The other company members are my friends, and some of them are as close to me as family. The shows (or matches) are still as incredible to participate in as they are to watch. This weekend was no exception.
I was neither in the matches, nor in the "arena" to watch them. Instead I watched this whole story unfold over social media.
We perform matches every Saturday night at 7:30pm & 10pm. Saturday 1/2/2016 was no different...more or less. There are 40+ members in the company and hundreds of games to choose from. Each match features between 8 and 11 players (which includes a musician) and 9 games (give or take). Because it's improv, EVERY SHOW IS DIFFERENT.
The 7:30pm match was sold out. Not an empty seat could be seen.
Then, the 10pm match. Also, not an empty seat could be seen, but that's because at 9:55pm, the entire city block in Philadelphia lost power due to a Restaurant fire nearby. The Theater was plunged into darkness. What to do?
I'll allow our artistic director Dave Jadico to explain:
The entire block had a power outage at 9:55PM. We decided to do the match anyways. We offered refunds to anyone who wanted to leave, explained that we would do an hour and ten minute match without a halftime. Everyone was excited to be a part of it, no one left. We adjusted a few games, shortened the show by one game and removed the halftime. Fortunately, our accompanist Josh Rosen had brought his acoustic guitar, so he did all underscoring and music acoustically, including singing Closing Time at the end as the audience left. The National Anthem sounded like the whole audience was sitting around a campfire. I’ve never heard the entire audience sing that loud. Several of the new cast members held flash lights from the center aisle, a few fire safety lights were on and many audience members provided cell phone lighting. Additionally, a woman was there in one of those huge powered wheel chairs that had a HEADLAMP on it. She provided all of the side lighting that you see in the photo on Facebook. We started the match with Ghost Story with a flash light for pointing at the players like we do at Halloween. We played Radio Play with John Zak as the announcer and the audience provided the rumbling for an earthquake John described by stomping their feet, UNSOLICITED. It was one of the most spontaneous and awesome things we have ever done. The audience had a blast, the players had a blast.
Intro in the DARK
Company member and CSzPhiladelphia Director of Education Kristin Finger (one of those "family members" I mentioned earlier) has a hashtag she lives by: #ImprovSavesLives
|The New Jersey Turnpikes getting ready in the dark - Photo courtesy of Darryl Charles|
|The Philadelphia Fighting Amish getting ready in the dark - Photo courtesy of Don Montrey|
|Volunteer Player photo - courtesy of CSzPhiladelphia|
If you HAVE seen a ComedySportz match, I implore you to see another one. As I stated above, they're never the same show twice.
If you're in the Philly area check out www.comedysportzphilly.com/tickets/ for details or hit me up and I might give you a couple of comps.
If you're no where near the Philly area, check out www.cszworldwide.com/find-csz-worldwide.html for a city nearest you.