Katie and I today sat through four and a half hours of the [Del Close Improv Marathon](http://www.delclosemarathon.com/dcm7/index.php?option=home) today. Before this week, I can’t actually recall ever going to a single improv event – but now I’ve had a lengthy taste, and I’ll admit that despite a few missteps, I’m hungry for more. Some quick reviews of the groups I saw today (with pictures that are horrible due to my lack of using flash):
Quite funny, plus a little creepy. Good thematic linking between scenes, good flow, all around enjoyable.
### [The Red Shirt Freshmen](http://www.iowest.com/shows/redshirt)
Funny guys. Had a wonderful bit about spending too much time at Best Buy which I’m going to nick a line from for my rotating byline thing.
### [Corporation, Inc.](http://humorsolutions.com/)
Killed me, absolutely killed me. *Corporation, Inc* is improv with a theme – it’s based at some nebulous workplace and all the roles and scenes are improved with that in mind. With a topic so easy to relate to, the scenes linked naturally and everything just clicked. Definitely my favorite out of those that we saw.
At first I was a little worried about Chairs, as they played a round of musical chairs and then just sat and improved some character descriptions about people in a high school – but once they got up and out of the chairs, and actually did some scenes, it clicked very well.
Worth noting: Both Corporation Inc. and Chairs featured Jen Malinsky, who in my eyes, stole the show – at least for the time I was there. She completely dove into her characters and really added even more life to a solid hour of improv. Jen, if you’re out there – you rock.
### Mission IMPROVable
> Dear Mission IMPROVable,
> You seem to be under the impression that, when you don’t have any ideas for a scene, you can all run around making strange noises for what seems like an eternity and this will satisfy the audience. I would beg to differ. You guys had something in those last two minutes, with the Vinny Barbarino thing, but the first twenty-eight minutes were lacking.
> Sincerely, Dan Dickinson
### [American Dream](http://www.americanimprov.com/)
I was shocked to hear that American Dream were going to be doing, of all bits, Party Quirks – I thought they were being ironic mentioning it, but no, they really went through with the *Who’s Line* standard. The three quirks tossed out by the audience were “guy who won’t stop talking about the weekend”, “girl who can’t stop doing the chicken dance”, and “guy who has a vagina grafted onto his hand”.
Somehow, it worked terribly well – it only took about twelve minutes to get all the quirks guessed, but then they kept going and made a whole complete scene out of it. It was a bit refreshing by this point to have a single scene long-form improv, and there were some really terrible (read: funny) lines in here.
### Delaney & Merritt’s Omlette Vision
Michael Delaney and Billy Merritt worked around some boxes and chairs that were randomly placed by the audience. I was about 50/50 on this one; some of the bits were good and some were just fair. Enjoyable, but compared to some of the other acts I saw, just not really up there.
### [Upright Citizens Bridgade](http://www.uprightcitizens.org/)
This is what we were holding out for – an hour of the original UCB cast, doing…whatever. Three major things stick out about their time on stage:
– The opening bits were entirely derailed by the cast noticing a girl in the front row was writing in a notebook. Confused, they asked her to hand over the notebook so they could see what she was writing – she refused. They tried to guess what she did for a living; they didn’t get it right. Finally, Matt Besser snuck up on her and stole the notebook – only to find she really wasn’t writing anything about the show.
– The stories they were trying to riff off of were strangely pained and overwrought – so much so that they ended up launching into scenes where they were having “UCB Meetings” to discuss how horrible they were. At least it was salvageable in a self-deprecating way.
– The set ended with them pleaing for someone to throw some pot on stage, as they were going to have an NYC vs. LA weed-off; they even shut the lights off to encourage anonymity. The only thing thrown on stage was a bottle of Ritalin. Looks like LA will win by default.