November 8, 2012

Dungeons & Dragons Improv

Some kids play hockey; some kids join the football team; my kid has chosen improv as his "sport"... and I can't say that I am in the least bit upset about it. First of all, I'm not getting up at 4:30am to drive my kid to a freezing cold rink, or spending my Sundays watching him get tackled and knocked around. No, mine is a life of evening performances, cash bars, and general hilarity. (Plus, as a former drama-nerd and high school improv-er myself, I kinda like seeing that the apple didn't fall far from the tree.)

As part of his (ahem) educational development, I took him to a performance by the Dungeons & Dragons Improv group last night at the Gas Station Theatre. The crowd was young, hip, and wildly appreciative of the hijinks* on stage. The Mascot, of course, was generally horrified at the prospect of being spotted with his mother, despite the fact that he was quite happy to dine with me at Unburger just moments earlier. At one point he spotted a group of friends and tried to ditch me, but, alas, there were no empty seats up front... so he was stuck with his clapping, cheering, and giggling ma. Poor kid.

Based on the uber-nerdy role-playing game, the show was nothing short of hilarious. Like, beyond funny at times. The scenes were set by the Dungeon Master, and played out by a cast of characters that included a king, an evil doctor, a garden gnome, a minotaur, and a neutered cat (complete with protective cone), among others.

Just like the game, giant 20-sided dice were rolled throughout the show to determine the outcome of battles and situations. It was good vs evil, but, really, the audience didn't seem to be on either side. As long as the laughs kept coming and the blood kept squirting (yes, squirting), we were happy.

The show was 2 hours long, with the second half following the intermission "because it is scientifically proven to work better that way" and didn't lag at all. Even the awkward moments that can sometimes derail an improv show were handled beautifully. And, as every troupe worth their swords (or, rather, man-blades) knows, you can always throw in a fight scene or a dance-off vs the Rave Troll. I mean, why wouldn't you?

I can't wait to see the show again, and hopefully before next year's Fringe Fest. In the meantime, I'll be watching the group's website for upcoming shows (and resisting the urge to write fan-fic about Cosrow the Terrible).

*Nothing makes me sound older or less-hip than using the word "hijinks", amiright?

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