Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Saturday, April 13th 2013 (8:00 and 10:00 pm)

The Firehouse Theater was hoppin’ with Saturday’s sold out crowds.  On tap for the 8:00pm show were Vlad Tenenbaum, Kevin Killavey, Clayon McFarlane, Dylan Eberle, Jim Foley, hosted by Frank Fusaro, and on keyboards our own talented sailor, Chuck Malone.
Dylan, Clayon, and Frank in "Good Cop / Bad Cop"
In “Good Cop / Bad Cop” Frank and Dylan took up the reins as the local law enforcement with Clayon as the perpetrator.  In this bit, Frank and Dylan guide Clayon through their own unusual methods of interrogation, to get him to admit to the crime that is supplied by the audience.  Tonight, Clayon had to confess to the crime of killing Mel Gibson, with a Lego, at a Brewery…  Ah poor Clayon.  While struggling with references to the illustrious Mr Gibson, he quickly owned up to the clues for legos and brewery.  It really isn’t as easy as the Bit Players make it seem.
"Irish Drinking Song" performed
by Jim, Clayon, Frank, and Dylan
 “Irish Drinking Song” featured Jim, Frank, Dylan and Clayon in the Irish styled musical limerick about Taylor the Nurse.
Dylan, Frank, Clayon and Vlad in "Sportscasters"
The crowds were roaring with the bizarre exploits of the players in “Sportscasters”.  With Frank and Dylan as the sportscasters broadcasting an athletic event where two unlikely athletes, Vlad and Clayon compete in a completion, the audience supplied the “event” of a cooking competition.  Watch the video, as this scene unfolds.  Vlad and Clayon’s food creation would even make Andrew Zimmern, the star of Bizarre Foods, cringe.  Click here ->  Come back again, the video will be uploaded soon.
"Doo Wop" featuring Jim, Kevin, Frank, and Dylan
 “Doo Wop” featured the musical talents of Jim, Kevin, Frank, and Dylan, with the rest of the cast providing backup in this 60’s style improvised song.  In this musical bit, each of the players professed their love of the audience inspired item underwear, until Dylan completed the set by replacing the underwear with his new favorite thing….., his thong.
Kevin and Clayon perform their Salsa song in "Telethon"
All of the Bit Players participated in “Telethon”,  a bit where each of the players are the talent bringing awareness to the fictitious, audience supplied cause.  Tonight the players were raising money for NASCAR drivers.  Metal-Head, Dylan started things off by singing (or something related to singing anyway) his NASCAR song , followed by Clayon and Kevin who sang in the genre style of Salsa, and Jim and Frank closed with the 80’s as their musical inspiration for the cause.
Heidi is "Serenaded" by The Bit Players
In the second set, Heidi celebrating the BIG 5-0 with her large group in the back of the theater, was called to the stage to be “Serenaded”. Heidi, a Yoga Instructor (or Yogini), is married to David, the Project Manager, who was also in the crowd tonight as were Heidi’s three  children, Hannah, Cameron, and Oliver.  The Bit Players did not disappoint them or Heidi and made up an improvised song all about Heidi and her family in honor of the momentous occasion.
The Bit Players perform "The North Korea Blues"
 “The Blues” finished out the 8:00pm show.  In this musical number, the bits improvise a song on the spot from an audience suggested topic.  Tonight’s inspiration; “The North Korea Blues”.
In the 10:00pm Bit Players show, Vlad took over the hosting duties accompanied by fellow players, Frank, Clayon, and Jim. Joining the bits for the late night show were Jessica Bradley and Patrick Dugan.  Dylan moved into the bandstand to help out Chuck with the musical stylings for the show.
Vlad and Clayon in "Stunt Doubles"
 “Stunt Doubles” has the late night crowd both giggling and cringing in this zany bit about exterminators.  Patrick and Jessica, the pretentious actors acted out a scene, when they did not want to perform the physical action, they called on their stunt doubles, Vlad and Clayon to execute the action for them.  In the scene Vlad and Clayon found themselves having to retrieve chemicals from the truck, hold the hose, and stomp on the bugs, all of which had the crowd in stitches.
Dave is "Serenaded" on his birthday by The Bit Players
Dave also celebrating his 50th birthday was brought up to the stage to be “Serenaded”.  Dave, the retired Lowes Store Owner, from Newington, CT celebrating with wife Doreen (the nurse) and daughter Abby, took a little ribbing from the bits in the improvised song they created just for him on his special day.
Clayon, Patrick and Frank in "That Sounds Like A Song"
The audience inspired by their own late night imbibing provided the suggestion of “The Last Beer” as the   inspiration for the next bit, “That Sounds Like a Song” performed by Frank, Patrick, and Clayon. In this bit the players had to break into song with their next dialog, when directed by Vlad.  Patrick began the scene with his musical intonation of “I worked 16 hours”, followed by Frank’s melody of “I have a lot of reasons why I don’t drink”.  In true Clayon style, he wrapped up the bit with his tune “I have to watch the horses having sex”…
The Bit Players perform "The Getting Married Blues"
As per their customary ending, the Bit Players closed the show with “The Blues” song.  Fittingly, there was a young bachelorette in the crowd, which made the perfect muse for “The Getting Married Blues”.
The Bit Players perform improv comedy every Friday and Saturday night at 8:00pm at the Firehouse Theatre, 4 Equality Park Place (off Broadway), Newport, RI 02840.  Please call the box office for reservations and information about all of the shows   401-849-FIRE (3473)  And it is always BYOB!

