Audience members controlled an improv comedy show starring Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood last Saturday night at the H. Ric. Luhrs Performing Center.
For nearly two-and-a-half hours, Mochrie and Sherwood had the audience using their imaginations to create outrageous scenarios for the pair to act out. Audience members not only gave suggestions, but joined the comedians onstage.
Sherwood and Mochrie both appeared on the U.S. version of “Whose Line Is It Anyway?,” an improv comedy show that aired from 1998-2007. Sherwood starred as a main cast member on both the U.S. and British versions, while Mochrie was a frequent guest on the U.S. version.
Kathy Miller, of Carlisle, has been watching the show since it first aired. She explained that the show is completely improvised and Mochrie and Sherwood will make everything up. Audience members had their doubts about the act, but Mochrie and Sherwood asserted that everything was completely made up. There was no rehearsal, no script and no hidden information to help the pair act.
“Let’s make up some crap!” Mochrie and Sherwood shouted to kick off the show. Audience members created suggestions to form a scene — two audience members, an occupation and a European country were needed.
After settling on Keona Fogel and Joey Femice of Chambersburg as the two, their occupation was funeral directors located in Spain — the first skit of the night was off to a crazy start.
Fogel and Femice joined Mochrie and Sherwood on stage, and were tasked with moving the comedians around the stage by tapping and poking their arms and legs.
“It was exciting and really nerve-wracking,” Fogel said about the experience. “But it wasn’t as bad as you’d think. I’d do it again.”
Femice agreed that it was a bit of a strange experience.
“You had control of the story by controlling their actions. You don’t know what they’re going to say, and it was difficult to see,” he said.
Fogel and Femice had to stand behind Mochrie and Sherwood in order to move them through the scene, which turned rather dark when Mochrie lead them to burying a dead body through his words.
Mochrie and Sherwood recruited several audience members throughout many skits. They sang a love song that was made-up on the spot to one woman based on her job (emergency room counselor), hobbies (collecting Fenton glass eggs) and dreams (vacationing in Europe).
Four people joined Mochrie and Sherwood on stage to tell a story about a racecar driver who had a cheating wife, dreamed of becoming a gynecologist and was after the prize of a “golden feces banana” and $50 million.
Cyndy Dinsmore, of Scotland, Pennsylvania, commented on how talented Mochrie and Sherwood were.
“You have to have a very good memory to be able to do that. They’re extremely talented,” she said
“You have to pay attention or you might miss something,” Dinsmore’s husband said.
The stories that Mochrie and Sherwood told were rather fast-paced, as evidenced by an audience member on stage who forgot what was happening.
After a short intermission, Mochrie and Sherwood led the audience through an adventure that resulted in disaster. This scenario featured a ring-bearing aardvark, his handler and a blimp pilot on their way to a wedding. Two members of the audience were asked to create the sound effects for Mochrie and Sherwood as they prepared for the fictional wedding, boarded the blimp and crashed to the ground.
The final skit featured music, a story about mountain tops and daffodils, and lots of laughter. The two remarked that this skit has always been “mutual torture” since they would be making up their own songs to the tune of popular songs.
The night closed with a song dedicated to Shippensburg, and the audience members who made the show so unique and special.