So last night was Date Night with DH, and it was my turn to plan the festivities. Last time we had Date Night, it was Guns and Ribs, which was totally fun and unexpected. He set the bar high; dinner and a movie just wouldn't cut it.
I perused the events calendar on Creative Loafing's website and saw there was an 8:00 improv show at the Basement Theatre. My friend, Sarah, had performed with them before, but I'd never been able to make it to one of her shows. (I'm sorry, Sarah! I am so sorry!) DH and I had never been to a live improv show before, and I definitely needed a night to laugh. This is how Latin and Laughs Night was born.
I got all dressed up, just for an excuse to wear my glittery pink heels. It's been months since I wore them, and there was definitely a lot more girl than glitter last time. I had to adjust the strap to make them a little tighter this time—yay, skinnier ankles! I was overdressed for quesadillas and fish tacos at La Fonda, but those shoes just make me feel pretty. If only they weren't dangerous for the gym, I'd wear them every damn day.
The 8:00 show at the Basement was a short-form improv, with the three performers choosing games from a hat. If you've ever seen an episode of Whose Line Is It Anyway? (The BBC version is better.), you'll have an idea of what this is like. I'm sure Jstar and the rest of the crew get tired of that comparison, but it's only superficial.
These guys—Jstar and Craig and Jake—were funny. They were quick and clever and witty, even when their jokes were bad and made you groan and want to throw a tomato. Much of the content of the games is triggered by input from the audience, both actively and passively. My favorite color of the evening (pink) combined with someone else's something-pink-in-their-house (a handbag, you pervs) turned into a funny vignette that started out about handbag shopping but leapt hilariously elsewhere.
The audience was asked to write down favorite movie quotes, which were incorporated into a scene near the end of the evening. When Jstar needed a suggestion for a favorite movie, I tentatively offered up Hedwig and the Angry Inch. (You know how I am.) Turns out an East German woman going to a doctor to have a sex change operation is really funny when combined with quotes from Gone With the Wind, Dirty Harry, Sixteen Candles, and Clue. Kudos to DH for throwing in both They Live and Brain Damage. ("I need your brain. You need my juices.")
But, by far, my favorite was "Fairytale Survivor". I was asked for a suggestion for a fairytale, 'cause I was the one in the pink glittery shoes. Alice in Wonderland, of course. By the time it was up, poor Jake was singularly enacting the story as his own all-star cast:
White Rabbit Robert Downey, Jr.
The Tweedles Cheech and Chong
Blue Caterpillar Mitch Hedberg
The Red Queen Barbara Walters
Cheshire Cat Carol Channing
Every inside joke that was created in the hour-and-a-half that this specific group of audience and performers came together (sorry, run-on) was regurgitated in an I-can't-breathe-stop-fucking-making-me-laugh two minutes. The beauty of it all is that it would never exist except in that moment, with that combination of persona.
It's exactly the kind of thing I love, the singular experience that you can only understand and achieve in a very specific, serendipitous circumstance. That's the shit I thrive on, and it's obvious these performers love it, too. If they weren't giving their all to that collective moment, I couldn't tell. Not only were they entertaining us in the audience, they seemed to be entertaining themselves and each other. It was obvious that they love what they're doing, which made it easy to go with their flow, no matter where they were taking us.
So I'll go again, and it won't be the same ever, but I'm sure it will be just as good and strangely intimate.
Oh! And there was a spectacular little thing at the end, but I can't talk much about it. It's still too raw and fresh and stunning. All I can say is Rocky Horror Puppet Show. (Plan to be in Atlanta in October, Mo and Mandypants!)
Go to the Basement Theatre. Check their website for show times and tickets. Wear something glittery and tell them Stephanie sent you.