Friday, April 12th 2013

On Friday, the crowds were rambunctious, and wanting to have some fun.  The Bit Players did not disappoint them.  Leading the way,  Lobo Linhares was hosting his third ever Bit Players show.  Lobo was accompanied by fellow Bits, Vlad Tenenbaum, Kevin Killavey, Neal Leaheey, Patrick Dugan, and Jim Foley.  The musical backdrop was provided by Chase Ceglie and Devon Mello.

The Bit Players perform "Story, Story, Die!"
The Bit Players got things started with their intro bit, “Story, Story, Die”. In this bit, as many of you already know, the players have to tell a collective story, each player added into the story where the last player, as directed by Vlad, left off.  Vlad may at any time kill off a player who is not adding to the story.  Tonight’s story found Ryan the Chef on the dark side of the moon.  In the story, our brave Chef Ryan is attempting to make the perfect soufflé for Newt Gingrich.  By the end of the story,  all the people of earth are clamoring for his moon soufflés.
Patrick, Neal, Jim, and Kevin in "Irish Drinking Song"
 “Irish Drinking Song” followed. In this Bit, Kevin, Neal, Patrick and Jim create an improvised Irish inspired ditty about an audience suggested person and their occupation. Tonight were heard the musical tale about Bob the Scarecrow stuffer.
The Bit Players perform "Mini-Musical"
“Mini-Musical had everyone in the house roaring at the antics of the players.  Tonight’s Musical was inspired by the audience suggested title, “Nuns on Wheels”.  Click here to watch the hysterical antics of the entire cast in this improvised musical.  Your faith will never be the same! -->
Vlad performs "Art Class"
Up next, our resident mime extraordinaire, Vlad,  amused the audience in his bit, “Art Class”.  With audience suggested items of harmonica, cart, armoire, dart board, and closet, Vlad told a story incorporating all of these items with only the use of his physical actions and expression. 
The Bit Players in "Survivor"

“Survivor” took up the next slot in tonight’s set list.  In this bit all of the players jumped into the scene creating various characters interacting with each other within the confines of a place suggested by the audience.  Tonight our Bits found themselves at Wrestlemania.  With a call-back to the earlier reference to nuns, we bear witness to a scene about good vs evil in this bizarre wrestling matchup.  However, there is one more twist in this bit.  When the scene was called the audience got to vote players out, one by one,  by clapping for the player to be evicted from the scene.  In the scenes following, the actors that remained were required to include all of the character created in the original scene.  In the end… only one player survived, and had to act out all five of the original characters.  Tonight’s winner, Patrick gained the audience’s approval, with his rousing rendition of the one-man-show version of Wrestlemania.
Andrew is "Serenaded" by The Bit Players
In the second set, Birthday boy, Andrew was called to the stage by his buddy, Lobo to be “Serenaded” by The Bit Players.  Andrew, a teacher at URI and author of fiction, celebrating his 24th Birthday with his friends, admitted that his hobby was coming to Bit Players shows.  The Bit Players had some fun with Andrew in their improvised song inspired and created all for Andrew in tribute to his special day.
Vlad, Jim. Pat, and Kevin in "Three-Headed Expert"
The newly created “Three Headed Expert” was up next in the Bit Players arsenal of bits.  In this bit we saw an expert (Kevin, Patrick, and Jim) who could only speak consecutively one word at a time, being interviewed by Vlad.  Tonight’s audience suggested topic was psychiatry, and our expert, Dr Shultz who learned how to cope with disasters from his very hot mom.  Dr Shultz eventually killed his mother and then studied human art, creating pop-sickle stick sculptures and paper machete  airplanes.
The Bit Players perform "Jeopardy"
Kevin was on fire in the bit, “Jeopardy”.  Kevin’s questions to the audience suggestions of DONKEY (What is the Mafia Don’s thing that he uses to start his car), POTASSIUM (What did a friend of Edgar Allan Poe say to him when he was looking at a really fine booty), NARWHAL (What did the Pirate say when he walked into a wall), and DOO RAG (Cloth I use to wipe the grass in the morning), were a big hit with the audience.

"The Blues" performed by
The Bit Players

The Bit Players finished the night with their signature sendoff, “The Blues” entitled The Processed Food Blues.
The Bit Players perform improv comedy every Friday and Saturday night at 8:00pm at the Firehouse Theatre, 4 Equality Park Place (off Broadway), Newport, RI 02840.  Please call the box office for reservations and information about all of the shows   401-849-FIRE (3473)  And it is always BYOB!

Wednesday, April 10th (Giggles and Wiggles)

On Wednesday, April 10th in honor of National Pet Day, The Bit Players held a benefit show with proceeds going to the Potter League for Animals, a local animal shelter located in Middletown, RI.  Before the show, the audience got to meet two the of shelters celebrity pets; Lady, a female, black and white Welsh Terrier mix and Jay, a male,  black and white American Staffordshire Terrier mix. The two dogs are inseparable, and the shelter was hoping that they would be adopted together.  At the time of this writing, I am happy to report that the two lovebirds, Lady & Jay ARE being adopted!  The Bit Players wish the pair much happiness in their new home! As Peanuts cartoonist, Charles Shulz once said, “Happiness is a warm puppy!”
Lady and Jay, our furry Potter league friends
Hosting this pet extravaganza was our perky little player, Jessica Bradley alongside a plethora of others including, Vlad Tenenbaum, Clayon McFarlane, Kevin Killavey, Neal Leaheey, and Dylan Eberle, with musical accompaniment by Chase Ceglie, Devon Mello and newbie Mike Celemme.  Also supporting their fellow Bits were, Lobo Linhares, Anna Smith, Jim Foley, Stephanie Conrad, Patrick Dugan, and Mike Puppi who made cameo appearances throughout the show.
The Bit Players in "Story, Story, Die!"
Things got hairy quickly with “Story, Story, Die” about Joanna with her spatula at the rodeo.  In the story told by Jessica, Clayon, Kevin, Neal, and Dylan and directed by Vlad, Joanna meets Bob the bull riding cowboy.  Bob and Joanna, through a harrowing series of events, made flapjacks together and finally rode off into the sunset.
Dylan, Clayon, and Anna
perform "Good Cop / Bad Cop"
 “Good Cop/ Bad Cop” followed. In this Bit, with Clayon as the perpetrator in the dastardly crime of killing Elmo, with a hair dryer, at Home Depot, Dylan and Anna were the cops who coerced our criminal to confess to the crime.
Vlad and Clayon in "Stunt Doubles"

