Besides being able to laugh at the obnoxious, intoxicated Cantabs strewn around campus this weekend, Yalies will have three chances to indulge in fine improvisational comedy — operative word: indulge.
Tonight, Just Add Water, the Purple Crayon and The Viola Question will each be performing in its own improv show. Each group’s show will have its own distinct taste and feel, like different kinds of sushi; who knew crab could taste so good in so many different combinations? While one group will be flying solo, two of the shows will feature Harvard improv groups: the Instant Gratification players and On Thin Ice. The Instant Gratification Players will perform with the Purple Crayon at 8 p.m. in the Branford College common room. At the same time in the Fence Club, Just Add Water and On Thin Ice will mix their own blend of humor. Later on, The Viola Question will be performing alone during their 11 p.m. show in the Ezra Stiles College dining hall.
Though the Viola Question generally creates wild advertisements for its show, VQ member Jeremy Robbins ’06 said the group decided to design more low-key posters for the Yale-Harvard show.
“We don’t want to alienate our [Harvard] audience until they get to the show when we spring the humor on them,” Robbins said. “We generally like to get them in the door first.”
Robbins said he is excited about this show because the year has been going well for the group. He said he is also looking forward to the larger-than-average crowd the Harvard-Yale weekend shows typically draw. More importantly, Robbins said, the audience members will be in a less-than-sober state — if not totally trashed. Though the audience members might have consumed a lot of alcohol, it may only serve to add to the wittiness for which The Viola Question is known.
The Purple Crayon, which will go on after the Instant Gratification Players, will perform their trademark, long form improv comedy. As a focus for their long form, the group has selected the theme “Purple Crayon Presents A Night at the Movies.” This style of thematic long form will last about 20 to 40 minutes, including two trailers and a movie based on suggestions by the audience. Purple Crayon member Joe Hendel ’07 said that the group has been working on this style for almost three semesters.
“There is something great about having 10 people on stage who have never rehearsed a 30-minute show before,” Hendel said. “It’s basically like a play without a script and it all comes together in a moment of Zen.”
Just Add Water will be performing a short form show, and unlike the other two groups, its style usually highlights musical improv. Splitting the show’s time with On Thin Ice will give audience members a chance to experience two styles of comedy. For those unfamiliar with Just Add Water, they will get a surprise in hearing Just Add Water’s pianist accompanying players’ jokes. While it may sound as uncomfortable as a trip to Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch, members said it actually works well for the group.
Bikobi Libii ’07 said he enjoys this style of short form because it is always new for the members of the improv group as well as the audience.
“[Tonight] there will be two sets of hilarious improv comedy that will be very fresh,” Libii said.
So if you are in the mood to laugh and experience the funniest that Yale, and allegedly Harvard, has to offer, there are three shows where you can “relieve your need.” Laugh your ass off tonight with The Viola Question, the Purple Crayon and Just Add Water. The shows are guaranteed to make you lose control — if you’re still in control, that is — because unlike the football team, their record is not hit or miss.
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