Allergy-free Nuts Laughably Good For You!
Reviewed by Kit Wilson-Pote
Grab any chance you can to catch the new improv comedy show “May Contain Nuts!” This talented troupe gave their pilot presentation at the Guelph Youth Music Centre on January 7/11. There is extra-magical entertainment value in watching while clever people set aside their inhibitions to create spontaneous humour based on audience ideas. You may know some of the more famous improv groups in Toronto and elsewhere, including on television. This new group holds its own.
Think about it: the mental and physical agility required to do good improv boggle the mind. First, there’s the courage improv comics need because a show evolves from words tossed out by viewers to the mc’s prompts. Second, it’s no cinch to work without script or direction, only by the seat of one’s pants. The mc calls on certain players unexpectedly, and they must shape a skit on-the-spot. Third, players have to blend personal inspiration with whatever the others are up to at the same instant!
In May Contain Nuts!, individual wit and group chemistry interact like match-flame and fireworks, erupting into results full of surprises and deep-laugh delights. For me, the supreme event was a skit based on slow-motion ‘sports’ competition in veggie-chopping! That bizarre mix of elements came from the audience, of course, and the players had us roaring the roof off. During this first show, two hours with one intermission, the fun never flagged.
The May Contain Nuts! gang currently consists of half a dozen volunteer amateur comics sponsored by Spark of Brilliance: Mental Health Healing through the Arts, http://sparkofbrilliance.org/. Interested others are invited to begin attending training and practices anytime. The premiere players, Chris Jaroszk, Lisa Cosier, Deb Deforest, Al Strong, Marcey Gray and Laura Grunder, gave us an all-out energetic display of their talents including mime, song, dance, acting, sound effects, wit, and, above all else, smart and funny creative verve. I can’t wait to see more, since every show is unique. Grab any chance to enjoy May Contain Nuts! Your sides will ache, and that is a very good thing!