I didn’t forget you, my lovelies. I have a moment. Let’s share it.
My day three started with me waking up, posting my day two to the blog and then crashing back to bed. I awoke, posted some pics to the blog and had some NYC pizza for breakfast (lunch by now).
Dear Montreal pizza, please kill yourself. Thank you.
Popped into the UCB just in time to catch most of Mister Diplomat from North Carolina. My main goal here was to see Zach Ward, whom I had met at the 2008 Toronto Improv Fest. He’s a funny dude and the whole team was a barrel of laughs. Perhaps two. I ambushed him after the show and finally chatted in person with someone I’ve had a twitter/blog/facebook/email friendship with. (Jill Bernard, you’re next!)
ProTip for DCM: Sunday morning/afternoon is clear sailing for the UCB. After spotting many-hour-long line-ups Friday night and all day Saturday, on Sunday morning you can just walk right in.
My improv companion for the day, Maryam, and I found a pair of seats off to the side (see pics for our vantage point). We watched a series of 30 minute sets starting with iMusical. Amazing. After having done the musical improv workshop, I was even further inspired. Then, heartbreak.
A series of three miserable sets with a couple decent ones mixed in there. Rape, child molesting and poop jokes. UCB, they love you in NYC but I am unimpressed. Much eye-rolling and checking of my iPod ensued. Monoscenes are despicable creations. I’m sure they can be fun but they are mostly like watching a jam session. There’s no story, no discipline, and characters that cannot take the weight of 30 minutes exploration. Self-indulgent dicking around. I did not see any craft involved. Thank [$deity] that Let’s Have A Ball was in there to remind me what solid improv looks like. They were fantastic.
Then, Baby Wants Candy. Yes. The experience here shows. Staging, teamwork, singing and a full backing band blew the roof off of the UCB. Stunning stuff.
I darted from the theatre before Walsh & Roberts took the stage. I just wasn’t up to a 45 minute set of people yelling at each other.
Had some great food, walked along the High Line and the Chelsea Piers. Had some Pinkberry (turn off your speakers). Peeked into a couple awesome chess stores (Pearl Harbour vs US Navy chess pieces!), watched a speed chess match and then spent a wonderful evening with a pair of wonderful friends in Washington Square Park.
Summary: Glad I went, not sure I got a lot out of it but did meet a few improvisers and took an awesome workshop. It’s a bit overwhelming and impersonal (at least for this first-timer). The improv is hit-and-miss (like any other fest). NYC is just an awe-inspiring and energizing city. We’ll see if we go back.