I feel strange reviewing this show for two reasons: First, I haven’t reviewed a comedy show before, so I’m already in over my head. Second, this Blind Tiger Comedy event was a showcase of their 15th semester of comedy classes. Like a recital at the end of the course, these comedy students took to the Little Mountain Gallery to show off their comedic chops.
I’ve never been to an improv show that doesn’t start off a little rickety — the crowd has to get comfortable, the performers have to get loose, and the atmosphere has to settle into the necessary fever-pitch of comedic energy in order for everyone to have a good time. So, for the first part of the evening, Blind Tiger’s house improv team set the mood on stage, and dived right in, quickly bypassing the initial awkwardness. As soon as they got the crowd nearly hurling with laughter, they wrapped up and made way for the students.
Intro 2 came next, a group of beginner improvisers. While it was clear that some of the students were new to the stage, the group as a whole powered through an impressive and hilarious set. As any good improv set should be, they evoked a multitude of insane scenarios and characters, from a pair of battling magicians, to a lowly potato shoveler coming across an extraterrestrial potato case amidst his pile.
As the group left, the Sketch 1 class carried tables and chairs onto the stage, setting up a Weekend Update style newsroom. Reading from their scripts, the comedians told a series of quick and witty jokes, the highlight coming from one performer trying to convince the panel that he would be a great keyboardist for their band, despite his two broken wrists.
Throughout the first three groups, the venue heated up. Slowly and gradually, it reached a temperature no person should ever experience. As Sketch 1 concluded, and the intermission began, the giddy crowd flooded out into the street for relief.
After a brief cool-down, the audience was called back in to witness a short but memorable experimental comedy display. Dramatic orchestral music blared over the speakers as a lone performer paced on stage. Growing more restless, he moved with visible anxiety as the music continued. Finally, when it looked like he couldn’t take any more, the music cut out and a cold, automated voice came over the speakers: “We are experiencing a larger than normal call volume at the moment. You will be connected to the first available representative. Thank you for your patience.”
As the room heated up to unbearable conditions again, the final group, Long Form 3, began. Clearly some of the most experienced Blind Tiger students, the group jumped right into a series of hilarious characters, in a labyrinth of semi-connected situations, all spurred on from a crowd-sourced single word: “gazebo.” It was the perfect way to end an absolute whirlwind of a improv show. It wasn’t the heat, but the laughter, that left the entire audience gasping for breath as Blind Tiger Comedy called it a night.