Improv is a daunting form of theatrical performance, both for performer and audience. When even the actors are not sure what will happen next, every performance becomes an exciting adventure if the audience is willing to tag along. In its back-to-back comedy shows, “The Weave” and “Kiss Punch Poem,” the Magnet Theater delivers 45 hysterical minutes that demonstrate a promising future for New York City improv.
The show begins when a member of the small, intimate audience prompted the cast with the word “fermented.” From the start, they hook you to their vehicle of hilarity and drive us through the dazzling world of improv comedy.
According to the Magnet Theater’s instructor, Rick Andrews, the goal of improvisation is to “make things seem scripted.” There is rarely a moment when the performance’s controlled chaos seems unscripted. Most impressive is the interweaving of skits and transitions that backtrack to earlier scenes. The performance never loses steam, only becoming funnier and more self-referential. Short dry spells sporadically occur, but the totality of colorful scenes makes up for these momentary lapses.
Andrews expressed a desire to “spread improv [as] valuable and good theater.” This goal is made clear in the myriad classes the theater offers to the general public and professional performers. Improv at the Magnet Theater intends to teach group camaraderie and takes the pressure off both audience and performer.
“There are no mistakes,” Andrews said.
Improv fuels itself on positive energy and teamwork among not only performers but also the audience. The Magnet Theater offers eight-week beginner clas-ses, but if you just want to test the water, the theater also offers free “Intro to Improv” classes 10 times a month.
The shows at The Magnet Theater are wildly sporadic and hilarious, and the theater is founded on a principle of spreading the joy of watching and creating to everyone.
The Magnet Theater is located at 254 W. 29th St. More information is available at magnettheater.com.
Nikolas Reda-Castelao is a contributing writer. Email him at email@example.com.
Correction: In a previous version of this article, WSN incorrectly attributed a quote from Magnet Theater instructor Rick Andrews to press agent Peter Sanders. WSN regrets the error.
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