Good improv — the kind that has an almost seamless quality as it rolls from one scene to the next— is a long-haul proposition. It can take years for performers to really settle into a groove together. And then before you know it, one person after another scatters to the wilds of Los Angeles or elsewhere to pursue more lucrative work in TV and film.
That sweet spot in between — when an improv team is just seasoned enough to leverage its internal chemistry, but not restless enough to skip town just yet — is where Switch Committee currently resides. The five-man group, in their shirts and ties, has the right kind of playful but down-to-business approach.
They are the type to literally climb the rafters, for bits that included a riff on men’s gymnastics, a performer-as-human pinata and a treehouse mom got in the divorce: “Now it’s her bachelorette pad.”
Alan Linic (who, full disclosure, is an employee of Tribune Digital’s advertising staff) is especially strong when it comes to playing a specific sort of dumb (intent but dense) and there’s huge potential down the line for this sort of thing.
The standout is Ryan Nallen, who brings to mind a Michael J. Fox-like “what, me?” mock innocence. He was the one hanging from beams, which became obviously painful after a time. As one of his fellow cast members attempted to help him out, the others decided, nope, we’ll keep him suspended up there with every narrative contrivance we can think of. That’s pretty cruel, but also funny. And Nallen, good sport that he was, let you know it was OK to laugh. –
Nina Metz, The Chicago Tribune