Doppelgänger is a washed-up metal band that just can't seem to let go of their glory days. Comprised of lead singer Clive Neilsen (Lee Lewis) and guitarist Johnny Dregg (Jason Cooper), this atypical improv act resembles VH1's Storytellers, with the audience coming up with song titles from the band's "repertoire" for the pair to perform. They usually start by giving a little commentary on the song, and promptly dive into performing. Lewis' cleverly improvised lyrics mixed with Cooper's guitar licks are quite the impressive collaboration — so impressive that it's hard to believe that they're able to come up with it so quickly. Performing together since 2007, the duo has earned a loyal following of "Doppelheads." Lewis says that the show's structure is a big part of its success. "The central characters are the same every performance," he says. "[Our fans] learn to love the characters, their struggle, and their story."
The cat ladies out there may be saddened to hear that this is not a show about embracing kittens. However, the rest of us will be thrilled by the comedic magic these six local comedians create. The group constructs five to six scenes based on a word suggested by the audience. Group member Andy Livengood explains, "It's sort of like walking a tight rope without a net. It's all being made up on the spot so we never really know what's going to happen, or who's going to do what, or if it's going to work." Besides Livengood, the group includes Jason Groce, Tommy Hutchins, R.W. Smith, Anne Bowen, and Brian DeCosta.
Typically, the scenes start off mundane and evolve into something absurd. "Sometimes things get really weird," says Livengood. "We had one that started off with the guys acting like obsessive compulsive-hoarder-type people and putting everything into bags ... It ended with someone stealing orca whales from Sea World and putting them into bags ... But still everything was about bags."
Though a contradiction, the name Organized Chaos is a perfect way to describe what happens when this group of seven hits the stage. The show has an organized structure, yet the audience and the actors have no idea what kind of chaos will ensue. The show opens with four actors performing character monologues based on a single word while the other three listen from the sidelines. The actors then create scenes based on the themes presented in the monologues, aiming to tie them all together by the end.
Organized Chaos is one of the newest additions to the Charleston comedy scene — this will be their third official performance. The performers, however, are no strangers to comedy. All are graduates of Theatre 99's improv school, including Marshall Bowles, Andy Adkins, Heather Goode, Stacey Lathem, David Myer, Sarah Porter, and Craig Trow.
Wed. Jan. 16, 8 p.m. $5. Theatre 99