Megaphone Marathons: Houston, Day 2

The second day of the Megaphone Marathons in Houston went off without a hitch. Earlier in the day, improvisers got together at the St. Arnold Brewery to try a beer or two from their wide array of selections. Little did I know this is a place where people took their lawn chairs and their kids and play skip-bo. You know, a typical Saturday for these folks. The fatigue of watching so many improv shows is always a factor, so bear with me. Anyways, here is the day two recap from this past weekend:

Starting off the night tonight was Checkbook (Austin) who recently traveled to New York for the Del Close Marathons. These five lovely young ladies start off with the suggestion of a compliment somebody received was “You remind me of Matilda from the books”. Immediately I knew this was going to be great. Everybody did a monologue of a character they would introduce throughout the set and of course it was an all-womens english boarding school. “Dildo person”, who wasn’t even a member of the school, has to take her clothes off to fix things, but Rose the Red Barton the school bully abused this fact by constantly breaking things. Not cool, Rosie.

Next up was superteam Ideal Boy (Houston) who just blew me away seeing them for the first time. These guys OPENED THEIR SET WITH A CD RELEASE. How badass is that? Scenes included stereotypes against lesbians (played by two dudes), a stellar good cop/bad cop played by both the accusers and Shyla, who denied offing her mom’s head. A bear did it instead. Also, I will always have a soft spot in my heart for endowing people to not have certain limbs. Buy their cd (don’t think it’s online yet).

Lucy (Austin) had an intriguing set highlighted by Atticus Rowe blowing everyone away by playing somebody just back from the war and singing a great impromptu “Proud to be an American.” Riding that post 4th of July power, Lucy pulled away.

The two-person Opposites (Austin) opens their sets in avant garde fashion playing trippy music and exclaiming why they are opposite of each other in every aspect. What ensued was an entertaining story wherein Patrick Knisely’s problem with oversized shirts and shoes and belts at Old Navy because they were cheap was remedied. Also, watch out for duck people and resumes.
Blink (Houston) met the Beatles, who weren’t the actual band, but something sexual. Apparently the secret service doesn’t like you instagramming the White House. Yeah for instagram for making it into a scene and yeah for blink for having a really good set.

It was getting a little late and people were a little tired, but surprise group Brown Like Me (Austin, New Orleans) came on stage and blew everybody away. Their opener made fun of the stereotypical racial scenes you might expect from two people with a much lesser level of intelligence than C.J. Hunt and Vanessa Gonzalez who help run the New Orleans and Austin theaters respectively. They both claim to be from Brown University, which is close to be being completely true. Scenes included a mailman and a woman with big popeye muscles both dreaming big dreams about moving to Hollywood. Another awesome scene involved C.J. picking up Vanessa at a coffee shop by knowing what her typical, very odd, orders were while she couldn’t make choices for the life of her.
BirkRich (Houston) were a two-girl troupe who played a couple people in a bandito gang. We also learned that people become vegan by watching the Walking Dead and that you can be traumatized by the game Mousetrap growing up.

The Bat (Austin, Houston, New Orleans) was formed during the Improv Wins conference this past January and is comprised of people from all three cities. The opening suggestion of a pleasant sounding word was “orgasm”, which is a bit dangerous if you think about it. You either have to go all the way with that suggestion or be completely clean. This was a mix of both, but always coming back to a sweet porno scene.

Abstract Rainbow (Austin) is a puppet variety show and Patrick played puppets as members of his wife Erica’s family and you know how family members can be.

Juicebox (Austin, New Orleans) were Reagan, Allen, and Chris Trew and they had a tough time painting Allen for a still painting because he wouldn’t stop opening his mouth. Don’t people understand how portraits work?

Butchershop Quartet (Austin) had one of the best sets of the night. Justin Strackany gave a great intro talking the team down, when they would actually really step it up. The four men were all rocket scientists working on a love potion, but also dealing with the realities of it being a dangerous thing you don’t want to mess with. Harsh past relationships were had to be dealt with, including a “science prom” gone completely wrong and a floozy servant of a mad scientist turning out to actually be a man.

Then the weird short one-off shows started…

DOA (Houston) must have done well considering it’s members, but I can’t read anything in my notes at this point.

Bird Dog (Houston, Austin) was an incredible group of Shyla and Megan Simon, who started off their set with a beautiful conversation talking about cute things like what their favorite movies were. Then the first scene starts with the line “Well this baby isn’t going to abort itself!” Megan also lied about wanting to fuck a cat and a broom closet conversation entailed the question “Have you ever let a guy eat you out while on your period?” by Shyla. I almost gave this set a standing ovation.

To close out the night was Vaudeprov (Houston), the vaudeville improv team. The mainstay in these super weird night cappers is Matt Gawloski who was born  for this role as a vaudeville improviser. Things got crazy on a blimp and he got hit by a pie. Also, pants were coming off for some reason. Couldn’t end the night better.

Houston was great. Austin and New Orleans have a high rope to jump
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