One of the prime directives of the RROY REPORT is that we always support and promote our friends in their entertainment ventures. And so it was that Friday night I braved the dangers of downtown St. Louis after dark to attend The Improv Shop’s March Mayhemprovisation Tourney Championship.
I had been invited to the event by my new friend Dan, who was a member of Grounded by Nintendo, one of three groups competing in the improv finals. I know little about improv and even less about driving downtown, so I checked with Stevie to see if she wanted to tag along. A fan of improv, and aware of my dislike of driving downtown, Stevie offered to drive. I accepted. Male pride? I have none.
The Improv Shop is located upstairs from the Tin Can Tavern & Grille. Their specialty, Stevie informed me, is beer in cans. I haven’t drank beer in cans since high school, I mean, college, but when in the Tin Can Tavern…
Stevie wanted her beloved PBR, until she learned that they had Stag. Stag in Cans. Even if the improv sucks, the night will not be a total loss. We got two cans — which were not as ice cold as they should’ve been — and made our way upstairs.
The Improv Shop is a long room centered by a large, spare stage with a photograph of Kurt Vonnegut looking down from top center (Vonnegut being the patron saint of improv, I guess) and two chairs (the essential props of improv).
The chairs were packed in tight and we made our way to center stage in the third (of four) row. The chairs were not terribly comfortable. The show began promptly at 8 p.m. with the Master of Ceremonies bragging about the lights. They were good lights.
Meowsers, a 5-man team, was the first to take the stage. Someone in the audience shouted out “Tiger Woods” and the troupe responded with a 25 minute set centered on golf. It was pretty amusing. There was then a 10-minute intermission (damn intermissions) so I went downstairs and got Stevie her PBR. It was much colder.
Next up was a trio named Schrodinger’s Cast. They asked for a color from the audience, someone said “red,” and they went with that for about 10 seconds before launching into a long bit about a gay couple and the woman who agreed to have their child. I thought the woman in this group was very funny, especially her elephant impersonation. Now that’s improv.
After another break it was finally time for Grounded From Nintendo. The topic was “tiger bait” and they did a surprisingly good job with a rather challenging topic. But when the votes were tallied the big winner was Meowsers. I disagreed, but that’s the problem with the democratic process.
With the show over we headed downstairs and debated where to get a late-night snack. The Tin Can Tavern & Grille did have a menu posted online that looked decent, but we never saw anyone actually eating the whole time we were there, so we opted for Steak ‘n’ Shake back in St. Charles.