Based on a theme determined by audience suggestion, SNP shoots, scores, edits, and projects an improvised movie before your very eyes. The insta-flick that resulted from a recent Saturday night performance was named Melancholy Man, and involved three separate vignettes that kinda merged at the end:
- The titular glum guy (cute regular player Eli Keltz), at first seemingly forgetful in his despondency, comes to have bigger issues when he finds himself plagued with visions of his dead sister (Jana Healy)! Problem is, no one else can see the spectre/hallucination — especially the innocent bystanders at the eerily deserted Pike Place Market.
- A geeky talent manager (funny Joel Dale) attempts a last-ditch dinner date at Genghis Khan with an eager woman he met earlier that day. The rather pathetic evening is interrupted by a pushy, desperate-for-work fire-eater who winds up taking the girl home with him.
- A jilted woman (Celene Ramadan) and her 'loyal' friend (always compelling Órla McGovern) carry around a photograph of Celine's cheating Swiss boyfriend and his new galpal (audience members Christian and Nancy, who'd provided a real snapshot of themselves for use in the show). Órla tells innocent bystanders at the Pike Pub that they're shooting an episode of a reality show called Cheaters and demands information on Christian's whereabouts.
I've said it before, and I've a feeling I'll say it again: this was my favorite SNP performance to date. It topped Sleep (from 2003's Fringe Fest run), Tide Me a Prince (from the February '04 show I attended), Googly Eyes (from last April), and even Skullcap (from October). Wow.
The consistently solid cast and the apprehension/anticipation of never knowing what you're gonna get are what make Neutrino such a joy to behold. I've been a fan for more than a year now, and SNP hasn't let me down yet; just being able to report that they still keep getting better is the sublimest of pleasures.