Joshua Morgan is the Artistic Director of No Rules Theatre Company. Fittingly, he’s the host of The No Rules Show, a variety show in the mind of The Late Show, in which Morgan plays piano, drinks, offers monologues, drinks, interviews guests and, umm, drinks.
The audience is encouraged to drink along with Morgan, and it’s the sort of show that goes better with a glass (or two). Each show, of course, offers different guests. You can find the guest list here . The one I had the pleasure of attending featured WAMU’s Metro Connection Host Rebecca Sheir, environmental activist and actor Will Gartshore and playwright Jacqueline Lawton.
The show began with a hilarious imagined monologue from Morgan, as a young man who is finally standing up his father. “I’m growing up quite a bit,” he tells his father. “Like, two and a half inches in ten years!” He followed this with a song and some audience interaction (in which he asks trivia questions such as “what?”). Morgan alone is worth the price of the ticket, but his three guests bring even more fun to this already-exciting stage.
They came out, one at a time, and joined him on a leather couch next to Morgan’s desk.
Rebecca Sheir, an Alaska native, regaled the audience with a story of her worst interview. It involved a then-secretly-pregnant governor of Alaska who is a prominent figure and who wouldn’t (possibly couldn’t) answer questions without knowing them first. Unfortunately, Sheir wasn’t allowed to tell us this governor’s name.
Will Gartshore was next. By day, he’s a staff member of the World Wildlife Fund, but is probably best known to our readers as a musical theatre performer. He sang a few songs, leaning back on a barstool. His voice was enough to bring tears to the eyes of more than a few audience members (not saying I was one of them, but I was definitely one of them). His interview, like Sheir’s, was funny and insightful (“Lobbying and acting aren’t that dissimilar.”)
The dynamic of switching from hilarious interview to serious, heartbreaking music, back to serious interview, is delightful in an odd way, like a chocolate-covered pretzel.
The No Rules Show
1 hour, 30 minutes, or thereabouts
4200 Campbell Avenue
Wednesdays thru Sundays
Details and Tickets
Finally, Morgan hosted a game in which the three guests had to pick a fake Fringe show. For the record, somewhere in the world is a play called Pink Milk.
He then closed with a wonderful rendition of “Over the Rainbow.”
If you’re a fan of the DC Theatre scene, I highly recommend catching an iteration of this show. It’s fun, funny, touching and insightful, all in about 90 minutes. And it’s the closest we’ll get to attending a late-night talk show.
Frankly, it’s a hell of a lot more fun.
The No Rules Show . Created by Joshua Morgan and Brian Sutow . Directed by Brian Sutow . Produced by No Rules Theatre Company.
Reviewed by Travis M. Andrews