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Upright Citizens Brigade is making it up every night at Woolly Mammoth

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Shannon O’Neill, Monique Moses, Molly Thomas and Alex Dickson in Upright Citizen Brigade Theatre’s “Damned If You Do.” (Teresa Castracane)

How do improv comics unwind after a exhibit? The 4 girls of Upright Voters Bridge Theatre’s “Damned If You Do” already appear in­cred­ibly unfastened, talking to the Woolly Mammoth target market, getting to understand a number of the consumers, cracking chummy jokes as all of us loosen up and get acquainted.

However you know they want to relax when it’s finished as a result of this sort of improv is this sort of anxious high-wire act. And because the quartet rapidly invents skits in keeping with what they uncover about a couple of buyers, issues surely stall out every now and then.

That’s the entire a laugh of it, although, if you’ll abdomen the anxiousness and the dry patches. When the performers attach, the jokes don’t seem to be pulled off the can-you-believe-it information or constructed at the ba-dum-bum of polished standup. The laughs circle again to what those sharp-eyed comics — Alex Dickson, Monique Moses, Shannon O’Neill and Molly Thomas — have realized in entrance people about a few us. It’s bonding, and explosively cathartic.

Upright Voters Brigade is the Long island-based troupe began by means of Chicago-trained improv artists together with Amy Poehler, and although it’s carried out by means of 4 girls, that’s now not the purpose. (Dickson might be changed by means of Connor Ratliff July 19-29). “Damned If You Do” takes one target market member’s existence and plays it with two endings, however what in reality occurs isn’t as pointed or as coherent as that description makes it sound. They’re in reality winging it.

It begins because the performers vet a few volunteers, and there’s an impossible to resist anthropological attract in being attentive to folks speaking about their lives. Wednesday evening the forged sooner or later decided on a girl who works in a home violence safe haven by means of day and a homeless safe haven by means of evening. The discursive, unpredictable 20-minute interview that used to be then carried out by means of O’Neill with this younger girl used to be very similar to — and higher than — maximum famous person chats on the late-night TV-show desks.

That’s the uncooked subject matter. Making smart, expectantly uproarious skits of it on a naked level is the sport. Like in baseball: there are swings and misses, some scratching and ready, numerous hoping, a couple of foul balls and perhaps an error within the box. However then some of the comics lays down a bunt and steals 2d, and the following hits a triple and so they’re flying across the bases as the gang roars. It’s in reality that alive each time there’s a rally, and Wednesday’s match by no means sagged for lengthy.

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Monique Moses, Alex Dickson, Shannon O’Neill and Molly Thomas in “Damned If You Do.” (Teresa Castracane)

Working gags emerged about the whole lot from Britney Spears to easily clocking out and in of labor, and right through the interview with O’Neill the volunteer passed the forged the similar of a steak dinner when she growled one thing about how her darkish facet were given unleashed together with her more youthful sister. The forged got here again after intermission for some other spherical — the word turns out apt, since you’ll deliver to your beverages from Woolly’s bar. That quick set skewering media research (as a result of that’s what somebody within the balcony did for a dwelling) used to be profitable, even though O’Neill sooner or later stated what everybody used to be pondering: time to wrap it up.

That’s an artwork, too, and one thing they nailed within the first act — discovering an ideal finishing for a tale you’re telling at the fly.

Damned If You Do, by means of Upright Voters Brigade. About two hours. Thru July 29 at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Corporate. $20-$35. 202-393-3939 or woollymammoth.internet

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