Mar 07

“Wheel of Austen” Puts Improv in the 18th Century

Photo credit: Mike Descoteaux

Presented by ImprovBoston
Directed by John Herman
Created by Michelle Boncek & John Herman

March 3-31, 2017
40 Prospect Street
Cambridge, MA 02139
ImprovBoston on Facebook

Review by Travis Manni

(Cambridge, MA) Improv is a weird thing to have to review. You often can’t comment on the set, because the world and props within it are imaginary. The entire show is based on a singular experience that will never be repeated, and that relies heavily on the chemistry of the actors on stage. But I’m happy to report that chemistry in one of ImprovBoston’s productions of Wheel of Austen was well within the performers’ wheelhouse. Continue reading

May 31

La Donna è divertente!

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Looking fierce.

La Donna Improvvisata
Presented by ImprovBoston
Starring, improvised by Lisa Flanagan
Musical accompaniment by Mike Descouteaux

May 29, 2016 @11pm
Improv Boston
Cambridge, MA
La Donna on Facebook

Review by Noelani Kamelamela

(Cambridge, MAMusical improv is a special permutation of improvisational comedy.   I think it appeals to people who both love comedy and have a lot of experience in listening to different genres of music.  I’ve certainly been subjected to short form musical improv in which the creation of mostly unrelated individual song-scenes  felt much longer than the allotted two minutes.  Stringing short song-scenes together into a long form musical improv set can be challenging even for mid-sized groups to tackle.  Musical abilities and frequently a pianist are required.  One supporting piece that can be useful is the addition of a premise.  In “La Donna Improvvisata,” Lisa Flanagan did a unique send-up of opera tropes entirely with the help of one accompanist on keyboard. Continue reading

Jan 25

Elementary at Best: “Bistany’s Mysteries”

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Presented by Improv Boston
Director: Matt Bistany

January 8 – 22, 2016
ImprovBoston
40 Prospect Street
Cambridge, MA
ImprovBoston on Facebook

Review by Danielle Rosvally

(Cambridge, MA) ImprovBoston does an admirable job of keeping the art of live improvisation well… alive.  I love the constantly rotating repertory onstage at IB, and I’ve almost never been disappointed with the offerings I’ve seen at this venue.  Perhaps best of all: IB makes certain that all levels of improvisers get a chance at the spotlight as they produce student showcases frequently mixed in with their professional troupes.  Nice work, IB.  Nice work. Continue reading

Jan 05

Flappable: TRUE DEFECTIVE

tdectivePresented by ImprovBoston
Directed by Luke Bruneaux
Featuring the talents of Kaitlin Buckley, Sumeet Sarin, Taylor Cotter, Rachel Jane Andelman, Ryan Dalley & Francesca Villa
Kristina Stapelfeld on electric guitar

January 2, 9, & 16, 2016
Saturdays at 11PM
Studio Theater
40 Prospect Street
Cambridge, MA 02139
IB on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Cambridge, MA) There is a cognitive dissonance that affects performers when converting material between an audience of peers to an audience of strangers. For whatever reason, the gags found most hilarious by one’s peers tend to fall flat on an audience of strangers. Fate’s determination of success and failure is one of the pitfalls of theatre. This truth is one of the harshest for newer performers to learn. Continue reading

Feb 20

Ignore what your Momma Told you: TALK TO STRANGERS

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Presented by Liars and Believers
In collaboration with the Boston Circus Guild
Directed by Jason Slavick
Music Direction by Chuck Lechien

One Night Only: February 19, 2015
The Oberon
2 Arrow Street, Cambridge MA
Liars and Believers on Facebook
Boston Circus Guild on Facebook

Review by Danielle Rosvally

(Cambridge, MA) Liars and Believers are well-versed in the art of collage. Bringing together dance, clowning techniques, poetry, music, mask-work, circus performance, and whatever you could call the live-improv style randomness that happens at Club Oberon, they have presented a beautiful ode to the pain of anonymity brought about by the modern technological era in their piece Talk to Strangers. Transient and fleeting, I could no more pin this piece down with words than replicate it. Continue reading

Jan 28

Commander, We Need an Adult: RED ALERT

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Presented by Improv Boston
Hosted by Dave Marino

Through January 30, 2015
Improv Boston
Cambridge, MA
Red Alert on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

Apologies to the Red Alert stage and ship crews. This review is late because of reasons and for that I am deeply sorry.

