On Feb 10. The University of Maine’s improv comedy troupe ‘Improv In-sanity” held their Valentine’s Day comedy show “Sweethearts Soirée” in the Black Box theater in the 1944 Hall. The significantly struggling troupe of five, while in the past numbers have been way higher, carried the audience through two scenarios and one on the spot game to show off the troupe’s fast thinking ability. At moments, it felt as if the comedy troupe had kept the bit going for longer than it should have gone, but to fill a one hour and 30 minute show it made sense to have long scenes. It would have been more entertaining if they had multiple scenes that were five to 10 minutes long.
The show began with a weird take on the “Bachelor”/”Bachelorette” where the improvisers created their characters ranging from a woman who has been and still is married to a frat guy. The characters were each tasked with going on a date with someone from the audiences choosing and the location of the audiences choosing. What followed was a drawn out scene of a date in Veazie, the Boston tea party, and a Chili’s in Machias. Back in the Bachelor house however, more chaos ensued as a few of the members tried to make Coke explode with Altoids instead of Mentos and Miss “I have a husband back home” managed to get every contestant to go “up stairs” with her and what can only be implied was a massive orgy to occur. All this was hosted by a former reality star who, in classic Michael Scott fashion, whips out a gun every once in a while to get people to do things. Instead of a rose ceremony, they shot the contestants with said gun. This lasted at least 30 minutes. There was a part that was questionable about a fork and a cup and that women are supposed to bring cups and men bring forks, this was implied to be talking about sex but from the actors reaction it was not intended.
The next scene was thought to be a one off song about finding love at the dump, by audience request. What emerged from the opening number was an impromptu musical or a plan about dump workers plotting against their boss to mug his purse, steal the keys to the dump truck and …. There is a cane involved too for some reason. The boss, practicing good mental health awareness, talks to his therapist about his issues. Chaos ensues when one of the dump workers accidentally makes himself numb, as well as the boss, and they start slapping each other with their limp arms. They managed to bring the story full circle when they gave the guy the cane from earlier to help him walk. This also went on for 30 minutes. I too was confused by this scene.
The final bit, which was a take on scenes from a hat, saw the improvers given a word from the audience and try to make a pick up line from it. These were pretty good:
“Do you have a torpedo? Because I have a long channel to shoot down.”
“Girl, are you a longboard? Because I want to ride you till I fall off.”
However, the quality of the show did not go unnoticed by the audience.
“Less singing and shorter skits would go a long way at improving the show. The piano was well practiced however, the volume and speech was clear, and the actors obviously practiced and trusted each other to steer the skits in the right direction rather than lead it farther away from the end goal, however unclear they would be in getting there. Act 3 was easily the best part of the show and alone would be worth going for.” Rowan Hulburt said.
The show was still enjoyable and it would be interesting to see what Improv In-sanity would become if they had the numbers to make the show a tad more entertaining to the audience. There were some moments that made me laugh more than it should have.
It is safe to say that it was improv and it was insane. You can find Improv In-sanity on Instagram.