Improv Audience Lacks Respect

The noisy presence of conspicuous brown bags, low attention spans and a distracted improv team contributed to a slightly disappointing Awkward Silence show last Friday. My expectations were high, based on previous shows. Last Friday, the noisy crowd and some disorganization left me yearning for a tear inducing laugh.

However, the show commenced with a game that incorporated serious themes, which is unusual for the team. Host Kate Elston explained that this serious game was only a warm up, but it seemed to take more than one act to warm up the confused, disassembled crew of improv members. I was disappointed that the audience did not share my enthusiasm for the show. The audience crowded into the room, but their disinterest was heard in their side conversations and untimely laughter. The black shirted improv team was able to capitalize on some of their energy by performing skits that relied on physical acting in the form of elaborate gestures, like the game in which three people have to act out an employee’s excuse for being late to work at the same time that the employee is deciphering the excuse and then telling his or her boss. The audience cracked up when the employee realized that he was late to work because Cher was singing and baking pies in his kitchen. Another favorite skit, The Dating Game, was popular and struck a chord with the rowdy audience. The three contestants were Maro Guevara, Juliann Fawsitt and Anthony (TJ) DiFrancesco. Maro was a large nosed marlin, Julianne was a smiley Rachael Ray and TJ imitated the extravagant Monopoly Man while Amber Dennis tried to correctly identify the contestants and find true love.

Performances by Maro Guevara, Isaac Samuelson, Pete Thoene and Sarah Hobin saved the show from being ruined by the noisy, inattentive audience. The final skit, “Sex is Like…,” best utilized the team’s improve skills. The audience picked Disneyland as a theme and the Awkward Silence actors had to come up with phrases to complete the sentence “Sex is like…” Pete Thoene had one of the funniest phrases with the line, “Sex is like Disneyland, it’s free on my birthday.” The next Awkward Silence show will be held in a different venue, which hopefully will improve the sound and ultimately restore the quality of the Awkward Silence experience.

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