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Theatre Review

Transactors Improv Co.: Girls' Night Out Two Is a Comic Showcase for Brod, Greeson, Klem, and Pekar

March 31, 2006 - Durham, NC:

The Transactors Improv Co. production of Girls’ Night Out Two, performed with brio and flashes of brilliance on March 31st at Common Ground Theatre in Durham, NC, showcased the considerable comic talents of four of the Chapel-based troupe’s funniest female members — Anoushka Brod, Jill Greeson, and Nancy Pekar—in an entertaining evening of long-form improvisational comedy. In typical Transactors style, the charismatic quartet asked the audience for an adjective, a woman’s name, and a verb and combined those three responses into “Bulky Agatha Is Crawling,” an amusing skit about a brainy but overweight teenager named Agatha (Nancy Pekar), her concerned mom (Anoushka Brod), and Agatha’s pretty but vapid sister.

Nancy Pekar, the member of the quartet who most resembles Olive Oyl from the old “Popeye” comic strips, played the title character. Pekar often looked acutely uncomfortable, with her wrists and forearms bent in praying-mantis position as she minced around the stage; but she expertly exploited Agatha’s angst for laughs. Agatha is acutely uncomfortable in her own ample skin, and Pekar communicated that fact in every word and move Agatha made throughout the evening.

The irrepressible Anoushka Brod was a hoot as Agatha’s spacey single mom-on-the-make, inventing an improbable last name for Agatha’s family and giving her character some hilarious quirks at work and at home but especially out on a date. A dual performance as Agatha’s perky, immensely popular cheerleader sister and her slump-shouldered sad sack of a boyfriend amusingly exploited the girl’s simmering sibling rivalry and the boy’s utter ineptitude with the opposite sex. Jill Greeson also doubled delightfully as Agatha’s suave and supremely self-confident male boss and her favorite female teacher, both of whom sensed enormous untapped potential underneath Agatha’s roly-poly exterior and despite her extremely nervous reactions to complications at her part-time job and during a test for a national merit scholarship.

These four Transactors stalwarts amiably ad-libbed Agatha’s story for a little over an hour, creating these six and a number of other colorful characters in the process and drawing grins and guffaws from onlookers. Although Girls’ Night Out Two lacked a Big Finish, “Bulky Agatha Is Crawling” was a thoroughly entertaining episode of Transactors Experimental Theater (TET).

Transactors Improv Co.: http://www.transactors.org/.