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New local improv group debuts 

Let the ‘Theatresports’ games begin.

click to enlarge UNREHEARSED: Rush and Rice.
  • UNREHEARSED: Rush and Rice.

Improvisational comedy isn’t easy to perform; it takes a quick, comedic mind to take a suggestion and go with it. Done right by a tight group, however, it can be a hoot.

Four local men who are billing themselves ImprovLittleRock and who have been doing improvisational comedy games for fun for the last eight months are bringing their show to the stage — The Public Theatre at 616 Center St. — for shows on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 18-19. In an effort to get the younger, late-partying crowd, both shows begin at 10:30 p.m. Admission is $5 at the door.

Josh Rice, A.J. Spiridigliozzi, Don Rush and Matt DeCample make up ImprovLittleRock. All are transplants from various places around the country who found a common bond in comedy improv. Rice, Spiridigliozzi and Rush have local theater experience and either worked for or acted at the Arkansas Arts Center. DeCample has worked in local television and is now with the attorney general’s office.

Buddy Habig, who plays regular piano gigs at the Easy Street Piano Bar, provides the musical accompaniment, becoming part of the improv games himself.

After several of the performers returned home earlier this year after doing summer stock or other work, they auditioned to land their performing spot at the Public Theatre. They are calling the first show “Theatresports.”

You’ll have to trust me on this, since I was one of three people to watch a recent “rehearsal” -– well, you don’t really “rehearse” improv; they took some ideas and ran with them — but the skits these guys pull off are really funny. They have an assortment of improv games they play, taking suggestions from the audience and performing a skit. One twosome tries to outdo the other twosome in skits that are scored by one judge.

It’s a little like Drew Carey’s “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” but expect the performance to be a little edgier.

For more information, call 375-7529.


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