Improv Shmimprov
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Improv Shmimprov

Irvine, California, United States

Irvine, California, United States
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Music

The best kept secret in music

Press


"Best Alcohol Free Entertainment in Orange County"

"Those going to Improv Shmimprov on Friday and Saturday nights can...laugh their butt off.: - CBS Los Angeles


"Improv Masters Collide"

T.D. MOBLEY-MARTINEZ
THE GAZETTE
They call it the funny.

As in, "The funny will find you."

Or, "It's not just about the funny, it's about the teamwork."

Or, "The funny? It's always different with improv."

Tonight, the first Colorado Improv Fest kicks off three days of the very funny.

That's 15 troupes, zero scripts and audiences that will drive the course of the evening with suggestions culled from the stage.

You probably know what it's like - a moderator and five or six performers making up stuff on a dime. Think TV's "Whose Line Is It Anyway" or the work of improv demigod The Second City. Even shows like "Saturday Night Live," "The Office" and "Curb Your Enthusiasm" - which are staffed with writers schooled in improv - have foundations in the form.

Chalk it up to media exposure, generally cheap tickets or our collective hunger for watching unscripted failure and humiliation (reality TV, anyone?), improv is everywhere now. The Denver scene has been strong for nearly a decade, and until this year included the Denver Improv Festival. In the unflaggingly collaborative spirit of improv, organizers put it on hold so not to distract from the Colorado Springs festival.

In the Springs, four groups have cropped up since 2004.

"This town is growing with improv," says Kaleb Kohart, co-founder of The RiP, the Springs-based group that organized the festival. "We finally decided we're on the verge of breaking out, so why not do something to make it happen?

"Chicago didn't start as a big improv town," he goes on. "Chicago started with two guys. Why can't we be like that?"

More than 30 troupes responded to the RiP's invitation, considerably more than they were prepared to handle. So relying on résumés and videos, the five-person group narrowed the field to a more manageable 15.

The pH is flying out from Chicago. Improv Shmimprov is driving the 14 hours from the Los Angeles area. Troupes from Norman, Okla., and Long Beach, Calif., will be here, as well as those from Denver, Fort Collins and, of course, the Springs.

Although every troupe seems to see the form differently, there are some things they all agree on. The truisms of improv.

• The audience can make or break you.

Whether you're talking about short form (typically five- to eight-minute shotgun blasts, often based on games) or long form (20 minutes that are more like a play than a sitcom), improv always hinges on audience participation. Gleefully putting aside theater's traditional fourth wall, the players go to the audience for locations, characters and problems to solve onstage.

"We always say that the audience is the sixth member of the group," says Cindy Laudadio-Hill, co-founder of the Denver-based Dishwater Blondes. The five-woman cast specializes in long form. "Every audience brings its own energy, and we play into it."

• The audience isn't always that into you.

"The audience is like a dog," says Jamie Scheel, who, as co-founder of Improv Shmimprov, has played more than 300 shows . "It can smell fear."

Scheel, a rapid-fire joke machine, hurries on to his point.

"Some nights when you get a quiet audience, it's hard not to take it personally," he says.

"But after doing it for a while, you know when you're having a good show, and it makes sense.

"Sometimes the funny takes a back seat to teamwork."

• Improv is addictive.

Improv isn't really a career, but it can be a stepping stone to bigger things, such as acting or stand-up - if you're lucky. Most, though, simply do it for the love of it.
Laudadio-Hill laughs when asked whether she does it full time.

"I've probably made tens of dollars in improv," she says breezily.
Stick Horses in Pants' Toby Lorenc is a real estate agent.

"We all have full-time jobs," he says of the Springs group, which, at almost 5 years old, is the oldest in the city. "We can't do it as a full-time gig. But everyone in the group isn't in for the pay. Everyone in the group would - Colorado Springs Gazette


"Improv Shmimprov Fundraiser for Japan"

Improv Shmimprov is donating proceeds to support Architecture for Humanity's long-term building projects for the communities affected by the recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

Join Improv Shmimprov as the troupe shows its charitable side. Come ready for laughs and come ready to give! We will be auctioning off a few very cool things as well. There will be a silent auction before the show and live auction during.

We will be auctioning off:
-A Private Shmimprov show for you and your friends. (starting bid $150)
-A Season Pass to Improv Shmimprov (starting bid $50)
-a DATE with Nate and Enrique!!! (Starting bid $40ish) (auctioned separately, unless you want to take them both out!)
-A Pair of Paul Frank Sunglasses (starting bid $40)
Plus Much MORE!

This is a night you do not want to miss! - Architecture for Humanity


"Improv Shmimprov Brings Hilarity to "A Night of Hope""

Someone once said that laughter is the best medicine. If that’s true, then Improv Shmimprov is where I will go for all my ailments. Improv Shmimprov owned the stage on Friday at Concordia's “A Night of Hope.” They were given about a half hour set. Although for many—including myself—it was not nearly enough time. They brought absolute hilarity to an otherwise serious night. It was immediately noticeable that they were the favorite act of the night. Their appearance drew applause from the crowd, and it only kept getting better for them after that.
The comedians played several games such as “Telephone,” “Show Me That,” and “Mannequin.” Some of these games included audience participation that made the crowd roar in laughter. Two students used the comedians—also called players—as mannequins and forced them into a variety of positions. Many of them were rather compromising.
When the players had the stage to themselves, they used every random situation as comedy gold. They mimicked everything from great pieces of Renaissance art to Ronald Reagan and quipped on the outsourcing of American jobs to China. The game that resulted in most of the laughter was a game that created Professor John Wilkes Concordia. According to the scene, Professor Concordia taught “Theo-logy” (as in Theo Huxtable from “The Cosby Show”) here at Concordia. Professor Concordia also helped found the school and shoot President Abraham Lincoln.
They used everything from mistakes to a dog named Coco to entertain the crowd. The players kept their humor clean and fun but still used an occasional innuendo. Whether it was building a fort or reading grandma’s postcard from China, they kept the crowd on its toes. Even when it seemed like they had nothing left, they were able to work the situation for everything it was worth.
This is the second time I have watched them perform, and I can say they were absolutely hilarious. It was good to see that two of the players were actually students here at Concordia.
According to their website, Improv Shmimprov’s history goes back to 1998. Students at the UCI formed an improv group called Live Nude People (with clothes on). This group is still active at UCI. After the founders of the group graduated, they went on to form Improv Shmimprov. The group has been performing for ten seasons now.
If you want to see them perform, they have shows Friday and Saturday nights at 11 p.m. at the Maverick Theater in Fullerton. Tickets are $5, although the hilarity is worth much more than that. - Concordia University


Discography

Venues Shmimprov has performed at:
The Brea Improv
The Maverick Theatre in Fullerton
Concordia University
Notre Dame de Namur University
Chapman University
Fullerton College
Claremont Graduate University
Colorado Springs Improv Festival
The OC Improv Cup
Martini Blues Supper Club
La Habra HIgh School
Weddings, Birthdays, Special Events (numerous)

Fullerton

Photos

Bio

Improv Shmimprov began in 2002, a result of University of California, Irvine members of "Live Nude People (with clothes on)" improv members looking to continue their comedy success in the real world.
They met the Maverick Theatre in Orange, and took up residency as their late-night entertainment and immediately struck a chord with college audiences , Since then they have become the only professional improv group in all of Orange County, playing college, cruise ships and corporate and special events.
What propels Shmimprov apart from other improv groups is their original brand of comedy that's wild, intelligent and unafraid! And the content of every show is fueled with the audience's suggestions and keeps audiences coming back night after night to see Shmimprov's unmistakable brand of improvised comedy.