Those are words of caution– or, perhaps, enticement?–from Ryan Barlow, host of People Of Interest, an improv show that puts a whole new spin ont he NPR-style interview. People Of Interest is a parody show in the spirit of the ‘2000 Year Old Man’, a sketch made famous by Mel Brooks and Carl Reiner in which Reiner asked Brooks, the ‘Oldest Man In The World’, the burning questions.
During the show, Barlow, a Philadelphia native, will welcome various ‘persons of interest’ onto the stage. Of course, none of his guests will have the slightest clue as to what kind of ‘person’ they are or what exactly it is that makes them so ‘interesting’. That is, not until Barlow, equipped with his notecards, fills us all in. To give an idea of what to expect: At a recent performance of People Of Interest, Barlow interviewed comedian Corin Wells, whose character turned out to be a child-doctor; one who graduated medschool at the ripe age of eight. What followed was Barlow’s hard-hitting interview, in which he asked the Doctor to expound on the ever-worsening epidemic of ageism against preteen doctors in today’s medical world.
Adding authenticity to the show are the visuals– prominently displayed on an overhead projector throughout every interview. This was put to particularly stimulating use in a show involving comedian Kate Banford. While Barlow interviewed Banford’s character, a ‘Sex Columnist Who Gives Horrible Advice’, the projector displayed a series of photos of couples in impossibly awkward sex positions. After each photo, Our Columnist was asked to offer her unmatched expertise.
This Wednesday’s People of Interest will include Joel Thomas of PHIT House Team Big Baby, Quinton Alexander from improv crime show Reasonable Doubt, Chris Calletta, formerly of PHIT House Team Hot Dish, and Rick Helpa of Indie Team Demoniküs Rex.
Why go? Barlow, our trusty host, sums it up best: “People Of Interest is the only quality, live, NPR interview parody show that also highlights the amazing comedic talents of Philly’s best and brightest. And if it really takes off, maybe I’ll get to meet Terry Gross.”
People of interest runs Wednesday, December 4th @ 8:30 pm at the Shubin Theater (407 Bainbridge Street). For tickets, visit www.PhillyImprovTheater.com