The Bit Players wove the pet theme into the next bit “Stunt Doubles”.  With the suggestion of “walking the dog” as their physical action, our acting divas Jessica and Neal performed the heartwarming scene about adopting their first pet, Russel, from the Potter League.  But when things were too “strenuous” for their abilities, they called on their stunt doubles performed by Vlad and Clayon.  From picking up poop, and washing their dirty dog, to taking Russel on his first “show dog” walk, the audience loved every minute of this energy filled bit.
Neal, Jim, Dylan, and Kevin
perform "Irish Jig" 
A lucky Irish audience member, Caroline found a few minutes of fame in a highlight bit about her pet Sparky, in the bit “Irish Jig” entitled -  Sparky the Teacher performed by Neal, Kevin, Dylan, and Jim.
Vlad and Dylan as zombies in "Remake"
In the next bit, “Remake” , pairs players had to perform a scene from the audience suggested location, of Airport Baggage Claim.  With each consecutive retelling of the tale, the new pair had to perform the scene in the new genre also suggested by the audience.  As you will see, Kevin and Neal started off the mayhem, followed by Jessica and Clayon retelling the story in a Children’s genre. Finally, rounding out the bit were Dylan and Vlad, remaking the story in the genre of Zombies.  Click here to watch this zany bit. ->
Kevin (left), Neal & Jessica (top right)
and Dylan (bottom right) perform in "Telethon"
Life many times mimics fiction, as was the case in this next bit, “Telethon”.  In this bit, a fictitious cause is obtained from the audience. Tonight, in honor of their special guests, The Bit Players performed the bit to raise money for “The Potter League”.  Bringing musical awareness to the cause were the talent.  First up was Kevin performing in the genre of Disco, followed by 70’s Rock duet of Jessica and Neal.  Topping off the bit were Dylan and Clayon performing in the genre style of Jimmy Buffet/Frag Rock.

All of the Bit Players in "Blind Freeze"

The entire cast was called to the stage for Blind Freeze.  In this bit the players take turns freezing the action and the next player in line must immediately turn around and jump into the physical pose of one of the players, reshaping the action it into a new scene.
The Bit Players perform "The Blues"
In this next musical bit, the audience provided a suggestion on a topic for which the Bit Players creatde an improvised Blues-style song.  Tonight’s the Bit Players finished out the furry frenzied night with a “Blues Song” entitled The Broken Car Blues.
The Bit Players perform improv comedy every Friday and Saturday night at 8:00pm at the Firehouse Theatre, 4 Equality Park Place (off Broadway), Newport, RI 02840.  Please call the box office for reservations and information about all of the shows   401-849-FIRE (3473)  And it is always BYOB!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Saturday, April 6th (8:00 & 10:00 pm)

Due to sell-out crowds and because demand for more improv funny has dictated the need, the Bit Players have added a late night 10pm slot to their Saturday night performance schedule.  So those of you who have missed out in the past because the Saturday night 8:00pm show was full, you now have another option to see this award winning troupe in action!!!
Playing for Saturday’s 8:00pm crowd were Vlad Tenenbaum, Anna Smith, Clayon McFarlane, Jessica Bradley, Lobo Linhares, hosted by Frank Fusaro, and rounding out the cast with his musical skills, our long lost musician and sailor, Chuck Malone.
The Bit Players perform "Story, Story, Die!"
The Bit Players started the house rockin’ with their opening bit “Story, Story, Die”.  In the telling of the story, the Bit Players, under direction of Vlad ‘s fickle finger, must seamlessly continue the same story where the last player left off.  Should the story NOT be to Vlad’s liking, he can “kill off” whomever his cold Russian heart desires. Tonight, in a story about Kenny at the Laundromat with his sickle (familiar to Vlad’s terminology), we listened as Kenny navigated his way through Mother Russia (again, agreeable to Vlad) trying to get his sickled cleaned.  However, all of these references to Russia did not stop Vlad from killing off players.  Only Frank and Anna remained to end the tale of how Kenny finally made it out of Russia.
Frank, Clayon, and Anna in
"Good Cop / Bad Cop"
Another crowd pleasing bit, “Good Cop / Bad Cop” was up next in the rotation .  In this bit Frank and Anna provided the necessary clues to their perpetrator, Clayon.  By way of interrogation, Frank and Anna led Clayon down an absurd and winding path of references to get Clayon to confess to the crime provided by the audience, of killing Ellen Degeneres, with a thumb-drive, in an audience member’s bed.
Frank, Clayon, and Jessica in "That Sounds Like A Song"

