Thursday, April 11, 2013; 11:04 PM – by BWW News Desk
Fans of Erik Larson’s Devil in the White City may have to wait a few more years for a screen adaptation of the hit novel, but Jet City Improv will bring Seattle audiences the next best thing this spring. Inspired by the story of H.H. Holmes, America’s first serial killer, World’s Fair takes audiences inside the mind and lair of a killer amidst a celebration of progress at the dawn of the 20th Century.
This unscripted crime thriller will follow the rise and fall of a serial killer as he operates in a crowd of dignitaries, celebrities, inventors and tourists visiting a world’s fair. Though inspired by the story of Holmes and the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893, World’s Fair will change nightly based on audience suggestions that will shape everything from the fair’s signature technology and symbolism to the killer’s background and modus operandi.
Jet City Improv has made its name in comedy, but World’s Fair will be following in the footsteps of some of the company’s previous productions (inspired by films like Alien and Sin City) that manage to include comedic elements within a darker story. "World’s Fair will show progress as a force for creation and destruction through the development of a villain so heinous it’s comedic," explains co-creator and performer Laura Turner. "It is malicious symbiosis: as the villain uses the fair to construct a trap for victims, those plans are ultimately brought down by the fair itself."
The cast features a variety of improvisers and actors: Britney Barber, Matt Caliri, Dave Clapper (JCI’s The Adventures of Gilbert & Sullivan!), Margaret Erickson (JCI’s Austen Translation), Michael Harris, Matthew Jackson, Eric Kostenbauder, Katy Nuttman, Jessica Robins, and Laura Turner (JCI’s Austen Translation). It is co-directed by Brandon Jepson (JCI’s Clues and Over and Through) and creator Randy Miller. The show features costume design by Laura Turner and Michelle Cooper, set design by Randy Miller, and technical direction by Anthony van Winkle.
The production runs Thursday and Friday nights from May 2 to June 21 with a special opening night gala on May 2 featuring a Q&A with the actors and creators. There are no performances on May 30 and 31. Tickets are $15 for general admission, $12 (with ID) for students, seniors, military personnel and TPS members. Additionally, tickets to the opening week performances on May 2 and 3 are half-price for any audience member wearing a mustache.
Jet City Improv is dedicated to enlightening, educating and entertaining audiences of all ages by producing theatrical events that explore theater through its improvisational roots. Their goal is to bring the art of improvisation into the mainstream thought of everyday culture. Jet City Improv performs six shows every weekend at their bright yellow theater in the University District of Seattle Washington. Over the course of any given month, these shows may include feature length shows (unscripted plays), their flagship Jet City Improv show, midnight shows, and their popular improvised re-dubbed film events known as Twisted Flicks. All Jet City Improv performances are produced by Wing-It Productions, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.