Know/OTRimprov“™s Naughty List Nice Enough to Check Twice

Review by Liz Eichler of The Naughty List: Know Theatre/OTRimprov

The Naughty List is a jolly, live, unpredictable, interactive holiday experience your friends and family will thoroughly enjoy, as long as your friends and family are over 18, not easily offended and enjoy humor. My family sure does! Monday night“™s performance was a blast, especially for my husband and 19 year old sons who had a great time offering suggestions to the performers, laughing when someone else made the same suggestion, and laughing harder when it worked.

This is the fifth season the show is being produced by Know Theatre and OTRimprov, at Arnold“™s Bar and Grille, Monday through Wednesdays December 12-26. Seating and dinner service is between 6-7 pm, with the show beginning at 7:30. (We recommend the excellent chicken and waffles and applaud the attentive wait staff, as well.)

There is a cast of 5, out of a potential group of 7 OTRi regulars: Dave Powell, Mike Hall, Sean P. Mette, Alanna Turner-Palmer,Erin Ward, Charlie Roetting and Jordan Trovillion. Each performer is witty and clever, with a wide range of pop culture references available in their sack of comic goodies. The first half of the show Monday night was short form, full of familiar improv games with a holiday twist and great audience suggestions. The second half was long form, a retelling of a Holiday Classic film. In our case “œDiehard“ was suggested by the audience and the group flew away with it, like the down of a thistle, creating an improvised mashup with the “œepic adventure“ genre. (My son explained, there are two kinds of people, those who think “œDiehard“ is a Christmas movie, and those that are wrong.)

The performance didn“™t go far past a PG13 rating on the night we went, so it wasn“™t too naughty. Instead of offensive language and themes, they lean more toward Shakespeare (“œevery party needs a bard“). I was impressed with their command of language and creativity; each performer can turn a great phrase, evoke a huge laugh, and realize when a bit needs to move on. Every audience member had a chance to contribute to the improv, and it ended with us wanting more.

Live theatre and improv is a great holiday gift for audiences of every age. The Naughty List is an ideal family outing for parents of college age kids. The performance runs 90 minutes with an intermission, at Arnold“™s at 210 E. Eighth Street in Downtown Cincinnati. For tickets, contact Know Theatre at or 513-300-5669.

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