Another Richmond improv weekend ahead…

…and for the first time in a while, there’ll be three troupes across three nights doing three very different sets… if you like comedy with variety, and you’re here in the Richmond area, this might just be of interest to you.

If you’re not in the Richmond area… feh, your loss. Smile

Richmond Comedy Coalition * “The Craiglist Show” * Thursday, Dec. 16 Thursday, Jan. 20 * 8 PM * Gallery 5

The RCC contains (a) a core group of very talented improvisers and (2) a willingness to experiment with the format of an improv show.  This week, they’re riffing off the hipsters on Craigslist (continuing a series of Web 2.0-based shows which has also included YouTube and Facebook shows) – they’ll put a randomly-selected Craiglist post up on the big screen at Gallery 5, and proceed to do a long-form set based on it.  Based on those past shows, hilarity should ensue.

Leading into the main event is a new two-person show, “Blue Cigar”.  I’ve seen both performers a lot over the last year or so, and have no doubt that Mandy Butler and Zach Arnold will get things started properly. Smile Update: snowed out in December, they’ll try again at their January show.

West End Comedy * Friday, Dec. 17 (all ages) & Saturday, Dec. 18 (mature audiences) * 7:30 PM * HATTheatre

West End Comedy premiered in November at the HATT as the Unnamed Comedy Troupe.  Well, they’ve selected a name, and are back for their December shows – a hybrid of stand-up and short-form improv.  The stand-up is provided by a rotating cast of comedians (WCVE DJ/arts reviewer John Porter does the honors on Friday, the always-funny TBA performs Saturday), while the improv is done by West End Comedy in a style that’s very visually reminiscent of a certain TV show that’s been in late-night reruns on ABC Family for years… Smile

WEC has expansion plans in mind – including improv jams after some shows starting in January (those are fun because you get people who never perform together on the same stage).  They also have a real website coming RealSoonNow™.

Paradox Comedy * “Jenni, A Tribute” * Saturday, Dec. 18 * 8 PM * Art6

Paradox Comedy is a troupe best defined as “whoever shows up” Smile.  OK, I kid (but not by much).  Let’s just say they’re the most fluid troupe anywhere.  They’ve been sidelined for a while due to a special exhibition at their home venue – Art6 felt that improv and sculpture didn’t mix (I have no idea why) – but they’re back Saturday to do a sendoff for one of my favorite Richmond improvisers, Jenni Goldsby.  Word is that Jenni will soon be one of my favorite Chicago improvisers – just as bears hibernate and salmon go upstream to spawn, improvisers eventually go to Chicago, it’s a primal urge – and the Paradox are building this show around her with short- and long-form improv.  So we can be fairly sure that she’ll be performing.  The rest of the cast?  Um… there’ll be some. Smile And they’ll be fun.

It’s pretty much the end of the 2010 “season” for improv in Richmond… unless the persistent rumors of a
phoenix-like revival of a national improv brand name in the West End are true… and it’s good to see they’re aiming to send 2010 off on a high note.

So if you’re in Richmond, come have some fun.  The biggest ticket price at any of these shows is $7.  It’s a good value.  Hope to see you at one (or more) of the shows.  If not… well, you’re a mean one, Mr. Grinch. Smile


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).

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