Tuesday, November 29, 2011

No Script. No Playwright. Just Improv!!!

There is something about improv I just love. No script. No playwright. Just a group of performers - experimenting, creating, expressing.There is a variety of improv on the New York City stage. Let's check out some that I've seen recently:

Harold Night
At least once or twice each year, I head to Chelsea to take in Harold Night at the Upright Citizen's Brigade Theatre. For $5, you can watch improv way into the night. It is one of the best deals in town. The audience throws out a term and the troupe just runs with it and improvises a skit around the term. Sometimes, when the right troupe gets into the right rhythm, it is pure genius.

Naked in a Fishbowl
Naked in a Fishbowl is interesting. A group of six women improvise episodes around a particular theme which is then acted out live in the theater, filmed and edited and later posted online. Recently, I caught an episode -  The Quest for Zestra - at the Cherry Lane Theatre. Dr. Joy Browne was a guest performer in this zany episode featuring the eh-hem Zestra female arousal oil. Check out this clip on youtube.com

NTOW Impromptu Splendor
Impromptu Splendor is extremely clever. The Canadian troupe selects a playwright and asks the audience to shout out what comes to mind when you think of the playwright. They then develop a whole play in the style of the playwright drawing inspiration from the points raised by the audience. Recently NTOW Impomptu Spendor graced the New York City stage with its clever improvised plays at the Barrow Street Theater. The playwright on the evening I attended was Anton Chekhov and the improvised play was The Winter of Opportunity. Hilarious, clever, fresh. Check out a sample of their work on youtube.com

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