Sunday, December 19, 2010

A Charitable Review

    On Friday December 17th, the Durham Improv group held a "Night of Comedy" at the Dubliner Irish Pub & Restaurant with proceeds going to The Denise House (an emergency shelter for abused women and their children).

    The night began with the emcees (Christian Pritchard & Kasia Bodurka) taking the stage and getting the crowd warmed up, while working through some audio technical difficulties. They handled the minor blip like pros and brought on stage Kyle Lucey who preformed stand-up comedy. Kyle's confidence, animated delivery, and current themes (Facebook stalking, etc.) won the crowd over. The crowd was now good and ready for what some people (okay, me) are calling the highlight of the show: Sheri Prescott's grade 12 Improv class.

    The eight performers (Brandon Paris, Kash Reddick, Meghan Williamson, Sarah Clancy, James Keating, Alex Jackson, A.J. Fisico and Hunter Birch) took the stage, and their "stage presence" was enormous; they seemed to command people's attention. The group preformed classic Improv games (like the ones found on "Whose Line Is It Anyways?") including a few I had never seen before, which was a pleasant surprise. There were a lot of young, up-and-coming talent on the stage at that moment, and one can't help but wonder if we'll look back at this one day and say, "I knew them when...".

    As hard as it was to follow Sheri's class, Adam Wilkinson, Kendra Hughes, Kyle Lucey and Bryan Hudgin came on next to preform some sketch comedy. There was a sketch about "the Beast" from Beauty and The Beast being trained by the "Dog Whisper" as well as (arguably) the world's worst date. These were both well written and acted, but the initial audio problems continued and the pub seemed to be very loud with conversations, so only the first couple of tables were able to truly enjoy these pieces, which is a shame as they were very funny.

    Before a brief intermission, we highlighted what we were there for: The Denise House. The Denise House at this time of year is always at or near maximum capacity, and they need all the support they can get. I encourage you to visit The Denise House website and give in anyway you can for a very good cause.

    Finally the Durham Improv group took the stage. With the audio problems cleaned up and a now slightly drunker audience, Stephanie Herrera, Sheri Prescot, Nick Dipchand, Adam Wilkinson, Kyle Lucey, Arylnne Ruiter, Bryan Hudgin and I took the stage for some long-form Improv. The 20 minute set was one of the craziest, longest, bizarre, story-lines that I have ever had the privilege to be a part of, and we made it work. The audience loved it (granted, maybe not as much as the performers did) but it was a fitting end to successful night.

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