With inspiration from an audience suggested problem of Car Trouble, Frank, Jessica, and Clayon had the audience in stitches in the bit “That Sounds Like A Song”.  Click here to watch this hilarious video.  ->
In the bit “Director”, aptly named, with Frank serving as the show’s director, Anna, Lobo, and Clayon were the actors in this new play “The Instigator” soon to be appearing on Broadway (or at least the Firehouse Theater- which IS JUST Off-Broadway).  The actors inspired by title of the play, acted out a scene.  After each take, Frank offered notes on the scene and changed things up. 
Lobo, Clayon, Frank, and Anna
in "Director"

From Anna acting as Dora the Explorer and Clayon and Lobo as Popes in a western style genre, to Clayon becoming more like Marilyn Monroe, Anna as Tom Brady, and Lobo impersonating John Cusack, the crowd was roaring.  Finally fed up, Frank fired ( alliteration unintentional ) all of the actors and hired janitor, Vlad, to play all of the roles performed as a silent film.  Vlad, being Vlad, amazed the crowd as usual, in his physical portrayal of the scene.
Frank, Vlad, Jessica, and Anna in "Bartender"
The first set ended with the Bit Player’s signature bit, “Bartender”.  Behind the bar, serving as musical counselors were Frank and Vlad.  Tonight’s patrons, Lobo, Anna/ Jessica, and Clayon came to the bar with their audience suggested problems, pronouncing them in song, seeking some musical advice from their barkeeps.  Lobo had his cell phone die, and complained about how this technological nightmare was causing him not to be able to buy drugs. Frank offered Lobo advice to go back to using a Nokia. Not only would his cell phone hold a charge for 800 hours, Lobo could also enjoy playing the game “Snake” on his new/old phone.  The audience was not kind in their problem suggestion for Anna and Jessica.  Having to play conjoined twins with eczema may have limited their mobility a bit but not their ability to make the audience giggle with glee at their predicament.  Vlad added assistance instructing Anna and Jessica to add a little lotion and get a cat who could use their bodies as his scratching post. Lastly, a Botswanian Clayon rounded out the bit with his issue of hunger.  Frank, added his two-cents worth of guidance.  Frank told Clayon that even if he and Vlad gave him some food it would only solve his problem for a short term.  For a more long-term solution, Frank advised Clayon to contact Angelina Joli.  (After all she’s helped his people in the past.)
Audience member, Wendy is "Serenaded" by The Bit Players
In the second set the Bit Players were on fire.   The audience loved every minute of the entertainment on the stage.  To get the audience even more involved in the fun, Wendy, celebrating her birthday, was called to the stage to be “Serenaded” by The Bit Players.  Although Wendy came to the Firehouse Theater with the Fusaro Clan taking up the back of the theater, Frank admitted that he did not know Wendy.  The Bit Players had a little fun with Wendy and their improvised song made for her in tribute to her birthday.
 “Ding” was up next in the rotation and Frank and Anna were once again at the mercy of Vlad.  In this scene-game Vlad could change any of the dialog simply by “buzzing in”.  The actor then , at that point,  had to come up with new dialog.  Vlad could continue to buzz until he accepted the new dialog with a “ding” and that dialog became the new reality within the scene.  Watch the crazy antics of Frank and Anna as a college professor and former student.  Clink the link here ->

The Bit Players perform "The Blues

As is their custom, the Bit Player’s ended their 8:00pm show with a Blues Song about an audience inspired topic.  Tonight’s suggestion:  “The Endless Winter Blues”
The audience for the 10pm show was a little lighter than the packed house at the 8:00pm performance.  But that certainly didn’t mean that they were any less lively.
On tap to play for Saturday’s 10:00pm crowd were Frank Fusaro, Anna Smith, Jessica Bradley, Patrick Dugan, Kevin Killavey, hosted by Vlad Tenenbaum, and once again tickling the ivories for the musical backdrop of the show, Chuck Malone.
Anna, Kevin, and Jessica sing "Doo Run"
Since I all too often write about “Story Story Die” and  “Good Cop / Bad Cop” (although both bits were stellar tonight as usual), I’ll skip down to the third bit of the set “Doo Run” which is often excluded (because it would seem silly to sing a capella when  the Bit Players have such amazing musicians backing them up).  However, tonight, the Bit Players decided to dust it off for old time’s sake and allow Kevin (who is a tremendously talented singer) Jessica and Anna to perform “Doo Run”, this oldie but goodie about Jay the Air Conditioning Technician
Jessica, Frank, Kevin, and Chuck in "Revolver"
All warmed up vocally, the Bits plowed full-steam ahead with “Revolver”…  Chuck even got into the act, (alongside Frank, Jessica, and Kevin), coming out from behind his keyboards and doing a little of his own improvising. 
Patrick wanted to join in the fray, accompanied by Frank and Kevin, in the next bit, “That Sounds Like A Song”.  As the name implies it is another musical bit.  In this musical scene inspired by the audience’s suggestion “Super Bowl Party” each of our actors must break into song whenever they are prompted to by Vlad. 
Kevin, Pat, and Frank
in "That Sounds Like A Song"

Kevin started the musical escapades in his song, “My Mom Makes Good Nachos”, followed by Patrick’s ditty, “Someone We’ve Become Close To”, followed by Frank’s poignant song, “I Want To Marry Your Grandmother”. This is just too delicious to write about.  Click here to watch this trio belt their hearts out for your amusement. ->

This next bit, “Survivor” was by far one for the history books on funny.  In this scene about a Barn, watch this bizarre story and try to stay focused on the characters and all of their actions with the players that live to SURVIVE the carnage.  Click the link to view the video ->

