Auditorium B of Angell Hall certainly isn’t the most beautiful or noteworthy venue on campus, but the Impro-fessionals brought the room to life and quickly made me forget that I was sitting in a lecture space. Each improv comedian was lively and likable, and was able to keep the show moving and interesting for the entire hour.
The show was broken down into several games, all of which I found entertaining. They opened with a debate about a non-controversial topic: Coke vs. Pepsi. Upon hearing the topic choice, I was worried that it wouldn’t be interesting because I have heard many debates about the sodas before. However, the Impro-fessionals took the debate to new and funny places, and I soon found myself laughing along. As the game continued, I was impressed by the group’s ability to keep the scene moving; they quickly and frequently bounced witty comments off each other so that the dialogue never became stagnant.
Another game I enjoyed was “Party Quirks,” in which four comedians participated. The four characters in the scene were a party host and his three guests: a toothpick, an electrical engineering and computer science (EECS) major, and Britney Spears. The object of the game was for the party host to guess the identity of each guest through context clues. This game kept me laughing along; as you can imagine, a toothpick, an EECS major, and Britney Spears are an entertaining trio. As the EECS major bragged about his employability, Britney boasted about endorsing Bush after he invaded Iraq. When the actor quietly broke the fourth wall and clarified that this fact about Britney was true, I couldn’t help but laugh again. I was also impressed by the ability of the “guests” to maneuver the scene in a way which made it possible for the host to guess their identity, all without making the scene feel awkward, forced, or unnatural.
The humor throughout the show was not hit-or-miss. I found myself consistently smiling and quietly laughing along, or occasionally bursting into louder laughter I couldn’t contain. In my past experiences with improv comedy, I have sometimes felt that the comedians went too over the top with their accents and strayed too far from the original topic, so that the scene became difficult to follow. However, the Impro-fessionals did not seem to have these issues. Their accents were well used and not overdone. They didn’t stray too far from the original topic nor did they hug the subject so closely that they restricted themselves. This made for a show that was enjoyable and easy to watch.
If I were to make one criticism, it would be about the long-form game towards the end of the show. In this game, three of the characters were witches who were making a potion, which they then gave to their other sister to turn her into a crow. There was a noticeable moment where one fo the comedians struggled to decide which kind of potion they were making. However, I didn’t think that stalling was a consistent issue during the show, so it was easy to let this moment go and become wrapped up in the scene again.
Overall, I had a very enjoyable time watching the Impro-fessionals perform. It was a great way to destress and laugh for an hour, and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend their shows to others in the future.