It takes a special kind of courage to get up on stage with no idea whatsoever what you’re going to do. Yet that is what ComCo members do, delivering an extraordinary and hilarious performance each time. Imagine practicing for a play, getting up on stage, and then realizing that you and everyone else in the show completely forgot their lines. Then imagine putting on an even better show than you were going to in the first place.
I know that when I go to a ComCo show, everyone in the group is going to walk up on stage, looking all excited and confused, and I’m going to have a mini heart attack every time I think one of them doesn’t know what to say. I know that I’m going to go through all five stages of grief as I watch someone struggle as an awkward silence descends over the crowd. I know I’m going to consider leaving because I can’t stand the anticipation anymore. But I also know that at the end of the night, I’m going to be roaring with so much laughter I feel like I can’t breathe. That’s the beauty of improv: its epic highs and lows.
According to their website, ComCo is the oldest improv troupe on the University of Michigan campus. I’ve been going to every one of their shows since freshman year (one time I went to the Midnight Book Club, another improv group, and then immediately after went to watch ComCo for two total performances), but I most look forward to a final show. Boasting a slighter fancier atmosphere in the Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre, the final show has a bigger turnout and a more high-stakes atmosphere. It’s the culmination of the hours of practice I know ComCo members have been putting in throughout the year.
Rather than getting right into it, they started the performance with a hilarious pre-shot video: improv has grievously been abolished in the United States, and ComCo members have been dispersed throughout the globe in hopes of starting a new life. But when one member remembers his tragic past, the hunt begins to track everyone down again. Together, members travel around the world – including a prison camp in Russia – to unite the troupe and put together the best show they ever have.
And that’s exactly what they did. ComCo never fails to fill silence with laughter, awkwardness with comfort. With five of their key members graduating this year, I’m incredibly excited to see what amazing new improvers are going to join the troupe next year. If you didn’t make it to The Best Show this year, be on the lookout for the first show of ComCo’s season next fall.