Fittingly for the month of April the audience suggested as a topic, Income Tax, as the inspiration for the  Bit Player’s show ending piece,  “The Income Tax Blues”.
The Bit Players perform improv comedy every Friday and Saturday night at 8:00pm at the Firehouse Theatre, 4 Equality Park Place (off Broadway), Newport, RI 02840.  Please call the box office for reservations and information about all of the shows   401-849-FIRE (3473)  And it is always BYOB!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Friday, April 5th

 Dearest Bit Players Fans,
Spring has sprung at the Firehouse Theater.  The flowers are in bloom, kites are soaring overhead, and there are even bunnies on the Firehouse Theater’s “lawn”.  And with spring comes the promise of new beginnings.  And so, I too am beginning anew in writing this blog.
But before I begin regaling you in the latest Bit Player antics from this past Friday, I want to say that I am continually thankful to the Bit Players.  There are many things that bring pleasure to my life, but none more enjoyable than watching and being a small part of this amazing and award winning troupe of players.  Being a part of this Bit Player family has taught me how to appreciate life and to laugh with abandon.  If you’ve been to any of the Bit Players shows, I’m sure you’ll agree.
And now, on with the show…
Playing for your improv pleasure on Friday were Vlad Tenenbaum, Dylan Eberle, Neal Leaheey, Jim Foley, Patrick Dugan, hosted by Stephanie Conrad, and accompanied by our house band, musicians extraordinaire, Chase Ceglie and Devon Mello.
The Bit Players started the ball rolling with their opening bit “Story, Story, Die”.  In this continued story, about Timothy with his cup in yoga class, Vlad had control.  With a penchant for killing off players who didn’t amuse him, Vlad ‘s fickle finger left only Jim and Dylan remaining to complete this tale of Timothy’s love(lust) for Denise the yoga instructor.  We learn of Timothy’s drooling issue while staring longingly at Denise’s “Downward-dog” firmed ass.  Timothy offered Denise money to realize her dream to reshape the world by blanketing it in yoga mats (bought on without shipping), to get people off their lazy, obese asses  and perform yoga in the streets.
Dylan, Pat and Jim in "Good Cop / Bad Cop"
Another Bit Players signature bit, “Good Cop / Bad Cop” was up next in the set.  In this bit Dylan and Jim were the cops who had to provide the clues to their perpetrator, Patrick.  Through the art of interrogation, Jim and Dylan must lead Patrick to confess to the crime provided by the audience, of killing Donald Trump, with a fencing sword, at the zoo.

Shy Bachelorette, Courtney soon to be married to Donald (not THE Donald – see above) on April 20th was given a shout out.  The next bit, “Irish Drinking Song” entitled Courtney the Teacher was performed in honor of her upcoming nuptials to Donald.  The Bit Players wish the couple much love and happiness in their future lives together.

Vlad performs "Art Class"

Not many people know this, but Vlad who is an expert in all things physical, was trained in mime by late great Marcel Marceau.  Making use of his amazing skill-set, Vlad wowed the audience with his mime piece “Art Class” bringing ordinary objects, provided through audience suggestions, to life.

The Bit Players perform "Survivor"

The chaotically, funny bit “Survivor” was up next in the rotation. In this bit, the players act out a scene in a location supplied by the audience.  The audience also determined which players were to be voted off (like in the hit TV show) by clapping the loudest for the person to be eliminated.  In this version “At the Coffee Shop”, the players were purged one by one until only Dylan remained to perform all five of the characters created in the original scene (the Barista, the pretentious patron, the waiter, and the two wi-fi stealing freeloaders). Was Dylan up to the challenge?  Oh, yes… The audience thought so!  Watch the clip.  Click here ->
Jim, Stephanie and Dylan in "Bartender"
Ending the first set with the ever popular bit, “Bartender” Stephanie and Jim were tonight’s  musical mixologists providing counsel to their patrons who came to the bar pronouncing their audience suggested problems in song, seeking not only a beverage  from their barkeeps, but also some musical advice.  Neal having an issue with a sun  burn was encouraged by Jim to see the bright side of not being on a cruise ship, stuck in the middle of the ocean, and having to poop in a bag.  Pat imparted his quandary of being a school bus driver and out of gas on a school field trip.  Stephanie intoned her response, telling Pat to just let the school children thumb a ride.  With thirty 2nd graders on the side of the highway “thumbing”, someone is bound to pick them up, right? Closing out the bit, Dylan conveyed his problem of having a man for a wife.  Meeting his wife at the club, “The Hidden Banana” should have been a clue to Dylan of his wife’s true identity.  But Dylan decided that the pros outweighed the cons in this unorthodox relationship as his wife’s desires were similar to his own, not wanting to talk about feelings, and staying up until 4:00am playing Halo…  But… still the problem remained that Dylan’s wife was a dude… who looked like a lady.  Jim’s rejoinder was supportive citing that 50 democrats and 2 republicans defended such a relationship, as well as the Supreme Court’s pending decision that it makes no difference in the dark.
Neal and Jim in "Remake"
In the second set the Bit Players dusted off an oldie but a goodie with “Remake”.  In this bit two of the players perform a scene.  A remake of the scene is performed by two subsequent players told in a different genre.  The scene is performed in a third remake, again, in a different genre.  Pat and Stephanie carried out the first telling of the scene about welders.  Jim and Neal remade it in the style of horror.  Rounding out the bit, Vlad and Dylan performed it as a burlesque version to the delight of the crowd.
Dylan, Pat and Jim perform "Love Song"
Next up was “Love Song”.  In this musical bit, Jim, Pat and Dylan created an improvised love song in tribute to a famous person that was suggested by the audience.  Tonight, our trio professed their love of Martha Stuart, entertaining the crowd with musical pop culture references and factoids about Ms. Stuart’s celebrated life.
One of my personal favorite bits “Radio Show” was up next in the set list.  This bi,  in the style of an old time radio play like The Shadow or The Lone Ranger, from the golden age of radio, Dylan provided the narration.  The theater was plunged into darkness, and the audience had only their audio faculties by which to be entertained in a Bit Player’s original radio show, The Last Munchkin.  Billy, the Munchkin must battle not only the zombies, but must also deal with Jerry, the leader of the mole people and his minions.  Initially, Billy is accepted by the mole people as their prophet, until Demetri, the evil mole person concocted a plan to defeat the mutant zombies on the surface by sacrificing Billy.  The plan, to feed poison to the Billy, and then give Billy up to the zombies who would lick him, and thus, come to their zombie demise was accepted by the entire mole population.  Oh, NO!!!  Would Billy survive this evil plot of Demetri’s?  Find out next time...  On the next installment of… The Last Munchkin!
The Bit Players "Serenade" Maureen
Maureen, celebrating her 38th birthday with her friends was called to the stage by the Bit Players (and her cousin, Patrick) to acknowledge her special day with a “Serenade” .
As Friday night’s show came to an end, from the audience suggestion of Carnival the Bit Players sang their final bit entitled,  “The Carnival Blues”. 

