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Chicago Improv Festival

Chicago Improv Festival (CIF) opened Monday evening and will last one week.  Local, National and International performers Improvise at several venues in Chicago.   After four days, I have seen three shows and have a few new favorites.  One is Chicagoland, which performed opening night at the Annoyance Theatre, were they perform weekly. I thought they were funny, witty and their tempo was good.

Wednesday evening, at ComedySportz, Moral Fixation, which is a 2-man long-form improv show, from Charleston, South Carolina, performed.  They took the audience suggestion of sewing and did a performance with substance and humor.   1 World 1 Stage was the second part of the evening and was a pleasant surprise.  A group from Mexico, Istanbul, Sweden, Germany and France performed individual pieces.  The group from France was very funny.  Eux Compagnie d’Improvisation is Paris’ only long-form team and they have been together for over three years.  They were scheduled for CIF 2010 but because of the volcano in Iceland, which stranded flights across Europe, were not able to attend.

Afterwards, the group from Mexico performed a piece in Spanish, while another group watched.  Then the group which watched Mexico perform did the piece in their native language while another team watched and so on. It was very fun and the result was very different from the original piece Mexico did. 

Die Gorillas from  Berlin, Germany performed Thursday evening at the IO theatre and improvised a format called 1 out of 5 (St Petersburg variation).  However due to time, it was 1 out of 4They asked the audience for four different suggestions such as one opera, one film genre, etc. They wrote them down on a whiteboard and performed the 4 pieces, as beginnings of stories. The audience applauded for each one of them and the one with the least applause was crossed off. They perform sequels to the beginnings of the remaining three and the audience chose another to be removed.  The process continued until one-suggestion remains, which was a horror film, and they performed the end of the last story.  I like the possibilities this format has.

For a complete list of acts/ensembles, venues, etc. check out the Chicago Improv Festival website .

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