The audience was on the small side, about twenty-five people of varying ages. Two little girls, first-graders maybe, were seated in between their parents. In the row behind them, an elderly couple waited with excited anticipation. It was clear that they were regulars here.
Not me. I had come to the ComedySportz Improv Theatre at Gold’s Gym Plaza at West Tower on Broad Street with my older sister for the first time. This venue and the world of improvisational theater were new to us both. So as she picked at her nail polish and I flipped through the program, I wondered what would be in store at this show.
Just then, a flurry of red and blue t-shirts bounded around me – the improv athletes on the ComedySportz teams. Lined up on the stage, they were joined by the referee for the game, a Mr. Zach “Cuddles” Arnold. Cuddles informed us of all the rules to the game (no explicit content, no jokes that make you groan) and punishments for not following the rules (the placement of a brown paper bag over the offender’s head). Soon, the competition had begun.
And how exciting it was! These two teams were ready to take each other on, but not with athletic skills or brawn. No, this was to be a competition of comedy – with verbal games and contests, creative showdowns, and rap battles. Not a line scripted, not a cue card read, the playerz would have to think on their feet as the night unfolded and make up every word they said on stage. And it would have to be funny.
This is impossible! You think. No one person has the power to conjure up jokes from thin air! Never fear – for not one, not two, but all seven playerz on the stage had mastered the art, from team captains Brooke and Dominic to the D.J. (designated jokester, of course) Michael.
Here’s how it works: Two teams are pitted against each other, competing in a number of different games and contests in order to complete their comical conquest. Overseen by a wise (and also very clever) referee, the playerz try to gain the audience’s favor through humor in order to win the match. There are a few opportunities for audience participation, but only on a volunteer basis, so don’t worry about being pressured into performing yourself.
This show is a fun event that is perfect for the entire family and a great way to bond with any group of friends. The theater is also in a shopping center, which means there is lots of convenient and free parking. After a night full of laughs, you’ll be saying, “Take me back to ComedySportz!”