MARK YOUR CALENDARS!!!!  (Wednesday, April 10th)
Giggles & Wiggles:  An evening of comedy improv with The Bit Players benefitting the Potter League for Animals
The Bit Plays, RI’s most award-winning comedy troupe, will be performing a benefit show for the Potter League for Animals that will provide plenty of hilarious improv comedy and help out our furry friends.
 The Bit Players, named “Comedy Troupe of the Year” by Motif Magazine and “Best Comedy Night” by The Providence Phoenix, perform to sellout crowds all year long. On Wednesday, April 10th, they will be hosting a special, one-night-only performance at 7:00PM to benefit the Potter League for Animals, a local animal shelter.  Additionally, a “Meet & Greet” with the Potter League’s Staff and shelter animals (if available) from 6:00 – 6:45pm is scheduled prior to the performance.  The Potter League’s staff will be on hand to provide information about the shelter and training programs that they offer.  You may get to meet a few of their shelter pets available for adoption! 
The Bit Players performance and “Meet & Greet” with Potter League staff will be held at the Firehouse Theater, home of The Bit Players. Tickets for the performance are $15 each.  Seventy percent of the proceeds of the show will be given directly to the Potter League for Animals to support their services and programs.  The Firehouse is a BYOB establishment. Guests are welcome to bring their own beverages, or The Firehouse Theater also offers soft drinks, water, tea, and hot chocolate included with the price of admission.
The Bit Players perform improv comedy every Friday and Saturday night at 8:00pm at the Firehouse Theatre, 4 Equality Park Place (off Broadway), Newport, RI 02840.  Please call the box office for reservations and information about all of the shows   401-849-FIRE (3473)  And it is always BYOB!

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Friday, January 25th and Saturday, January 26th

