Wednesday, August 19, 2009

partial review: improv comedy at Blue Door Theater

Basing an improv comedy show on the “I Saw You’s” demonstrates that normal people are even weirder than comedians

So I walk into a storefront on Garland the other night, and some robot’s worried about spiders crawling into his circuitry, and three dweebs are arguing about gender roles, and then a couple shopping for a new mattress gets attacked by a Demon Hound From Hell.
Watching improv comedy is like wandering into someone else’s dream. It’s uncanny-confusing until it turns comical-weird, and then it’s like playing in a strange sandbox with another kid’s toys.
At least it’s been that way ever since the Blue Door Theater hit upon the idea of using The Inlander’s “I Saw You” ads as toys for use in their own sandbox of improvised comedy. (Their idea entirely — we’re just reporting the facts here, ma’am.) But of course we had to go see if the Blue Door comedians could outdo some of the oddballs who convey their better-left-private emotions in a public format like “Cheers and Jeers.”

... Sure, sometimes improvised scenes don’t develop, go nowhere, aren’t funny. But you forgive the lapses, because improv is so immersive: When the actors are clearly flailing, even then you’re calculating how you could’ve introduced some other bit of business. You could’ve sent that skit careening off into another, funnier direction. (At least you think you could.) In improv, even the flops are fruitful: They keep spectators speculating.
And then along comes one of those comedic gems that make you laugh and marvel, all at the same time. Brett Hendricks came up with one when Will Gilman, playing a doofus elementary school kid, bugged his teacher with one of those unanswerable “Why is the sky there?” questions. “If the sky weren’t there ...,” Hendricks began, and you could see the wheels turning as his teacher/comedian devised an answer. “...If the sky weren’t there, we’d have no stars, and no sun, and no moon. We’d just have dirt, all the way up.”

The comedians of the Blue Door Theater, 815 W. Garland Ave., continue riffing on The Inlander’s “I Saw You” ads on Fridays, Aug. 21 and Aug. 28, at 8 pm. Shows every week on Fridays at 8 pm and Saturdays at 9 pm. Tickets: $7-$9. Visit or call 747-7045.

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