Thursday 15 April 2021
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First Look review: The Annoyance Theatre’s TNT (Tuesday Night Thing)

Random topics and quick-hitting improvisation from an ever-changing cast highlight this Tuesday-night gem

By Corey O’Day

Playing at: The Annoyance Theatre, 4830 N. Broadway. Tickets are $8. Visit or call (773) 561-4665 for more information.

When: On an open run Tuesdays at 9:30 p.m.

History: This improv show has been running for five years in various formats at The Annoyance. Formerly, there were three separate casts performing different shows, but they consolidated to bring us the best of the best once each week. This particular cast has been in place since January 2013.

Storyline: Whatever your heart desires — if you’re fast enough to shout it out. The performances I watched started with “broccoli” and “The Color Purple.”

What to expect: TNT is a show in two acts. Every night, the 14 cast members are shuffled like playing cards and divided into two teams, each responsible for one act of the evening’s show. This means you could see the show every week for a year and there will be a fresh new team and topic to entertain you. Cast member T.J. Jagodowski mentioned that each evening they also choose one particular stylistic element to focus on (i.e. volume, use of space, etc.).

An energetic and ever-changing cast combined with the availability of drinks that are both well-priced and well-poured insures your soft giggles will turn to snorts and gasps in no time.

What stood out: The versatility of many of the cast members, Jagodowski in particular. He bounced from angst-ridden teenager to simple, sputtering gardener in a blink and did so with incredible authenticity.  

There were countless moments that had the audience in stitches. One of my favorites: The cast found themselves as part of a Native American tribe, and when one of their male team members struggled to sit cross-legged — to the great delight of the audience — a teammate offered with wisdom and encouragement, “Ah, yes. It is hard sitting in our style.”  

Final thoughts: TNT should definitely be on your roster of regular city events. The slightly dilapidated black box theater has a charming, come-as-you-are vibe that encourages audience members to let loose their inner guffaw. And the whiskey doesn’t hurt either.