Fantasy Weekend: Chicago, DC, Philly & Houston

Thursday March 8th 10:30 The Reckoning @ iO

You thought this article was bound by time? Dust off that ruby amulet and rehearse your incantations cuz this Thursday we travel BACK IN TIME to TUESDAY’S set at iO with The Reckoning. When this group decided to try out their own style of no-holds barred improv on an off night, they said it would be their version of a high-stakes rehearsal. Turns out the crowds loved what they do and it has become one of the best loved teams in Chicago. This team has become an iO mainstay, performing weekly shows for over a decade. The ensemble includes Jet Eveleth recently one of New City magazine’s Top 50 Players of 2010. After attending her commedia dell’arte inspired workshops at TNM Nola, I don’t need my trusty eagle claw mirror ball to divine her scene work will be particularly emotionally resonant and physically absurd.

Friday March 9th 11 pm Nox Presents: Lights Out @ WIT

WIT’s been holding down the DC improv scene for years now. Once, I was blinded elven mage for mixing the wrong grog for their spring festivus. I’d like to combine these two worlds and check out Washington Improv Theater’s take on the non-visual improv form known as the Bat. The form was started by Georgia Pacific (including improv sage Joe Bill1), this show invites audiences to close their eyes and listen more keenly to the worlds that a collective group of seated improvisers create completely through sound. No doubt more pleasurable than stumbling through a briar patch screaming at how dumb Gimbli’s cloak makes him look with those pointed ears.

Saturday March 10th 8:30 pm Rare Bird @ PHIT

This team has been making a name for themselves in the past several years as one of the must see shows in Philadelphia. They’ve been performing throughout the city since 2003, and become an institution for comedy in the city of bro love. Combining a night of their comedy with a stop at Geno’s (whiz, with) and getting lost in the Chinese section of the Museum of Art2 is way better than that Rocky marathon I sat through three years ago. Seriously, Thunder Lips?

Sunday March 11th 8 and 9 pm STM and The Megaphone Show @ TNM Houston

And rounding off the weekend is a lovely stop at Avant Garden in Houston. The final series of shows for the Houston Harold Weekend, they bring two sets of improv fury. First, Stupid Time Machine brings all four members together for a break-neck set. A combination of founders, faculty and conservatory directors from New Orleans and Austin, this TNM house troupe has been building a name for themselves in festivals around the country while performing weekly in their hometown of New Orleans.

The second set of the night brings STM back as guest monologists for the Megaphone Show. Bringing a TNM twist to the classic Armando form, this team includes the artistic director and conservatory director of the Houston TNM, honorary TNM doctorate recipient and improviser badass Matt Donnelly, and Massive alum and Chicago resident Eric Mueller. Both Donnelly and Mueller gave workshops during the Harold Weekend, and Dr. Matt has received his title for being the first outside instructor to teach in all three TNM cities within a year’s time. Yes, he did receive a certificate.

And so ends another week of improvisation satiation. Also, read A Wrinkle In Time.

1 Another member of the extended TNM Family

2Seriously, it looks exactly like the compound I was teleported out of when I was held hostage by the Elders for trying to steal their invisibility scrolls