Be prepared to be part of the show when you enter A Killing Game at the Know Theatre. The dog & pony dc theatre troupe from Washington, D.C., uses “audience integration methodology” to transport the audience into the spectacle, and this makes a wild and crazy, improv experience for both the acting ensemble and the audience participants. Everyone participated in the opening night of A Killing Game and it appeared that everyone had a lot of fun.
The dog and pony dc group of seven performers and assorted support members were on their A-game last night. (This is also the first time the troupe has traveled outside of Washington, D.C., for a performance.) Upon walking into the performance space, audience members were approached by ushers who handed out envelopes full of instructions for the game.
Very peppy, tacky 1960s game show music blared over the speakers, putting a zip in the steps of the actors, who were dressed in (and referred to as) bright colors. Mr. Blue started singing a sunny song, soon joined by Mr. Pink, Orange, Purple and Green. Emcee Mr. Chrome (a very funny and endearingly smarmy J. Argyl Plath) led the tightly-written show. Suddenly, everyone on stage “dies” from a series of contagious diseases, and you know the happy music is a simple Band-Aid covering the underlying theme of death. You know a performance is good when all the crazy, seemingly out-of-control moving parts add up to an infectious entertainment experience.
Judging from the enthusiasm generated by the actors, and by several audience members who were really getting into the spirit of audience integration, A Killing Game is gonna have a killer run at the Fringe.
PERFORMANCE SCHEDULE: 3 p.m. June 2, 9 p.m. June 5, 7 p.m. June 7 and 8:30 p.m. June 8 at Know Theatre. Find more of CityBeat's ongoing 2013 Cincy Fringe Festival coverage, including performance reviews, commentary and venue details, here.