Jimmy Buffet, master poet, the man who brought us “Cheeseburgers in Paradise” (ala “when I’m in port, I get what I need, not just Havanas or bananas or daiquiris, but that American creation on which I feed”), offers us yet another wise adage — a life lesson, if you will: “If we couldn’t laugh, we would all go insane” (“Changes in Attitudes, Changes in Latitudes”).
And if you — like us — are starting to feel a little loco (that’s what eternal rain’ll do to you), never fear, the Viola Question is here.
Who, you might ask? Well, hello, that’s why we’re writing this article. Please see below, you wouldn’t want to miss this one.
The Viola Question, or VQ, is an improv comedy group, and today from 2 p.m. until 2 a.m. on Cross Campus, they are performing their annual marathon show. It’s 12 group members, 12 hours, and tons of fun. The show, a favorite of the group’s, must go on (rain or shine or snow or–), so they’ll be there. And so should you.
Under the leadership of Justin Noble ’06, VQ fuses classic improvisational exercises with its own creative and inventive flair. And with over 90 “games” (i.e. you give them the scenario, they’ll give you the skit), VQ is sure to have something for everyone. Come on, who doesn’t like to laugh?
But the fun isn’t just for the audience. Not only does VQ perform at Yale and around New Haven for groups of all ages, but the members also travel over school breaks — as they did this past spring, soaking up the rays between shows in sunny San Diego. Past vay-cays include trips to the Lone Star state and the Windy City. Hey guys, we think you’re swell, can we come too? Please?
However, in typical Yale fashion, the VQ comedians are always working to improve their improv. And the upcoming marathon event is no exception. As former director Evan Zimmerman ’04 explained, “[The marathon is] a way to stop thinking — and just do improv. It becomes a great exercise.” In other words, practice makes perfect. Twelve hours is a lot of practice, and promises to be a lot of fun, too.
Though Elizabeth Meriwether ’04 was hush-hush when we asked about the group’s name (the answer, in typical Yale fashion, is members-only information), she was eager to describe her favorite VQ game. Entitled “Revenge,” the game requires one bitter audience member and lots of comedic creativity. The audience member offers a scenario when one might seek revenge and the group then acts out an on-the-spot revenge fantasy. If you’ve got a bone to pick with a certain someone (think your history TA who is addicted to the letter C), this Friday’s marathon might serve a twofold purpose; certainly laughter is the best medicine, but let’s be honest — revenge is pretty sweet too.
While most show-going experiences include an admission fee, set start time, dim lighting, and the occasional extra-large head (directly blocking your view), the Viola Question marathon offers a nice change of pace. As Meriwether explains, “you can stay for five minutes, come back three hours later, and stay for another five minutes” — though we recommend staying for more.
Whatever your pleasure, Friday’s show is bound to be a barrel of laughs. So tap the laugh keg (go with us, guys), and — to return to the inspiration that is Jimmy Buffet — “drink it up, this one’s for you” (“Lovely Cruise”).