Chicago Reader, May 9, 2003
Neutrino and FuzzyCo
by Nick Green
Pushing the envelope has yielded fantastic results for Neutrino, one of the longest-running Harold teams at New York's Upright Citizens Brigade. Its eight members have a reputation for pulling off stunts: they disrobed in the middle of one infamous performance. And tireless experimentation within the Harold form led them to their biggest epiphany last spring: videotaping a fully improvised 25-minute Harold performance on New York City streets, then editing and projecting it (with a three-minute delay) in a theater. This madcap fusion of nearly instantaneous filmmaking and anything-goes improv revels in the joys of spontaneous creation, and Neutrino's mastery of the form is simply awe inspiring. When Chicagoans Fuzzy Gerdes and Shaun Himmerick, masterminds of Chicago's improv troupe FuzzyCo, saw the show during a trip to the east coast, they fell head over heels and imported it to Chicago, where it played to packed houses at WNEP and ImprovOlympic for two months earlier this year. FuzzyCo's take on the Neutrino concept differs from its source slightly: since FuzzyCo has a cast of 11, the piece is longer and delves a little more deeply into any tensions that develop. As part of the Chicago Improv Festival, FuzzyCo opens a joint program at 7 PM with a reprise of their late-night hit, and Neutrino--in it's first-ever Chicago appearance--closes out the first show after a short intermission. At 9 PM, both troupes divide into seven crews to prowl Lakeview for a jam session, during which time Gerdes promises to create 21 short films based on an audience suggestion. There goes the neighborhood.
WNEP Theater, 3209 N. Halsted, 773-755-1693. Thursday, May 15, 7 and 9 PM. $15.