Move over, regular standup comedians. Mission IMPROVable is coming to SDSU.
On Oct. 20 at 8 p.m., the improv comedy group will be at the Performing Arts Center here on campus, ready to entertain students with what has been called witty, sophisticated silliness by theatre critics.
“Mission IMPROVable does improvisational comedy, of course,” wrote Elizabeth Maupin, a theatre critic for The Orlando Sentinal, “but they couch it in a witty framework of the old Mission: Impossible TV show, with code names and secret assignments and even an elaborate opening credit sequence that’s a stitch.”
A demo video on their Web site, www.missionimprovable.com, describes them as like the ABC show Whose Line Is It, Anyway? but faster and edgier.
The group started in Massachusetts in 1996, where the original six members met and started performing on the University of Massachusetts Amherst campus. These six members were: Agent Falcon, a.k.a. Ryan Kiessling; Agent Masquerade, a.k.a. Jeff Durand; Agent Hurricane, a.k.a. Aaron Krebs; Agent Snake Eyes, a.k.a. Lloyd Ahlquist; Agent Cobra, a.k.a. Jason Shomer; and Agent Cyberdine, a.k.a Jason Reis.
The group performed on the campus for two years before deciding to head to Chicago, also known as the World Capital of Impov Comedy. After a year in Chicago perfecting their routines, they decided to head out into the world to tour the nation in 1999.
Since they began touring, the group has grown and expanded its members to fifteen, fortifying its ranks every year. They have performed at improv festivals as both performers and teachers, performed at hundreds of colleges across the nation and gone across the Pacific to perform in Singapore.
“Why just watch a show quietly shifting in your seat, staring at the clock waiting for the big hand to reach the 11 so you can leave?” they ask on their Web site. “Instead, why not shout out your pet’s name, your favorite movie quote, your worst job or perhaps even get up on stage and help complete a ‘mission?’? Every Mission IMPROVable show revolves around the audience’s suggestions as inspiration? leaving the audience feeling so good, it should be illegal.”
“Be careful how you pronounce Mission IMPROVable,” The Orlando Weekly theater critic Steve Synder wrote. “To lend it a hard ‘o’ would be to erroneously imply that this six-member Chicago company in any way needs to improve on its powerhouse revue of rapid-fire improv comedy. What a difference a simple vowel can make.”