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ImproTheatre's Jane Austen Unscripted: Tonight & Tomorrow

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It's classic romantic comedy formula--Boy Meets Girl, Boy Falls for Girl, Boy Loses Girl, Boy Gets Girl--but it has its roots in the venerable tradition of BritLit icon Jane Austen, whose mere six novels continue to capture the modern imagination.

But imagine coming up with a full Austen-esque plot line, characters, witty repartee, and resolution in about 90 minutes? It's no easy feat, but for ImproTheatre's Unscripted Repertory performers (some pictured at right), it's simply what's on the bill tonight and tomorrow--the last two performances of a weekend run at the NoHo Actors Studio.

With improv, it's of course made of the moment, and while last night's hilarious performance is a thing of the past, it stands as a testament to the vast skills of the actors who fell deftly and quickly into roles on the spot. Working off an audience suggestion for a simple topic of conversation--in this case "flowers"--the troupe wove an elaborate melange of secret loves and sibling rivalries complete with Austenian touches such as mysterious letters arriving at the house, curious neighbors, dashing strangers, a parlor piano forte, and the ever-questionable suitability of suitors.