Improv comedy show mixes it up

There’s a relatively new saying that goes something like this: Any comedy show beginning with two grown men flinging monkey poop in order to fit in is a show worth watching.

Okay, so that saying probably won’t catch on. But it did ring true this past Saturday, April 13, when the College’s improvisational comedy troupe, The Mixed Signals, performed in the first ever Mixed Mixed Signals show.

The latest Mixed Signals performance pushes gender barriers as members dress up as each other. (Photo courtesy of Shannon McGovern )

That isn’t a typo. The show’s premise was simple — each member of the troupe came dressed as a different member, crossing the barriers of gender and fashion sense with equal parts disdain and comedic fortitude.

“I was the prettiest girl at the prom,” said junior computer science major Graham Mazie, who really looked more like sophomore music and secondary education double major Shannon McGovern than he did his usual self.

The idea for this theme was one that the group had tossed around for a while before finally implementing.

“Last year, we played a game like party quirks where everyone was a different Mixed Signal,” said sophomore psychology major Garrett Verdone, dressed as Mazie. “So that’s where the idea kind of started.”

“We’ve been joking about it for a long time, and then a couple weeks ago we were like, we should really do that,” said junior computer science major Lindsey Nice, who could have easily been confused with sophomore women’s and gender studies major Morgan Teller.

Despite the shuffled looks of the players, the show was very similar to the usual performances the improv group puts on, as the troupe took part in games including film and theater styles, objective and family slide show, and, in a true display of improvisational skill, two more games than were originally planned.

“We were halfway through our set and we hadn’t even gone an hour yet, so we needed to add more games in the middle,” said senior biology major Dan Loverro (wearing an outfit reminiscent of junior nursing major Nina Shulgach).
Loverro, who serves as the Mixed Signals’ president, was giving one of his final performances with the group, and his last in their usual performance location, the Library Auditorium

“It feels weird, but it kind of doesn’t feel weird because it’s just like another show,” Loverro said. “It hasn’t really sunk in yet, I guess.”
Members of the troupe were happy with how the show turned out.

“We brought back a lot of jokes throughout the show, and the audience seemed to be on the same page as us,” Shulgach (performing as Nice) said. “I was really happy about that.”

Also encouraging to the performers was the bonds that have formed between them.

“I think the best thing about playing individual games is that you know everyone else in the troupe is going to support you, even if you aren’t quite there,” McGovern said, proudly sporting the look of junior history and secondary education double major Jonathan Dowler. “I think that makes it a lot less scary.”

“Everyone is so in tune with one another that we almost always see where the plan that we have is going,” Teller said, looking like freshman history and secondary education double major Rachel Friedman.

The audience certainly loved where that plan went.