Ultimate Improv

I'm not going to pretend there hasn't been some Boom -- Ultimate tension this week. JD's letter, Dan's response --- honestly, I don't have an allegience in this feud; I believe both theaters and their respective directors have their strengths and weaknesses. I did some phenomenal shows at Boom. And I never stopped loving Ultimate while I was there. I vouched for every performer from that little Westwood space who dared audition for the prestigious Amsterdam revue, and I would continue to do so. I am proud of both companies, but I also have reservations with both theaters. That tension, however, is the spark that sometimes allows the fire of creativity to burn. That may not be the popular opinion these days. Many of the people who I respected at Ultimate no longer stand behind the theater. I've heard Matt say, "Ultimate changed when you left," and I know that Mike O.T. hasn't been at Ultimate for a very long time. Dan's letter speaks for itself, and Lauren didn't perform with the company for quite a while before she went off to Holland. Ultimate has seen better days, and greater loyalty.

Tonight, Ultimate returned.

The theater I remembered, and believed in, was alive and kicking at the ten o'clock show. It crawled out of a dusty slumber, and screamed, "This is why Boom casts from us!" It's not just the talent that U.I. magically attracts; it's the atmosphere of fearlessness that the theater engenders. After an incredible, daring workshop, we took a risk and performed Improvisation without boundaries or borders. We questioned every convention of the UI show format, and the way we tell stories. The show was alive and rich; it was the beginning of an Ultimate-style Pinata Full of Bees. I write this without irony, and without exaggeration. I wish that the Ultimate I used to know -- Matt, Dan, Will, Simon, Lauren, Scott, Ryan Murphy, Mike O.T. -- I wished we could have all shared in what happened this evening. I wish we could have all been there for that show, and been a part of it. As it is, if you're reading this, know that there is a soul left in the tiny space on Gayley avenue. Sometimes it hides for a while, or seems to be snuffed out entirely, but I assure you: if you look for it, it remains.

I want to say, "Thank you," to everyone who was a part of workshop today. And thank you to my fellow performers this evening. I'm proud of that theater, and I'm proud of us.