Fall of the House 

Action/Adventure Theatre at Theater! Theatre!

Action/Adventure Theatre's Fall of the House is a serialized show following a group of roommates and their friends. Each week lays out a new episode—a literal little slice of what it's like to be a twentysomething in this city, dating and fucking around and trying to negotiate a social landscape full of borderline personalities who drink too much. And because the cast and crew of Action/Adventure seem comprised of these very personalities, they handily mine the milieu for all the humor and emotional currency it's worth. If you've ever smoked out of a bong that has a name, slept with someone for exactly the wrong reasons, or graduated from a good college into a shitty service industry job, you'll appreciate this show. (I was immediately won over by the ceramic unicorn head sitting on the set's side table, having lived at various times with ceramic unicorn heads of my own.) It's gratifying to see your experience represented onstage, without having to sift through layers of history and metaphor to find something to relate to.

Of course, the thrill of self-recognition fades quickly, and wouldn't mean much if the execution wasn't solid. But given the freedom to improvise within a pre-plotted narrative structure, Action/Adventure's ensemble is consistently quick and surprisingly witty, bringing depth and complexity to familiar personality types (Patrick Alan Coleman as the affable but clueless Brian is particularly well drawn).

If you've missed previous shows, a recap at the beginning of each episode will quickly bring you up to speed: While I only saw the second episode, I think I can safely assume that each installment deals with some combination of sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll (the recorded soundtrack is courtesy of a familiar roster of local acts, including the Builders and the Butchers and the Crosswalks).

Episode 2 ended on something of a cliffhanger, but the individual episode had a pretty complete little narrative arc of its own. Unfortunately for those of you who have yet to discover this gem of a show, there are only two weekends left. Hopefully, though, we'll be seeing more from Action/Adventure in the future—Fall of the House is a cult classic in the making.

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