By Nailah Mubin
If you entered the Library Auditorium after 8 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 17, you would have been forced to sit on the floor. Almost every corner was filled with eager audience members awaiting the first Mixed Signals’s show of the semester.
The College’s improvisational comedy group performed a solid one-and-a-half hour show filled with witty jokes and clever puns that had the room echoing with laughter.
While the group lost a few members to graduation last year, it didn’t stop them from putting on a fantastic first show. To those unfamiliar with improv comedy, Dan Loverro, senior biology major, explained that improv is a type of theater that is made up directly on the spot, using ideas provided by the audience.
Mixed Signals played various games that were well-received by the audience. One called “Party Quirks” required a party hostess to guess the crazy or weird habits her guests had. The audience decided what these quirks should be — obsessing over cheese, mooing and being Canadian. Nina Shulgach, junior nursing major, received a huge round of applause as she introduced her character as
“Brie” right off the bat, while Graham Mazie, junior computer science major, acted out the hugely apologetic, maple syrup-obsessed and moose-loving Canadian.
Halfway through the show, they played a game called “Fill in the Blank” where Loverro and Garrett Verdone, sophomore interactive multimedia major, called two volunteers from the audience who had to complete a sentence with their own choice of words whenever they were looked at. Although the original topic was Superman, the conversation soon escalated to ridding the world of Kelly Clarkson, using sniper rifles and convincing everyone to subscribe to ancestry.com.
Other skits included “Half Life” and “Drunk Game.” In the first, Loverro and Lindsey Nice, junior computer science major, had to condense a two-minute scene at cheerleading camp into one minute, 30 second, 15 second and finally one second acts. In the latter game, two members were supposedly in a burning building and became drunker every time the Signals said, “Ding!”
The Mixed Signals wrapped up the show with a final game called “Le Swipe,” where members would freeze and switch spots with each other, acting out comical new scenarios while also and bringing back older jokes. The audience laughed throughout, especially when they ended with the final declaration: “The best thing about being French is not being Canadian!”
Perhaps one of the most interesting features of the show was the constant allusions to pop culture. Lines like “That really hurt Charlie,” referencing the infamous “Charlie Bit Me” YouTube video, or
“Hey, sexy lady” from the recent Korean sensation “Gangnam Style,” or “I need to go watch ‘Honey Boo Boo’” elicited knowing laughs from around the room.
“I felt really good about it, the audience reacted really well and it was a lot larger than we anticipated,” said Nice after finishing up. Audience member Ryan Manheimer, sophomore math and physics double major, agreed, saying, “It was a great show. I love these guys and I’m really looking forward to the workshop.”
Other members of the group include, Jonathan Dowler, Morgan Teller and Shannon McGovern. The Mixed Signals perform a free show almost every month, with the next one on Oct. 7.
If just watching isn’t enough for you, the troupe is holding auditions on Oct. 13 and 14. They also organize improv workshops throughout the semester. The next time you get a chance, make sure to check them out and enjoy a night of laughter, jumping around and interesting discussions about the origin of rainbows.