The Five-Year CRUSH

So I think, at some point in the distant past, I went into how I finally got into Improv.  I was one of those folks who just had no interest in the ‘prov, didn’t see the attraction, and considered it pretty much a waste of time.  I no longer think these things.  What cured me was CRUSH IMPROV.  From the very first show I caught, an edition of their Arts Court jam MY SUMMER CRUSH IMPROV back in 2010, I was hooked.  Since then, they’ve begun their epic regular monthly show at the Elmdale Tavern, ‘BOUT TIME, a giddily popular three-vs-three improv showdown that has regularly been packing the joint on thee first Monday of the month for almost two years.  The event’s future is a little up in the air just now, as the Elmdale is due to be taken over and remodeled by the Whalesbone gang in the new year, but that still leaves time for one last December ‘Bout.  Featuring supper-winning-team TWO AND A HALF WOMEN (with Crush’s resident tall man Tim Anderson, and ladyprov masters Kristine Shadid and Brooke Cameron), up against the Crush gang themselves (which, I presume, will be Dan Lajoie, AL Connors, and Desiree Connors-Warmington), all to the inspired tunes of mister Glen Gower on Keyboards.  It’s a combo that’s proven to be a winner time and time again, and there’s a reason you have to get there early to get a good seat.

Come for the blank stares…stay for the laughs.    Andrew Alexander photography, yo.

This ‘Bout Time, taking place on December 3rd and starting at 8, features the usual pay-what-you-can door price (5$ suggested, payable to the lovely Jen Jarvis) has a twist for the holidays.  Crush is encouraging everyone to bring along a non-perishable food donation for the Ottawa Food Bank, which you will cast as your vote at the end of the night towards the team you want to win.  Personally, I challenge everyone who plans to attend RIGHT HERE AND NOW to bring more stuff than me!  Bring as much cans and pasta as you can carry, I say…that way your fav’rit team is SURE to win (or, you could vote honestly, and just donate extra stuff later on…entirely up to you, I’m sure)!  Also, it’d be a nice thing to do, and cool on Crush for doing this and warming up a chilly winter.  And I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that earlier in the day AL Connors will be leading an improv workshop which you should totally go to (starts at 430 at the Hintonburg community centre).  That’s a solid day of Improv right there, folks.

But wait, there’s MORE!  Because somehow, incredibly, IMPOSSIBLY, Crush Improv has been around for FIVE WHOLE YEARS now!  And by golly, they’re gonna celebrate.  This December the 7th at Academic Hall, the gang will be assembling with a cavalcade of guest-talent in an epic Improv team-up that will be all the entertainment you need to tide you over ’til the New Year.  What’s the evening all about, and how did Crush get to where they are today?  I sat down with Crush co-founder AL Connors, and swell guy Tim Anderson, and they talked all about it…which was AWESOME, and then my phone deleted the interview spontaneously, so I’m just gonna copy some stuff off of their website now if that’s okay.  Okay?  Great.

Along with the current spectacular  Crush lineup of AL, Desiree, Dan, Tim and Glen Gower, the gang will be joined onstage by enough improv talent to choke the biggest horse in the WHOLE WORLD.  Hopefully they won’t be doing that, of course, but you never know where these things will end up.  I’m getting off topic.  Who’ll be there?  Kirsten Rasmussen, that’s who!  Recently in town to deliver a workshop that I missed because I suck, the amazingly funny co-founder of Monteal Improv is just the first of much monumental guest-starrage.  Crush alumni Jordan Moffat will also put in an appearance, which is great because Jordan is pretty goddam funny, and wrote the book on Elvis Costello jokes.  Plus ya got Micheal Grajewski who, from his writeup on the website, has worked everywhere and with everyone.  And Sean Tabares, who recently got paid to be funny on a cruise ship, and also won a Canadian Comedy Award…have YOU won a Canadian Comedy Award??  I bet not.  And CRUSH co-founders Cari Leslie, live from Amsterdam, and the Brad MacNeil himself, not-so-live via somebody else (or something like that).  Can you beat THAT for $25 ($20 in advance)?  Of course you can’t, you were dumb to even try.  But I forgive you, and so does Crush Improv.  So come on out and celebrate with the mightiest gang of improvisers in this town, and get yer funny on, because it’ the right thing to do.  Peace, love and soul,

The Visitor (and Winston)

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