Monday, April 26, 2010

Like an Animal or a Manimal?

The night started with a stripper name--Crystal Chandelier--shouted from the audience.

Theatre 99, Charleston's home for improv comedy, held a 3 on 3 Tournament Saturday night. Six groups of 3 took the stage in 10 minute intervals to win the audience's vote.

The Full Monterey Jack Cheese Quesadilla--a play on "The Full Monty" I presume--was a group of 3 boys who continually stripped off clothing. Until left only with the words "Magic" and "Last Layer" and some booty shorts.

Also in the first half were Wild Card, a group of three who put their name in a hat for an opportunity to compete, and So Good You'll Think There's At Least Four of Us. The latter--who dressed in tourist gear and walked onto stage saying "Hello, Charlestown! We're from Ohio! We love Hyman's!"--was the victim of an unruly, bandaged audience member who thought it a good idea to join the skit, which, at that time, was the firing of a baseball coach right before a game. One of the group's members says "I wanted to open up a trap door and just slide down. Only three people were allowed on stage!" The guys backstage were, by nature, quick on their feet and came on stage as "stadium security" to escort him off.

Brandy Sullivan, a member of the group Trio Loco and main fixture at Theatre 99, says "In all of the 10 years of the theatre, something like that has never happened. No one has ever just walked up on stage!"

The crazy man with a bandage on his hand was used as a punchline all night.

The most fluid performance of the evening came from One at a Time. Their 10 minutes started with three roommates reliving a party from the night before. Two of the three had slept together in true "party house" form, and shortly thereafter the girl roommate turned into an "animal."

Which garnered the question: Is she like an animal or a manimal? An animal-animal, or a man and an animal.

I guess the second is curable?

She was an animal-animal, and the skit went on to produce great animalistic one-liners like "She's like a gazelle that's a bat on the weekends," "I think we should mate and then you kill me," and "When you have the baby you can't eat it." In the end, the girl roommate tries to denounce her party animal ways.

Trio Loco was the night's winner.

Sullivan and her troupe members--one improv-ed it on the piano--sang, in thick Southern accents, about peel and eat shrimp and spearing ghosts.

Hidden behind the Bicycle Shoppe on Meeting, Theatre 99 is a comedic gem in Charleston. There are shows every Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday, and Sullivan and hilarious member of One at a Time Greg Tavares also teach improv classes.

Sullivan says, "We teach all levels. There's something for everyone."

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