Those holding the notion that an ideal evening's entertainment involves disengaging the mind for a few hours will surely want to avoid Brain Game. The piece, which is the creation of burgeoning performance group Table Salt Productions, is the proud antithesis of passive theater, requiring mental acumen from all participants (including audience members). First produced in late 2010 as a benefit for Pakistani flood relief, the interactive game-show format proved popular enough to revisit with a string of weekly performances in 2011 and a special month-long team elimination series ominously titled the Death Match Challenge. Name notwithstanding, however, there have been no reported fatalities thus far, despite the powerful convulsions of laughter known to occur as the revolving panels of local humorists exchange spontaneous quips, daring one another (and intrepid audience volunteers) to match wits over an eclectic array of current (and frequently bizarre) topics. The show is hosted by actor/musician/comic maestro Dennis Curley, and the nonstop volley of improvisational riffing tends to lend each performance an edge of inspired unpredictability. In fact, the only truly predicable aspect of Brain Game is the certainty of producing enough manic energy and irreverent humor to keep even the most reluctant of minds buzzing with laughter.
Fridays, 6 p.m. Starts: Feb. 10. Continues through Feb. 17, 2012