REVIEW: ComCo The Big Show

When my friends and I grabbed seats near the front of the Lydia Mendhelson theater we had arrived over 40 minutes early to ensure prime seats, and yet the first several rows were already packed with people.  Despite being held in a bigger venue than the past several shows I had been to, the seats started filling up quickly, and even with ten minutes left before the start of the show all I could hear was a dull roar as both the main floor and balcony were filled with noisy students excited for their pre-finals fix of improv comedy.

The show opened with a short video clip that prepped the audience for the show they were about to be treated to.  With a dramatic narration done ala morgan freeman, describing the club as if they were not merely a (very good) improv group, but instead a group of heroes destined for greatness, it sent ripples of chuckles through the audience.

Once the Comco members took to the stage the audience was cheering like mad, ready for the show to begin. They opened with a long-form game called “monologue.” Two cast members would  come up and give short monologues based off of a prompt given by the audience, and then the rest of the cast members would riff off those stories for a god 10-15 minutes, jumping in and out as needed.  Some of the situations and stories were so absurd I couldn’t help but laugh, but the cast members did a wonderful job keeping each scene flowing and relating them back to the previous scenes for added laughter.

One of my favorite games of the night was when two cast members had to act as the arms for another two, either working in unison or sabotaging them, and reacting to whatever scene was taking place. The scene was two passengers in a turbulent air plane ride, one freaking out while the other tried to calm them down, to no avail.  Watching the cast members helplessly going along with whatever their “hands” decided to do was nothing short of hilarious.

I’d like to also emphasize how well the cast members bounced off each other as well as read the audience.  If a joke was ever falling flat they did a good job of picking it right back up or cutting the joke short.  Conversely, whenever a joke was doing particularly well they were able to really play it up, reacting in time to the audience and giving them whatever caused the largest cheers.  That being said my friends and I were constantly cheering  and laughing throughout the night, ensuring that my cheeks were red and sore by the time we were leaving the theater.

One of the most touching moments of the night was when the Comco players said their farewells to the graduating seniors, giving them large posters with every show they had done in Comco on the front, and touching personal notes on the back. Both the comco members on stage, and several audience members were holding back tears.

Finally, after that touching moment it was time to close the show just as they close every show, with the game “I like my men like I like my ______,” allowing audience members to fill in the blank to humorous responses. I especially like that they invite Comco alumni onto stage to complete that game with them.  My friends and I couldn’t stop talking about our favorite moments from the show the entire walk back, and despite this being their very first Comco show, they are raring to go back next year.  Check out Comco at their facebook page, here!

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