With rehearsals starting up in 3 weeks, everyone in the cast has been squeezing in some vacation time wherever they can. This past weekend we knew we’d have two understudies in while Matt and Claudia attended a wedding. Then Brian had to go to a funeral, so we lost him Friday and Saturday. Then on Saturday, Antoine got sick, so we ended up with 4 understudies that night. I would say that in general, Saturday is my least favorite night because it’s long (two shows and a set) and near the end of our work week. But this new development had me pretty excited. It’s always fun, I think, when understudies are in because it changes a lot of the rhythms and things you’re so used to. And when four understudies are in, you know every scene you do will be with one or more of them, so it’s quadruple the excitement. Or as I call it, quad excitement.
Before our second show, Craig Taylor, our stage manager, came backstage with an envelope with Matt’s name on it. He said it was from two people who Matt had set up with tickets, and even though they knew he wasn’t there, it was important that we read the letter. To paraphrase, the letter said that this guy was here with a girl he wanted to ask to the prom, and would we help him? Now normally, we don’t do things like that, but because it seemed to be someone Matt knew and because it was already a pretty surreal night, we decided to do it at the top of the set. The following is a transcript of what happened.
Ross the prom asker (R)
Whitney the prom askee (W)
M: Thanks for joining us for our improv set. Tonight we’re actually going to start with an audience participation game, which we do a lot.* Could we get two volunteers?
MB goes into the audience and retrieves R and W
MB: Thanks so much for volunteering. What are your names?
M: Ok Ross and Whitney, we’re going to play a game that we do a lot here. It’s called questions. What happens is that one of you can only ask questions, and one of you can only answer them. Maribeth, why don’t we show them?
M & MB play 3 rounds of questions, ending with “How are my…eyes?” “Yes.”
MB: So, Ross, why don’t you ask the questions, and Whitney, you answer.
M: All right, and…begin.
R: Will you go to the prom with me?
M: All right! Weren’t they great?
General merriment/bewilderment continues as R & W return to their seats.
Epilogue: Ross and Whitney then left because Whitney was sleepy and/or wasted.
So that’s what kept our Saturday night exciting this week. Please don’t get any ideas about using us to ask your important life questions or actively help celebrate milestones. We recently got an email request with a fully written sketch about us interviewing a guy whose birthday it was, and it was even suggested that we have a two-man horse costume ready to go, “just in case.”
And finally, I was in Banana Republic yesterday and was approached by an employee who recognized me from Sonic and asked me to autograph the back of a receipt. Which I did.
*We never do that