Last week our guide Patrick had the honor of performing improv briefly with the touring company from Second City at the Boulder Theater. If you’re not familiar with Second City, it is a sketch comedy and improv company started in Chicago in the early 1960’s. It has trained many of the people you have laughed at your whole life, including Alan Alda, George Wendt, Stephen Colbert, Steve Carrell, and Tina Fey. Second City is not the only place to learn and perform improv. In fact, there is a thriving community of improvisers in the Denver/Boulder area.
In Denver there are 2 small venues devoted to the art of improv, The Voodoo Lounge and the Bovine Metropolis. These venues both have shows on a regular basis featuring their own groups, or other groups from the area. If you’ve always thought you’d like to try improv, you can also take classes at the Voodoo and the Bovine.
In Boulder there is a Meetup group called the Boulder Improv Collaborative. This is a meetup where you can sign up and get information about classes and opportunities to get together with other improvisers and play. They do not have a theater, but groups from BIC can be seen performing every third Thursday at the Wesley Chapel on the CU campus. They can also be found on occasion at the Diary Center and other venues. BIC has some of the world’s greatest and funniest improv performers…and we’re not just saying that because our Boulder guides Patrick, Myles and Glenn are all members and have performed in various groups that came from BIC. Okay, maybe we are. In fact, Myles and Patrick work with Banjo Billy because Glenn knew them from BIC. Myles also teaches a beginning improv class via BIC.
If you’ve never been to an improv show, we encourage you to check it out. Watching a scene be created from nothing but an audience suggestion is quite fun, and almost magical when it works well. Or take a class. It is a fun, and can translate into valuable skills for whatever you do in real life.
We hope to see you at an Improv show, or perhaps a class. But we really hope to see you on the Banjo Billy Bus, where we put our skills to use informing and entertaining people from around the world.