Bit Players at the Firehouse Theater
Newport’s Firehouse Theater has been many things in its 124-year lifetime: a bus depot, a laundromat, and, obviously, a firehouse. Nowadays, it is the home of the Bit Players, the most award-winning comedy troupe in Rhode Island, and their weekly improv shows that have cracked up SoNew for twelve years running. You might come to Newport for the mansions, but you’ll stay for a smooth-jazz musical impression of the Patriots’ Bill Belichick deadpanning after a tough loss.
With a fast-paced improv style you might recognize from the television show Whose Line Is It Anyway, you’ll never catch the Bit Players doing the same bit twice - the audience truly guides the show, and is expected to shout out their directions when cued. Take a seat in the intimate, 75-person digs of the firehouse, and expect the unexpected - from pop quizzes to musical numbers, impressions to insult battles. If you’re in town for a birthday, anniversary, or other special event, you might just find yourself on the stage and part of the show.
The Bit Players light up the Firehouse Theater stage every Friday and Saturday night at 8PM. Shows generally last around ninety minutes, but if you’re lucky, you might find them doing an encore set after the final curtain. Tickets are $18, general admission, and are available on the Firehouse website and at the door - advance purchase is recommended, as the Players regularly sell out the theater. All shows are BYOB (and snacks!) with cups, ice, sodas, and all the trimmings provided with the price of admission. While content is usually PG-13, audience-guided improv can go some weird places, so use your best judgment if you bring the kids - and if you want to play it safe, you can check the website to find dates for Family-Friendly Funnies, the Bit Players’ all-ages show.