 Dearest Bit Players Fans,
 You have all reaped the benefits of seeing some hilarious improv comedy performed for you each and every weekend to sold out crowds.  Now we are asking you, our fans to return the favor.  Yes, you can help us by telling RI and the world that Newport, RI is the epicenter of funny and deserving of the nod for “Best Comedy Night” by casting YOUR VOTE!    Please go to and write “The Bit Players” in for Best COMEDY NIGHT.  The Providence Phoenix will then tally the write-ins for the “Best of” nominations and will enter the top vote getters onto a formal ballot.  So help us get on the ballot!  Once we’re on the ballot, you’ll be able to vote for us against all of the other Comedy Night groups.  Show us how much you LOVE US.  VOTE NOW.  VOTE OFTEN!!!
While priding themselves on being a family friendly improv troupe, this weekend the Bit Players deviated from their respectability pledge, scoring high on the wicked meter.  Although the show is driven by the audience suggestions, the Bit Players went willingly aboard the naughty train and never looked back.
And so my dear reader, if you are easily offended, stop reading, or if you are of a tender age you might need your parents’ permission to read further…  Oh, fuck it!  Yeah, right!  Like me giving you any disclaimer is going to prevent you from reading what you already can see on primetime TV.. 
So on with the shows:
Performing for your improv pleasure on Friday night were Vlad Tenenbaum, Frank Fusaro, Jim Foley, Neal Leaheey, Tim Bric, and Jessica Bradley, and joining them with their musical stylings were Chase Ceglie and Devon Mello.
Frank, Tim, and Jim in "Good Cop / Bad Cop"
In the bit “Good Cop/ Bad Cop” Tim found himself in the hot seat as the perpetrator of the crime, supplied by the audience, of killing Edgar Allen Poe, with a Magic Eight-ball in Margheritaville.  It was our cops’, Frank and Jim, whose job it was to get Tim to confess to this most dastardly of deeds by providing little hints along the way.  With this trio of pop-culture aficionados on the stage, it was hard to keep up with the rapid fire stream of references.
Neal, Jessica, Frak, and Jim in "Irish Drinking Song"
“Irish Drinking Song” was up next on the set list.  Played by Jim, Neal, Frank and Jessica, this musical limerick about Sarah the Elementary school teacher found Sarah writing a Blog about her teaching abilities.  But somehow the lure of more money on the internet brought Sarah to the tawdry exploits of sitting in front of a camera wearing only fishnet stockings.  (Hey, it’s someone’s fantasy… )
Jim, Tim, Frank and Jessica perform "Director"
“Director” was up next with Frank as the director, and Jim, Jessica, and Tim supplying the acting talent.  In this scene, when the director didn’t like what he is seeing, he tried to guide his little group of thespians toward a scene worthy of opening on stage. In the play entitled “Rocking Dinosaurs”, Frank subjected Jessica to being more like Kim Kardashian, and even David Hasslehoff, while Tim was forced into Ray Lewis and Samuel L Jackson personas.  Jim was lucky(?) enough to draw Mani T’eo and John Stamos, and then was given the trifecta of finishing the entire scene by himself as Cookie Monster, Keanu Reeves, and Nicholas Cage.
Jim and Jessica in "Shakespeare Alphabet"
Neal, Jessica, and Jim took on “Shakespeare Alphabet”.  In this old world tale, the audience provided the suggestion of shoemaker.  Neal, wanting only to please his Lady Jessica, provided her with the most beautiful of footwear.  But Lady Jessica harbored a bit of diva, and wanted not only to attract to her love, Sir Galahad, with her dainty slippers, she wanted her knight in shining armor to literally and proverbially to kiss her feet.
Jim and Tim in "That Sounds Lie A Song"
In the second set, Jim, Tim, and Neal were cast for “That Sounds Like A Song”. In this musically inspired scene about Camp Counselors Neal and Jim are wary to allow Tim to be on their kickball team.  The twist in this game was that the host, Vlad, at any time, could freeze the scene, and direct the actors to continue their dialog in song.  In Neal’s ballad of “He Can’t Be Too Bad” Neal admits his reservations to letting a loser like Tim be on the team.  Tim’s rap, “Give Me A Strike” countered Neal, showing that Tim might just be that diamond in the rough.  Counselor Jim confirmed Tim’s spot on the kickball team in his pop song “I Know That You Can Do This”…  (and people wonder why camp counselors are creepy?)
Jessica and The Bit Players "Serenade" Lauren
Scouring the audience for celebrants, the Bit Players found financial analyst/program manager, Lauren, celebrating her ½ birthday with her boyfriend, Sean and her Big Ole Badass Cat Wrestler, brother Brian.  Lauren was called to the stage and was “Serenaded” by the Bit Players for her very un-birthday.
Saturday’s shows, by contrast, were fast and furious, with a whole boatload of inappropriateness.  Frank took over the hosting duties, and he and Vlad were joined by Dylan Eberle, Matt Lindman, Stephanie Conrad, and Lobo Linhares.
The Bit Players perform "Story, Story, Die!"
Starting the 8:00pm show off with a bang (screw, pork, thrust or any other euphemism for sex), the Bit Players performed “Story, Story Die!”  In this bit, the players told a continued story, each adding on where the other left off.  Vlad who directed the bit could “kill off” any player who he didn’t like.  Amazingly, in the telling of this story about “Beverly and her adventures in Las Vegas”, no Bits were harmed.  And Beverly, the heroine of the story, triumphantly exclaims to the villainess, Stephanie, “I got you now, bitch!”
In Saturday’s rendition of “Irish Drinking Song” about Lizzy the Vampire Slayer, Frank Dylan, Matt, and Lobo concocted a wild story.  In the musical story, Lizzy eventually concedes and asks the Wolf for help to defeat the vampires.  The wolf makes the pact, but only if Lizzy agrees to do it with him, doggy style. (Yes, they went there!)
Vlad performs in "Good Morning"
Vlad attempted to bring calm to the stage with his mime piece, “Good Morning”.  In this bit Vlad takes suggestions of items commonly used during one’s morning routine. Vlad (accompanied by Frank’s sound effects) then takes the items and creates a world in which he not only interacts with the items, the items also interact with Vlad.
“Doo Wop” was added to the Saturday’s set list.  In this bit, the players sing about their love for an audience suggested item.   The first of the night’s birthday celebrants, John was asked what object that he wanted most for his birthday.  John, pretending to be a modest man, said that he wanted only peace and tranquility.  Well, News Flash, John!  Wake up and smell reality.  The Bit Players asked YOU for an OBJECT!  Finally, prying “New Car” from John’s limited knowledge of nouns in the English language, The Bit Players, with solos from Matt, Stephanie, Frank, and Dylan sang about a new car, that was eventually replaced with the Space Shuttle Endeavor.
Frank and Dylan in "Revolver"
“Revolver” was up next.  Directed by Vlad, the players, Frank, Dylan, Lobo, and Matt performed four separate scenes with each other, partnering in a square.  When Vlad got tired of the scene, he directed the players, rotating to the right or left.  Frank admittedly went to the land of inappropriateness with his play on the words; assiduous, deciduous, and conspicuous (Con-SPIC-U-ASS).  Yup, THAT really happened!
Stephanie, Frank, and Dylan in "Bartender"
In the second set of Saturday’s 8:00pm show, “Bartender” was on the docket.  Frank and Stephanie took the reins behind the bar, doling out musical advice to their patrons.  The patrons, Matt and Dylan were given problems, supplied by the audience, to which they shared with their bartenders in their own musical styling.  Matt given Nuclear Waste, intoned about having gone to Taco Bell and now has toxic waste coming out of his butt.  Stephanie provided some practical advice to just take some Immodium AD and his problem of pooping would be solved.  Dylan, well liked by the ladies in the back of the theater (more on them later), was given the problem of suffering from menopause.  From Dylan’s husky cougar voice ranting about opening a window because of his latest bout with hot flashes, to caressing his tender nipples and hitting on Frank, the audience could not stop laughing at Dylan’s antics.
Audience members, Stephanie and Jamie help
Frank and Dylan in "Tap the Audeince"
Another Birthday Girl, Stephanie, celebrating with her boyfriend Jamie, were called up to the stage to help out Dylan and Frank in “Tap the Audience”.  In this bit, when Dylan and Frank ran out of words to say, they tapped their audience member to fill in the blanks for them.  You might not want to travel by rail after witnessing this scene about train conductors.  Click here to watch the video ->
The Bit Players "Serenade" Ann for her 50th Birthday
This brings us to Ann, our 50 year old CAT scan technologist, proudly donning her bright pink “Birthday Bitch” sash, celebrating her day with The Bit Players.  Yes the cougar party in the rear of the theater were on the prowl, and their leader Ann was called to the stage to not only be “Serenaded” by the players, she was also given a very special birthday movie shown on the Firehouse Theater’s BIG screen, arranged in advance by Ann’s fellow cougarettes.  (The Energizer Bunny must have been busy for these ladies on Saturday night!)
The Bit Players perform "Jeopardy"
Since the evening antics were flying by at breakneck speed, The Bit Players added in an old favorite bit, “Jeopardy”.  In this bit, unlike in the hit game show of the same name,  the players are the contestants and the audience is the board.  On this night we got to delve into the dark seedy underbelly of our players psyches.  From Dylan’s response to Woman’s Suffrage as something he petitioned to end, to Stephanie’s admission of being arrested for potato battery.  But the proverbial cherry on the whipped topping of off-color jokes was Lobo’s response, in the form of a question, to Aspergers; “What goes great with Cock Fries”.  ( Come on, use that little brain of yours.  You’ll get it… (ASS-BURGERS)… Ahhhh, now the light bulb came on didn’t it?)
The Bit Players ended Saturday’s 8:00pm show with a “Blues Song” entitled The Kardashian Blues.  Vlad surprised everyone with his very appropriate rhyme with his being a comedian to their being Armenian.  And he says English is his second language…  (Not too shabby, Vladdy!)
So we move on to late night with The Bit Players.  The 10:00pm show.  Yes, The Players give their fans what they want.  The Bit Players stayed to perform to those who did not have the foresight to call early enough to get on the 8:00pm reservation list before it was sold out…  (Dumb Asses)
The third time is always a charm (maybe even as in lucky charms – for one audience member anyway) as the Bit Players once more performed “Irish Drinking Song”  In this version, Andrew, a novel writer for young adults was given a  special gift of seeing his life played out as a musical ditty by Stephanie, Frank, Dylan, and Matt.  It might not have been what Andrew expected with book burnings and other unsavory escapades, but Andrew may have been given the title of the sequel for his next book, or at least the image on the jacket cover; “A Dick Taking A Piss”…  (Really… I’m not making this shit up.  But The Bit Players did though.)

