Denver's Next Improv Star comes to a close with haggis tacos and matzoh blues

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"In the end," Charlie Chaplin said once, "everything is a gag." Denver's Next Improv Star's culminating performance proved him right -- predictably, perhaps, considering it was a comedy series, but with a vigor so overwhelming and an artillery of jokes so unbearably funny that, by comparison, the rest of the show seemed a little like an elevator ride. "Gag" is not a strong enough word.

This week's guest judge was Eric Mather, a comedian and a graduate of Bovine Metropolis' first improv class. In the interest of paying homage to improvisation at its simplest and most manic -- short form, the variety performers learn first -- he asked the four remaining contestants to act in a series of very brief scenes. This meant an artillery of quick, bizarre character exchanges: a narrative, for instance, which developed word by single word (it began with the prompt 'seductive Madonna' and ended with a lingerie shoplifting scandal), and a dating-game style exchange (a psychic bachelaurette interviewed a technical support representative, a construction worker and a band director), and several riveting tales about incompetence and failure (most notably, a sculptor whose medium of choice was butter and a Mexican/Irish restaurant called Jose O'Shay's that specialized in haggis tacos).

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In what may well have been a last-minute attempt to compensate for the brutally demanding challenges assigned to the contestants earlier in the season, during the second act the judges basically just asked for singing and dancing. A Mary-Poppinsish nanny character fell prey to the affections of her musically inclined employer; a hypercritical old woman berated her awkward grandson through the ageless language of dance; an assortment of songs were performed in praise of the panda. The night reached its pinnacle in a blues number about matzoh, which featured judges Eric Farone and Carl Anderson on harmonica and guitar respectively.


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At the end of the night, Kat Bond was declared the show's winner -- giving her an impressive gift package, a good deal of applause and the title of Denver's Next Improv Star. "It's kinda like plunging headfirst into the art of improv," Bond said about the series. "It's a crash course in enjoying improv as an audience." And also, though this probably goes without saying, a guarantee of eleven nights of dizzying laughter.

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3 comments
Ian Morrison
Ian Morrison

It was a pleasure working as tech/stage manager for this show. Most fun I've ever had on any theatrical production!

Laurie Morrison
Laurie Morrison

loved the show! very fun and impressed with the talent. esp the light and sound guy. using Pink Martini was an excellent choice.

Laurie Morrison
Laurie Morrison

wonderful! congrats to all!special shout out to Ian Morrison ~ music was awesome!

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