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Survive This Again!


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Survive This Again!, Bailiwick Repertory. Here are two survival tips for the third edition of Rusty Hernandez's Survive This!, a late-night show inspired by reality television that begins its run with 12 actors, one of whom is voted off each night. First, no matter how late the show starts, don't read the program's short descriptions of the contestants. You'll only spoil the humor of the first act during which the performers introduce their characters, then launch into the audition pieces on which the audience partly judges them. Brian Sheridan, Thea Emily Nelson, Christopher John Grella, Kristen Freilich, Jeremy Lawson, and Mark Tuura sometimes push the comedy beyond the program's one-liners, but the entire cast would benefit if their characters' oddities were a surprise.

Second, consider taking the advice of boisterous host Jason Bowen and drink during the show. Sober audience members might still laugh but will probably envy the boozing crowd's hoots and hollers. And even though the second act is only 30 minutes, it feels too long: the actors are divided into two teams and compete by doing a cold reading of a scene from another Bailiwick show (savvy cross-promotion no doubt learned from NBC). Painfully slow and short on humor, this segment handily illustrates why audiences are seldom subjected to rehearsals. The last segment, improvisations based on TV sitcoms, might have worked if the shows selected weren't the frequently satirized Brady Bunch and Gilligan's Island.

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