Vancouver TheatreSports™ Presents…
Murder on the Improv Express – A Killer Comedy
My Review of Murder on the Improv Express
Imagine yourself on a train with Jake (Michael Teigen) the boy that dances with giraffes but who suffers from “open mouth” syndrome, Rose (Denise Jones) and Raymundo (Andrew Barber) the burlesque dancers whose torquing sends tonight’s Vancouver TheatreSports show rating to xxx, Olga (Margret Nyfors) the Minister of Cats for Communist Russia whose nocturnal affections for felines gave me the heebie jeebies, Angelique (Angela Galanopoulos) the lady in red whose tag line is “Oh yeah, she did” which should be changed to “Let it Snow, let it Snow” by Eric Clapton and Buford Hawkins (Pearce Visser) the merchant who sells gummy bears illegally in Israel (ssssh, don’t tell). And of course, one can’t forget Hercule Poirot (Allen Morrison) the detective who investigates and interrogates the passengers to discover who the murderous fiend is and whose constant reminder that we as Canadians should speak French is oh so annoying, because after all, isn’t the ability to stomach poutine Canadian enough?
Say what? Sounds more like a bus of people waiting to disembark for the funny farm. But as a member of the audience, we’re the ones responsible for constructing the profiles of the usual suspects and the ensuing dialogue and frivolity that ensues. For most VancouverTheatre Sports productions, there’s usually just one or two improv players that just seem to be on top of their game to elicit the most laughter from the audience, but for this production, I found that all the improv players were primed and ready to rock and roll with the punches.
Who dunit? Who cares…. the climax of the Agathie Christie book/movie may have been the BIG REVEAL but at Murder on the Improv Express we the audience didn’t care about the BIG REVEAL as we were enjoying the ride to get there and by the time the Murder on the Improv Express came to a screeching stop, we were ready to purchase another train ticket for another insane ride.
About Murder on the Improv Express
Vancouver TheatreSports™ (VTSL) is proud to present Murder on the Improv Express – A Killer Comedy from April 12 to May 26 at The Improv Centre on Granville Island (1502 Duranleau Street). This production will run every Thursday through Saturday at 7:30pm.
Picture this – a luxury train trapped in the Canadian Rockies with a passenger list that includes a prominent socialite, a retired military officer, and a famous detective – and oh yes, there’s a corpse! What you have are the makings of a classic murder mystery. Welcome to Murder on the Improv Express – A Killer Comedy.
As in countless whodunits, this one is set in the 1930’s and involves many of the set characters and scenarios you’d expect to find. However, what isn’t known is who the victim is, who the killer is, and how the dastardly deed was done. These are just some of the things that will be established by audience suggestions during the course of the show. As in all improv, Murder on the Improv Express – A Killer Comedy involves the improvisers taking their inspiration from the audience and creating the script on the spot. In this high-stakes game, very little is pre-determined. What is known is that audience members will kill themselves with laughter at all the improbable plot twists and turns.
“I have always loved the heightened theatricality and ‘high society’ characters of period murder mysteries,” says VTSL’s Executive Director, Jay Ono. “To get to play out one of those mysteries and not know the end ourselves is a real thrill.”
Paul Belsito, VTSL’s Bar & Lounge Manager, has also created two ‘killer cocktails’ to complement the Murder on the Improv Express show. An homage to the great cocktails of that era, audience members can sip on a Corpse Reviver – a classic 1930s hangover cure featuring gin, lemon-lime juice, and a splash of soda – and the Prohibition Pleaser – starring Glayva liqueur, Amaretto, and cranberry juice. At The Improv Centre, patrons can take their drinks into the theatre to enjoy during the performance.
Join us for an evening of murder and mayhem at Murder on the Improv Express – you’re sure to die laughing.
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About Vancouver TheatreSports™ (VTSL):
Founded in 1980, VTSL has grown to become a well-respected international leader in the improv art form. Voted the ‘#1 Improv Comedy Company’ at the prestigious ‘2017 Best of Vancouver Awards’, VTSL entertains more than 60,000 people per year with 12 shows per week, 52 weeks per year at its own theatre, The Improv Centre. An intimate space located on Granville Island, The Improv Centre is a fully-licensed facility with its own Neil Macrae Bar & Lounge, which overlooks False Creek Marina.
In addition, VTSL owns and operates The Improv Comedy Institute – an improv school which offers classes from beginner through professional level, conducts province-wide school tours, and operates Improv for Business – a corporate training division with a diverse portfolio of blue-chip clients.
VTSL appreciates the on-going support of season sponsors: City of Vancouver, CMHC Granville Island, The Georgia Straight, and The Granville Island Hotel. www.vtsl.com