Vancouver Improv Festival starts tonight! (Sept 23)


The Peter and Pat Show. Photo courtesy Vancouver International Improv Festival.

Starting tonight, and until Sept. 28, the Vancouver International Improv features some of North America’s best improv performers. For two shows nightly, you can see some of the quickest, most creative improvisers in the world take over the Waterfront Theatre (1412 Cartwright St.) stage on Granville Island. It’s the 14th annual edition of the festival.

Some of the shows to check out include:

The Local Show (Sept. 23, 9:30 p.m.): Three local troupes take part in this show, including Lorax, NBA Hall of Famer and Benjamins. NBA Hall of Famer is two guys, Michael and Jordan, who like to do “scenes highlighting sincere relationships in absurd situations.” Benjamins is an all-female quartet that does character-driven comedy about topics such as “patriarchy, butts, pregnancy scares, vegetarians, musical theatre.”

Tegan and Sarah (Sept. 24, 9:30 p.m.): Tegan and Sarah come by their name (almost identical with that of Canadian indie-rock band Tegan and Sara) honestly; the duo is made up  Tegan Verheul and Sarah Szloboda. The local team has been described as “equal parts Hip Hop and Little House on the Prairie,” with a show said to combine “nuanced narrative with fast-paced absurdity….”  Combat Improv (from Regina) and EagleFox (New York) also perform.

VIIF 2013 - Tegan and Sarah

International Ensemble (Sept. 25, 9:30 p.m. and Sept. 28, 7:30 p.m.): Each year as part of the Improv Fest, top improvisers from all over Canada and the U.S. are thrown together to work with improv and theatre directors. This year’s International Ensemble includes performers from Atlanta, Austin and even Winnipeg.

Whiskey Tango (Sept. 26, 7:30):  Described as  “gentlemen doing gentlemen’s improv,” this Portland troupe dress well, takes audience suggestions and then “weaves an elaborate tapestry of scenes, environments, and relationships that keep laughs pouring down like the rain.” Whiskey Tango is a six-time winner of Friday Night Fights (Improv Cage Matches). With Lauren and the Barbarian (Vancouver) and Rapid Fire Theatre (Edmonton).

The Peter and Pat Show (Sept. 28, 9:30): It’s a bit of an in-joke, but if you spend any time at all listening to CBC Radio than you might appreciate the Peter and Pat Show. The duo is most famous for This is That, a dead-on parody of earnest CBC radio documentaries and interviews. Also performing: the Vancouver TheatreSports League.

For more info and tickts:


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