by Corbett Cummins
photos courtesy of Dartanion London and Alex Kline
January 25 the Week of Fun steamed through the weekend with two fantastic shows; one celebrating the long and storied tradition of Improvisation and the other celebrating the much younger and murky tradition of Celebrity.
First off was the Improv Show on Jan 25th, which brought another oversized audience into charming Live Girls Theater. The show featured a staging of Dartanion London’s stand-up/improv project The Dartmondo and a performance by Blood Squad, Seattle’s homicidal improv troupe.
The evenings Dart-Mondo starred Dartanion himself, Amanda Lee Williams, Kevin Hyder, Toby Brown, Andy Peters, and Graham Downing.
In general this is how the Dart-Mondo works:
A comedian makes a couple of jokes like this:
Then, after his or her set, the Improvisors take those jokes and do this:
Laughter, then repeat.
The Blood Squad is a different experience all together. The four member troupe consisting of Michael White, Elicia Wickstead, Brandon Felker and Molly Arkin, are more interested in tearing people and limbs apart than bringing anything together. Their show consists of a staged version of a slasher movie improvised fresh on the spot.
That night they were debuting their new sub-genre of slashers known as Bunny Boilers that involve scorned women seeking revenge and attention. Unfortunately, we have no video of their performance because our videographer was killed when he go too close to one of the scenes (note to audiences: imaginary knives can be deadly when in the wrong hands).
The Blood Squad performance was stunning. The movie that they improvised felt and sounded just like some trite, formulaic boobs and blood flick that would have escaped from Hollywood in the mid-eighties. The difference, of course, was that Blood Squad loaded their version with enough wit and self conscious humor to kill a packed house. It was beyond funny. It was breathtaking.
Sunday Night Jan 26, the Week of Fun moved to the Comedy Underground’s new digs for the Celebrity Open Mic. This Celebrity Open Mic is a great tradition that exemplifies the horizontal nature of Seattle’s creative community (insert “getting horizontal” joke here). It is an event where TV and Radio Personalities, Cartoonists, Columnists, Trasvestite Producers and young comics all come together behind a common mic… with varying degrees of success.
The night was hosted by Dartanion London and featured appearances by Monti Carlo from Movin’ 92.5, TV man John Keister, , Stranger Columnist and local hip hop star Larry Mizell, Comedian Barbara Sehr, Maddie from Canary Sing, radio voice Luke Burbank, comedian Kevin Richards, Cartoonist Peter Bagge, Ross Parsons, The Stranger’s Charles Mudede and Seattle Int’l Comedy Competition winner Tommy Savitt to name a few.
The topics ranged from pregnancies, to creepy hip hop collaborators, to Dino Rossi, to ethic issues arising from a culture of infidelity (thanks Charles).
Furthermore, unlike Hollywood, all of our celebrities got along. The only tense moment was when Peter Bagge questioned the artistic qualities of the W.O.F. Narwhal depicted by Ross Parsons. But the three of them eventually made up.
It was an extremely good time that left everybody looking forward to Monday (oddly enough).