The Bit Players in "Musical Fairytale"

“Musical Fairytale” was on tap in the late night show.  In this fairytale about Little red Riding Hood, the Bits tell their version of what happened.  And yeah, this is not your grandmother’s fairytale… Oh NO!  In this version the wolf is actually Taylor Lautner who has resurrected his career, and Red Riding Hood is actually a middle-aged cougar who is chasing after the wolf.
Matt, Frank, and Stephanie in "That Sounds Like A Song"
“That Sounds Like A Song” was brought back in this encore show.  In this we see our actors, Matt, and Frank trying to raise a kid.  Matt musically laments that “Sometimes It Gets A Little Irritating” complaining about Frank’s lack of attention for the baby.  As Stephanie entered the scene as Clarissa the Nanny, Frank responded with his song,  “I’m Thinking About Banging Her”…  (Classy guy, ain’t he?)
The 10pm show ended with a “Hoe Down” about legalizing marijuana.  (What other trailer park notion would be more fitting, right?)

Special Announcment!!!

Valentine’s Day Special Package: Food & Funnies

The Bit Players, RI’s most award-winning comedy troupe, are partnering with local restaurants to create a “dinner & show” package for couples on Valentine’s Day that will fill bellies with delicious food and hearts with plenty of hilarious improv comedy.

 The Bit Players, named “Comedy Troupe of the Year” by Motif Magazine and “Best Comedy Night” by The Providence Phoenix, perform to sellout crowds all year long. This Valentine’s Day, Thursday, February 14 they will be hosting a special, one-night-only performance at 8:00PM. This performance will be held at the Firehouse Theater, home of The Bit Players. Tickets are $20 each but guests who wish to combine this show with dinner at one of the participating restaurants will get a special package rate on their tickets of $25 for two. The participating restaurants include Salvation Café and Yesterday’s, both located in close walking distance from the Firehouse Theater. At these well-known and highly regarded eating establishments guests will pay a flat rate and will order off of a special menu predetermined by the individual restaurants. The Firehouse also offers soft drinks, water, tea, and hot chocolate included with the price of admission and guests are always welcome to bring their own beverages as well.
The Bit Players perform improv comedy every Friday and Saturday night at 8:00pm at the Firehouse Theatre, 4 Equality Park Place (off Broadway), Newport, RI 02840.  Please call the box office for reservations and information about all of the shows   401-849-FIRE (3473)  And it is always BYOB!