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Too much witty can be boring

Day 2 – April 27, 2006

I was in the process of waking up when Valerie came into the room with bright yellow flowers. "Happy Birthday!" Andy had called her earlier and asked her to get me flowers :)

Today my coughing attacks were much less, and I didn't get a splitting headache. Yay!

Jeremy made us breakfast and we were all lazing around until Val and I went off to the Atheneuaum theatre, where the CIF box office is. We finally got the info we needed, went to dinner at a Japanese restaurant. Then back to the Athenaeum for improv! I did some socializing and got to meet: Urban Improv (Canada) and Name Change Pending (Florida).


The Mainstage had 3 shows: Whirled News Tonight (Chicago, IL), The Williamson Playboys (Toronto, ON) and Bassprov (Chicago, IL) with MADtv alum Mo Collins.

Whirled News Tonight:
It was kinda odd watching this because Austin just started our own WNT. Format is exactly the same. It was probably one of the better shows I saw tonight. It's a "witty-style" of improv. Someone reads a news clipping that an audience member had earlier cut out and placed on a board, and scenes are improvised based on it. This is very in-your-head/intellectual/satire improv.

The Williamson Playboys:
2 dudes playing the ukelele and the tuba. Roy would probably love this group. Unfortunatly, the music was not improvised. It's always fun to see a musical style played by non-traditional instruments. In this case they did one rock song. That was the best moment for me, the rest of the show I found uninteresting because I had wanted to see improv.

Bassprov:
Basic premise is improvisers in a boat, fishing and talking. I've heard so much about Joe Bill and I really looked forward to the show. The guest Mo Collins is a lesbian, ...... ok. I just went online to check on that, and apparently she has a husband and a kid. I feel so betrayed. The whole show was mostly lesbian jokes, because Mo played a lesbian character. And yeah, some of it was funny. One of the characters was quite well played. But overall it was a raunchy, witty sort of improv.

I don't know. Today's shows disappoint me, I think because they were so... stand-up-py. I'm not big on stand-up, I guess I prefer characters, relationships, a progression of story, as opposed to just being witty and talking heads, and lesbian jokes... soulless improv. I came to Chicago wanting to be blown away by the improv. And so far, TJ and Dave came closest to doing that. I'm going to go watch non main-stage shows tomorrow, hopefully that means I'll come across some mind blowing stuff.

The best part of today's show were the hosts: Rebecca Drysdale and Jordan Peele. They did some sketch and improv. And one of the comments Rebecca made was: "Back when improv was first invented by Charna..." And also they did an improv scene which took suggestions via their cell phones.

I'm feeling really really appreciative of Austin's burgeoning improv scene. Here in Chicago, people seem to be far more competitive, they're doing comedy because they want to make it in comedy. As opposed to doing improv as a hobby. Lots of hero worshop too.

I didn't stay at the afterparty, and went back with Jeremy. We're lazing around after eatting junk food. Overall, it was a nice day.

And I've Jordon Peele's phone number.

Comments

ripresa
Apr. 28th, 2006 03:45 pm (UTC)
Mark Sutton and Joe Bill are giants in the improv world. I expected much more out of them.
antoniseb
Apr. 28th, 2006 03:55 pm (UTC)
I saw Mark Sutton as part of Sutton and Razowsky where he was doing some stuff with Dave Razowsky at Miami. It wasn't nearly as interesting as I'd hoped. I spoke to him later, and Mark is a great guy.
ripresa
Apr. 28th, 2006 04:18 pm (UTC)
they're performing at cif.
i think he's director of cif too and i think talking at the forum today.