I have a soft spot for improv. I love that it is so positive. The main rule being; Yes and, then what happened? Anything is possible, except stagnation, boredom or no thank yous. It is a pleasure to witness fast minds, serious about silliness, creating new realities as the audience comes up with ideas to keep the story moving to new and unexpected places.
Ottawa is very lucky to have a thriving improv community. If you have never been, there is no better chance to see the range of what improv can be, than to check out Crush Improv’s 6th Anniversary Special Show December 6th.
I sat down for breakfast at Fil’s Diner with Al Connors, Crush cast member since its inception and National Director of the Canadian Improv Games. I was stunned by the variety of events Crush offers Ottawa. Friday’s show will be a sampling of the types of performances that Crush has put on over the years. The show will be headed by the core cast members, improv veterans all: AL Connors, Des Warmington, Tim Anderson, Brooke Cameron, Dan Lajoie and musical director Glen Gower, with the addition of several funny friends and former troupe members.
Since 2007 Ottawa has had plenty of opportunities to see Crush Improv perform and grow. Perhaps, you have seen them at their regular ‘competitive’ monthly bar gigs ‘Bout Time!, currently at the Heart and Crown (Byward). Maybe you have been lucky enough to see a theme performance at the Gladstone Theatre – several times a year Crush takes over a play’s set for a show that is not to be missed. (I’m a bit envious – doesn’t every theatre lover want to go behind the curtain to ‘play’ with the sets?). Or caught them at Centerpointe Theatre’s Capital Crush or at Spotlight On or at the Ottawa Fringe Festival… this is one hard working group of professional laugh makers!
According to Al, the audience can expect a bit of what they saw at each of these performances. A smorgasbord of comedy. The 6th Anniversary Special will be larger and better, a showcase of the cast’s range and talents. The energy of 10 players on stage, with lights and music offers more possibilities for bigger laughs and scenarios than a bar venue can offer.
Perhaps the most innovative part of the program will be when alumni Crush members in far off cities participate by submitting remotely the first half of a skit, and the current Crush members on stage have to complete the scene. They will be assuming the roles on the film, having viewed it for the first time live in front of the audience. We all know how much comics love to place their buddies in peril… I can’t wait for this bit.
Crush Improv’s 6th Anniversary Show takes place at Academic Hall, UOttawa campus (135 Seraphin-Marion Private). Tickets are $20.00 or for groups of 5+, $15.00 (advance sale only). Doors open at 7:30 and the show starts at 8pm. There is no bar but there will be plenty of fun!