Are you ready to laugh? Front Porch Improv is hosting Savannah Comedy Fest 2018, a three-day showcase of riotously funny comedy and improve troupes.
Front Porch Improv has been entertaining Savannah since 2015 and boasts a talented cast including graduates of Upright Citizens Brigade and the Groundlings. They've put together an excellent lineup of local and national artists to yuck it up on stage and leave the audience in tears - hopefully, of laughter.
Improv comedy is heavily featured at the festival, and for good reason. Andy Coen of Dad's Garage, an Atlanta theater group that will be performing "National Lampoon Improvised Vacation," explains what makes improv one of the most exciting modes of comedy.
"The risk," says Coen. "These people might fail at any moment and they might succeed. When we do succeed, it's so thrilling and so surprising. Also, we can react to the moment and be 'people' on stage. It's spontaneous, it's constantly fresh, and it constantly adapts. So, if you want something raw, but also heartfelt and hilariously funny, I think it's the best way to go."
"National Lampoon Improvised Vacation" features Coen and co-stars Perry Frost and Ed Morgan as a dysfunctional family enduring an awful trip. They take suggestions from the audience about bad trips they've taken or locations people may not usually visit.
"We're trying to visit all of the awful family vacation venues that we possibly can," says Coen. "We had to fight off all of the Disney characters in Orlando; we went to Pakistan for a fun family getaway; we went to a cornfield in Nebraska that was haunted. We've done a whole lot of random, strange things."
Other Comedy Fest shows are Improv All-Stars with Centralia and Pimprov. Centralia has roots in Chicago's Second City and New York City's Burn Manhattan and has been slaying audiences for two decades. The flashy, bejeweled and politically incorrect Pimprov are the result of four pimps who took an improv class "â€¦ on accident."
Savannah Stage Company's (IT) improv troupe probably have the toughest challenge of the festival with "B.I.G.: The Improv Musical," an entirely improvised musical performance based on audience suggestions. Watch out, Wayne Brady.
The one non-improv performance is "Potty in the U.S.A. Comedy Show" starring actress and writer Stacia Newcomb. In a "poopy updo," Newcomb inhabits several kooky characters and sings a variety of silly original songs.
IF YOU GO
What: Savannah Comedy Festival
Where: Bull Street Labs, second floor, 2222 Bull St.
When: 8 p.m. Jan. 25; 8 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Jan. 26-27
Cost: $15 per show or $25 per single-day pass
8 p.m.: (IT)'s "B.I.G.: The Improv Musical"
8 p.m.: Dad's Garage: "National Lampoon Improvised Vacation"
9:30 p.m.: "Potty in the U.S.A. Comedy Show" with Stacia Newcomb
8 p.m.: Improv All-Stars with Centralia
9:30 p.m.: Pimprov