It's not often that you're invited to go barefoot and sip daiquiris at the theatre. Then again, the Impetuous Theater Group isn't staging its evening of 10-minute plays in a traditional setting. Instead of a dark, enclosed space, the audience lounges in padded deck chairs beside a rooftop pool.
Of course, with poor acoustics and a large, wet playing space, the scenes are played broadly and, for the most part, go for easy laughs. In CL Weatherstone's Joe the Lifeguard, a woman (Christine Verleny) attempts to drown herself in the pool while the bored lifeguard (Tyler Hollinger) taunts her. The verbal interchange is humorous, but overall it plays out like a tired cruise-ship skit, lacking much in original banter. Two others, Forgiveness (by Janet Zarecor) and Jettison (by Brendan Bradley), have men behaving badly and dealing with their feelings and actions in inappropriate ways.
Despite its hackneyed premise — a woman finds a passionate new lover while on vacation with her fiancé — A Proverbial Affair (by Roi "Bubi" Escudero) survives its trite story thanks to the hilarious performances from its trio of actors: Jennifer Loryn, Andy Chmelko, and Eddy Rimada.
As it should be, the best is saved for last: Joe Mathers and Brian MacInnis Smallwood's Der Eisbar finally accepts the absurdity of staging a short play in a pool and inspires nonstop silliness. Shirtless and dressed in bathing suits, two American navy men paddle behind a model of a submarine as they purportedly patrol the Arctic. Two sexy women with heavy Russian accents follow them into the pool with their own (and much larger) submarine. They engage in ridiculous military speak and are eventually confronted by yet another duo, one with a German U-boat. It all turns into a big splash fest, like kids in a bathtub, and proves that a pool can be an excellent place to have a little light theatre entertainment.
The company will present Series B, consisting of five additional playlets, Aug. 1-12.
Presented by Impetuous Theater Group and Joe Cecala
at Holiday Inn-Midtown, Rooftop South Tower, 440 W. 57th St., NYC.
July 18-29. Wed.-Sun., 7 p.m.
(800) 838-3006 or www.brownpapertickets.com.