(Cambridge, MA) Improv Boston dishes up yet another nerd-licious treat with Red Alert. It follows in the footsteps of such notable shows as ‘My Dark Love: An Improvised Teen Gothic Romance,’ ‘Magic The Gathering: The Improv Show’ or the late, dearly beloved ‘Geek Week.’ It hits that trekkie sweet spot that other science fiction homages miss. It is hosted by Dave Marino who also guest stars as an alien lifeform and slurpy sound effect guy. Continue reading

Dec 27

The ImprovBoston Holiday Spectacular

IB spectacular

Photo credit: Scott Istvan; About half of the cast: they have a lot of joy to cram down your pie hole.

Presented by ImprovBoston
Improv director: John Serpico
Writers: Jamie Loftus, Dave Grinstead, Andy Hughes, Allen McRae, Ramy Abdelghani, Scott Kremer, Steve Sarro
Original score by Steve Sarro
The Cast: Ryan Burrill, Dave Grinstead, Ashley Voltz, Alex Tennant, Dennis Hurley, Shiyan Bee, Amanda Sousa, Andy Short,Matt Fear, Ian Dyer, Lydia Jane Graeff, Danny Balel

Nov. 28 – Dec. 27, 2014
40 Prospect St
Cambridge, MA
IB on Facebook
Holiday Spectacular on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

Trigger warning: Shock humor alluding to blood and feces, child abandonment, Regis Philbin

(Cambridge, MA) December is a magical time of year. It’s alive with childlike wonder, joy and deep-seated loathing for the holiday obligation to spend every waking moment with your family who all are either sick or getting over something in a tiny house and the promise of no social boundaries. Everyone needs an excuse to get out of the house to let off some steam, so why not head over to ImprovBoston to check out their Holiday Spectacular show this week to beat the desperation before it hits? While not exactly spectacular, it is very fun. Continue reading

Jun 16

Audience Interactive Hilarity: SHEAR MADNESS

Photo from Shear Madness website.

Presented by the Charles Playhouse
Written by Bruce Jordan and Marilyn Abrams
Based off a play Scherenschnitt. Written in 1963 by German writer and psychologist Paul Portner.

Ongoing performances, Tuesday – Sunday into perpetuity
Charles Playhouse Stage II
74 Warrenton Street
Boston, MA
Shear Madness on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston) Shear Madness is Boston. It has townie jokes, tourist jokes, madcap physical comedy, classic one-liners and a whole lotta sass. It has a New England edge and universal appeal. It is the best show that most natives have never seen and it lives right next to the Blue Man Group. It’s hilarious and, even if you’ve seen it in the last few years, you should go again. Continue reading

Mar 24

Quit Playing Around: “Magic: The Gathering: the Improv Show”

Magic: The Gathering: The (Improv) Show

Header borrowed from ImprovBoston website.

Presented by Improv Boston

Fridays February 28th – April 10th
ImprovBoston
Cambridge, MA
Magic: The Gathering: the Show on Facebook

Review by Danielle Rosvally

Edited to reflect an extension of the review that was not originally posted (but should have been). We blame Microsoft 2010. That jerk.

(Cambridge) Alright, I know you’ve got them; you know you’ve got them; it’s time to come clean.  Let’s face it: you’re not the only one who spent part of their awkward teenaged years hurling spells at your friends in knock-down drag-out duels on table-tops in cafeterias during free periods.  If Magic: The Gathering offers any hint of nostalgia for you (or even the slightest amount of shame; after all, some things are healthy to feel ashamed about), you should consider rolling by ImprovBoston some Friday night to catch Magic: The Gathering: The improv Show. Continue reading

Mar 11

Dead Nuns and Stubble: NUNSENSE A-MEN

The Little Sisters getting jiggy.

Presented by LynnArts After Hours
by Dan Goggin

Directed by Kevin Cirone
Choreographed by Nicole Spirito
Music directed by Mario Cruz,

LynnArts
Rantoul Black Box Theatre
25 Exchange Street
Lynn, MA 01901
March 7th – March 23rd, 2013
Lynn Arts After Hours Facebook Page

Review by Craig Idlebrook

(Lynn) Traditional nuns make such easy targets for comedy, dressed so imposingly and yet looking so much like penguins.  Dan Goggin, the creator of the Nunsense  series, makes comedic scriptwriting look easy when nuns get involved; his scripts read like a group of friends began to one-up each other over drinks to devise funny scenes about nuns.  If nuns are funny, the script seems to say, then nuns at a leper colony are funnier.  If leperous nuns are funny, then nuns getting high are even funnier.  And if nuns getting high don’t give you a case of the guffaws, then nothing beats a bunch of dead nuns in the freezer. Continue reading