The polite thing to do at a birthday party is to bring a gift. The impolite thing, therefore, is to take a gift. But when was improv comedy ever polite?
That explains why the audience will get material things as well as laughter at the “Happy Birthday to Us Comedy Improv Variety Extravaganza,” the first-anniversary show by the Chuckleheads. It starts at 8 p.m. Saturday at Actor's Theatre of Charlotte, 650 E. Stonewall St. (There's a $5 entrance fee, so you'll have to give, after all.)
The Chuckleheads are part of Actor's Crib Inc., a nonprofit theater corporation. (You can learn more at www.thechuckleheads.com and/or www.actorscrib.com.) The group began a year ago on the same spot with members Scott Pacitti, Ryan Sullivan, Paul Marks, Joel Sumner, Charla Archie, Jenny Wright and Lisa Samuel.
Pacitti says the company's shows are slightly different from the standard improv. “We play the ‘Whose Line Is It Anyway' improv games most people are familiar with. However, the thing that makes our shows unique is our emphasis on audience interaction: We bring audience members on stage with us as much as possible.”
He says this anniversary show will have prefilmed pieces, including a tongue-in cheek dramatization of how the Chuckleheads were formed. He's being more enigmatic about the “fabulous prizes” that will be given away throughout the evening, but what would a birthday party be without surprises?