Alec Volz, Brian Hinds, Chris Anger & Jennie Cochran in The Buddy Gilm Show.
Photo-Louisville Improvisors


The Buddy Gilm Show

The Louisville Improvisors

Review by Keith Waits

Entire contents are copyright © 2014 Keith Waits. All rights reserved.

There may be less improvisation in this Louisville Improvisors show, but there aren’t less laughs. A tribute (kind of) to the Golden Age of Radio, The Buddy Gilm Show features acerbic host Buddy Gilm (Chris Anger), milquetoast announcer Jerry Jenkins (Alec Volz), a discontented Stage Manager (Jennie Cochran) and an underappreciated background musician named Battle-Ax Adderall (Aaron Craker). A surprise guest from Buddy’s past, Daniel Loomis (Brian Hinds) kind of gums up the mix slightly, so he fits right in.

This group’s work is often concerned with exploring form, even if the intention is to break it down. Buddy Gilm is never as anarchic as some of their other work, but the rough-and-tumble mix of script and improvisation is a fresh presentation of their comic sensibilities. The radio broadcast protocols are nicely observed, although Buddy would likely be subject to a fine or two from the FCC…per broadcast.

Messrs, Anger, Volz, Cochran and Hinds have been working together long enough to easily work the gaps and connections, but I found special pleasure in Mr. Hinds’ small bits of business while in the background, some of them mere grunts and exclamations that amount to little more than audible exhalations of breath. He is also quite good when he is in the forefront reading commercial copy for products liken Romans and Sons Fresh Bread, but he has a gift for economy, pulling the most laughs when he is seemingly doing nothing.

Jennie Cochran and Aaron Craker, who are also a musical group called Frederick the Younger, perform two songs in the course of the show and, while it is not at all inconsistent with the format of radio variety show, they never quite fit in with the sardonic tone. The tunes proved haunting, and Ms. Cochran’s voice worth listening to, but there was a lack of integration between the two elements that diluted the impact of both. As this is largely an improve show, this balance may shift through the run of performances.

As with any improve show, it is subject to change from one performance to the next, although hopefully you will get to hear “Knock One Back For Jesus” at every show.


The Buddy Gilm Show

Part of the Slant Culture Theatre Festival

The Louisville Improvisors

Walden Theatre
1123 Payne Street
Louisville, KY 40204

Friday, November 14 – 10 pm
Sunday, November 16 – 7 pm
Friday, November 21 – 9 pm
Saturday, November 22 – 5 pm

Tickets $12


Keith[box_light]Keith Waits is a native of Louisville who works at the Louisville Visual Art Association during the days, including being one of the hosts of PUBLIC on ARTxFM, but spends most of his evenings indulging his taste for theatre, music and visual arts. His work has appeared in Pure Uncut Candy, TheatreLouisville, and Louisville Mojo. He is now Managing Editor for[/box_light]