Improv takes New American Theater stage in February

I was working at my desk when an unexpected visitor appeared, a face I recognized. It was Don Moore of Comedy Ink.

I’m always happy when people stop by for a visit. Many visitors have great ideas about the arts community, some are looking for information, and it really is something new each day.

Don Moore was coming to tell me about some upcoming improv shows. Hurray! Moore has written for the ever-popular Legal Follies, in past years.

“Who Poured Gravy Over My Ice Cream?” a night of sketch comedy and improv, will take the stage at New American Theater at 11 p.m., Feb. 10-11, 17-18 and 24-25. The program is produced and written in part by Moore and directed and co-produced by Josh Burton. The six-member cast, three men, three women, will perform approximately an hour’s worth of original sketches followed by an improv set based on suggestions from the audience.

This may sound very familiar to you comedy enthusiasts who have seen Second City in action. When the cast members call out for suggestions, you can be prepared: start thinking of locations that will fit on the stage, occupations, fairy tale titles that didn’t work. There’s nothing like your suggestion being brought to life in front of your friends. They’ll be very impressed.

Moore and I share a passion for the incredible way improv makes you feel, whether on stage or in the audience. It’s not as easy as they make it look on Who’s Line Is It Anyway?. It is an art form that takes incredible concentration, ability to think quickly and years of practice.

Moore says, “If 11 is normally too late for you, you have permission to take a nap before (not during) the show.”

Comedy Ink hopes these shows are enjoyed by many so future shows may be produced.

Anne E. O’Keefe is executive director of the Rockford Area Arts Council.

From the Jan. 25-31, 2006, issue

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