“It’s Friday and you need to laugh”, is what their flyer says, and indeed this improv comedy group acts (out) every Friday. Last night was my first time at Not Burnt Out Just Unscrewed (NBOJU), Tucson’s Premiere Improve Comedy Troupe at the Executive Inn & Suites, 333 W. Drachman Rd. Their shows are free, family-friendly and funny.
The fun started at 7:30 p.m. in the dark, with MC Rob Sparks announcing their live theater show and explaining that everything is made up each time they perform, so it is a unique one night only show. What followed was truly creative (no script), impromptu, and very very fast paced and hilarious. Here’s some examples of various skits/”games” they performed last night:
SuperHeroes – the audience shouts out suggestions for a type of superhero that one of the players has to figure out, like charades. This particular hero was a smiley spotted owl, who liked Sloppy Joe’s and bungee jumping.
Mannequins – two players act as posable mannequins, with 2 audience volunteers manipulating their bodies (in a fencing duel)
World’s Worst Professions (audience suggestions, including mine of a dead animal picker upper/remover)
Boring job/tourist attraction/sport team trio kept switching the 3 scenarios (night watchmen, a twine museum in Minnesota, and a Jamaican bob sled team)
Poem – “How Not to Fall” in a foreign, made up language with a translator
A clever invention suggested by the audience
First date between a couple, with two other players on each side revealing their inner thoughts (successful romance or not?)
A Machine with computational ability with made up words, spelling, definition, used in a sentence
Novelist making up a story (with audience suggestions of “American Cheese”, a Spanish novella)
Re-wind (four different versions of a story, of a tight rope walking couple, and the “other woman”)
Beasty Boys (rap like) using first names of people such as “Jane”, “Bob”, “Sue” and numerous rhyming phrases (competition between the players with elimination rounds)
What was particularly entertaining was the use of audience interaction & participation, and the creativity and spontaneity of the skits performed. It was breathtakingly clever as the players used their wit and imagination to perform whatever the audience came up with.
The talented players performing last night were Jon Benda, Michael Pierce (Creative Director), Chris Seidman, Hilary Lyons, Jessica Spenny, and “Boz”, as well as the MC Rob Sparks. See their bios on their website, www.unscrewedcomedy.com. And they do offer improv classes as well if you feel daring enough to perform spontaneously.
Photos below (from an earlier show), courtesy of freelance photographer Jon Scanlon, who was the one who informed me of this comedy troupe when they had their fundraiser last November celebrating 10 years of comedy. Jon, his wife Patti, and Jon’s mom were in attendance there last night as well.
Amazingly, they tirelessly perform every Friday:
1st Friday of the month:
Revolutionary Grounds Cafe, 606 N. 4th Avenue, 7:30 P.M.
2nd Friday of the month
St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church, 9071 E. Old Spanish Trail, 7:30 p.m
3rd Friday of the month:
Rock N’ Java Cafe, 7555 W. Twin Peaks Rd. Marana, 7 p.m. (note earlier starting time)
4th Friday of the month:
Executive Inns & Suites, 333 W. Drachman Rd.7:30 p.m.
SPECIAL SHOW TONIGHT Saturday April 27 — an adults only show at 9:30 p.m. at New Moon bar, at 915 W. Prince Rd. Only those over 21 will be admitted, so this show promises to be quite entertaining and free ranging/uncensored.
And next week Friday, if you need to laugh (who doesn’t?), check out this improv group at the Revolutionary Grounds Cafe, 7:30 p.m., on 4th Avenue.