Timing is everything. Oh Hell Yeah, a new improv double bill
consisting of the iO teams Alterboyz and Wet Bus, clearly demonstrates this
truism. Alterboyz practices slow, patient improv while Wet Bus speeds
through its set with quick wit, rapid physicality shifts, and bold scene
initiations. Wet Bus masters the tempo while Alterboyz falls victim to it.
Alterboyz’s scenes are full of pregnant pauses, which read as trepidation
about the next line or where a scene is headed. There is much standing,
talking, and thinking. On the night I attended, the three improvisers
transported themselves to a small farm. They spoke about the weather until
one woman revealed she was on the hunt for a murderer, and the trio
eventually set off on a road trip to catch the killer. They never made it
to their destination, though they did hike into tangents-all the while
standing and talking, modifying their physicality only to sit. As the
single scene dragged, so did the comic timing.
Wet Bus traveled faster, its tight cast pouncing on recurring jokes and
characters with aplomb. In a scene taking place on a mountainside, two men
carried each other until one lost an arm. The lobby of a doctor’s office
transformed into a gathering place for recurring characters, including the
aforementioned armless men. When a cast member delivered a tossed-off line,
the rest of the crew was quick to point it out. When one of the dudes
mansplained what a period is, the females in the group immediately mocked
his naivete and then later demanded he continue his misguided explanation.
In less time, Wet Bus covered more ground than Alterboyz. Many limbs were
shed, but the murderer is still at large. v