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Sat., June 28 @ 8PM
Providence Improv Festival
Perishable Theater
95 Empire St.
Providence, RI


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Laughing Stock
Off Broadway Theatre
272 S. Main St.
SLC, UT


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See Jesse Perform:
Fri., June 20 @ 7:30PM
Fri., June 20 @ 10PM
Laughing Stock
Off Broadway Theatre
272 S. Main St.
SLC, UT

 



JoKyR and Jesster Press
Character Commitment
by Ryan Locante
co-editor of UtahImprov.com and organizer of Septemberprov 2003

It's not so easy writing a review about two people you know very well. I have performed with and learned so much from both of these gentlemen. And while it isn't easy to write about your friends, it is extremely easy to watch them have fun on stage and entertain an audience.

I watched JoKyR and Jesster at Utah's Septemberprov. The first thing that struck me was their form. There's something about semi-simultaneous one-sided dialogues that are really fun to watch. Have you ever read a book that had a captivating opening paragraph and it just kept you glued? Well, their form (called The Shellac, as I later found out) does just that. There were two people on opposite sides of the stage, and they filled the area between them with high energy and character commitment. Ok, they have a cool form, but you may be thinking, "How were the scenes?"

As he did in the opener, Jesse did a good job of remaining who he became in every scene. Joe, as usual, brought out some very strong and unique characters. The wheelchair scene was hilarious. I think the best move of the night was Joe hitting Jesse after the audience realized he was in a wheelchair. It seems like something that can be very insensitive, but Joe staying true to what he had already been doing, did not second guess his previous minute or so in the scene. His little song and dance of "I can walk! I can walk!" had me laughing very hard. There was another memorable scene with Jesse as a disappointed father and Joe as an apologetic son. The stage picture that they left with Jesse's "disappointing pointing" at a cowering Joe would have made a great poster.

To end their performance, Joe and Jesse went back to the formation of their opening one-sided dialogues. I thought, "Oh, how cool, they are going to pick up where they left off." But they did something I didn't expect: They each did the other side of the conversation from their opening (So Joe became the person Jesse was talking to, and vice versa). I think that showed great teamwork that they not only gave a great opening monologue, they each listened so well to the other's. The audience seemed to agree with me because they gave these two a great warm response at the blackout.

JoKyR and Jesster need to perform more regularly because these two not only will entertain you as part of a bigger show, but they'll leave you measuring every part of the show to them.

 

JoKyR and Jesster is coached by Micki Jo Rogan. All pictures except Joe Rogan's head shot and where noted courtesy of Heather Franck. Joe's head shot courtesy of Marc Reynolds.
JoKyR and Jesster is a Highly Irregular Production, centered in Salt Lake City, Utah..