs more attention. There is a very raw, beautiful thing blossoming and it deserves a spotlight. I’m crazy about this show. HOME: An Improvised Play beyond exceeded my expectations and left a lasting impression on me. I honestly don’t think any words, let alone mine, can do this show justice. I can’t get over it. Find a way to see this show.

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posted on by Kiley Peters posted in Chatter, Reviews

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