Off to Charlottesville I went…

… to find me some improv.

Ironically, 48 hours or so after I finally gave up on improv in Richmond (deleting all my related bookmarks, for example), I found myself on I-64 West heading for the Paramount Theatre in Charlottesville to see Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood‘s tour (in its 4th year!) return to Central Virginia.   This would be the third time I’ve seen them perform, and for some reason, the show was even funnier tonight.

To avoid spoiling the fun (and game order) for those who haven’t seen the show, and might want to the next time they come through the area, we’ll continue after the jump…

Colin and Brad did 5 “short-form” games (and a closing song) in just over 90 minutes.   There are people who’d tell you that a short-form game can’t go more than 3-4 minutes.  This show emphatically proved them wrong.

The rundown:

Moving Bodies: A “Whose Line?” staple, as well as for just about any improv troupe.  Somehow, the suggestions coalesced into Colin and Brad riding a roller-skating donkey, leading (almost inevitably) to Colin exclaiming “oh, I broke my ass”.  Hilarity ensued.

Jeopardy: This takes the “Comedy Warehouse” staple (which they, for “copyright reasons”, call Schmeppardy) and adds two twists —  two audience members are brought up as contestants… but THEY don’t speak.  They lip-synch to Colin or Brad’s answers.  To make it even more fun, the audience members DO have buzzers… so they can buzz in even if their assigned improviser doesn’t have the slightest idea what to say.  Hilarity ensues — for the audience, if not for the improviser. 🙂

Interrogation: The standard game where one improviser (Brad, tonight) leaves the room while the audience gives him a crime to “confess” to.  The audience, led by an inspired Colin, came up with the crime “while wearing chaps made from a panda, held up by suspenders, I painted all the stop signs in the town green and illegally immigrated from Canada, through the town of Yaknapatawpwa*, in an underwater basket-weaving emporium with a hygenic medicinal plug”. Even more fun was that Brad got it.  Painfully, at times, but he got it…

Sound Effects: Everyone’s favorite audience participation game, notable for one audience member screeching like a crow when Brad called for a “burp” sound effect.

The World’s Most Dangerous Improv Game: If you have never seen a Colin and Brad show, and you plan to, stop reading here.  If you have, then you know the drill.  100 live mousetraps are placed on the floor.  Brad and Colin take off their shoes and socks, and put on blindfolds.  They proceed to do an Alphabet Game (alternating lines, starting with sequential letters of the alphabet), singing all the lines operatically, while waking around the stage (or crawling on it) so that they are being attacked by mousetraps through the scene.  Of course, one of the players (Colin) “cheats” by the end, takes off the blindfold, and starts throwing mousetraps at the other one.

Closing Song: To the tune of “My Way”, Colin and Brad recap the show, in a song called “Right Here In Charlottesville**”.  Hilarity ensued… again.

If they come to your part of the world, it’s worth the trip.  You’ll laugh… so hard, you might cry.   I know I’ll go again if they swing through Central Virginia.

Well… I guess my next improv show will be in Orlando in October.  Something to look forward to, I guess…

*I have no idea what that is or how that’s spelled.
**Clearly, they insert the name of the town each night.  At least, one would hope so…


Author: Rob Hoffmann

Occasional blogger, slightly less occasional improv player/ref/tech, full-time computer techie, radio producer (basketball, mostly), generally nice person (if you ask me).

One thought on “Off to Charlottesville I went…”

  1. It sure was a great show! The mousetraps crack me up; the sharp little snapping sounds as they go off makes the whole thing all the funnier.

    I was the one who introduced the “hygienic medicinal plug” into the mix. I was sure Colin would ask, after the fact, what the hell it was, but I really didn’t know. I just know I found something on a sidewalk at Virginia Beach that could be nothing other than a hygienic medicinal plug from the looks of it. It was such a hoot that it was mentioned again in the “Dig to China” skit and the final song.

    We’d seen Colin and Brad in C’ville last year. Some of the springboards were the same but, of course, with audience participation it’s never the same. Gotta love these guys. What a super show!


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