Tired of the usual holiday entertainment – the Nutcrackers and It’s a Wonderful Lives and Grinches Who Stole Christmas and all the other heartwarmingly predictable yuletide fare that gets trotted out year after year?
You might want to check out the newest offering from the city’s local improv masters, the Vancouver TheatreSports League. I can guarantee you’ve never seen it before – even if you’ve already seen it.
Christmas Queen, on through Dec. 21 at the Improv Centre on Granville Island, is a new experiment in holiday programming, “an improv comedy fairytale.” The outline of the story is familiar enough. The show features a villainous Christmas Queen, out to ruin Christmas for the townsfolk. In her way stands a gallant but reluctant hero, who might just remind everyone of the true meaning of the holiday. And, of course, there’s a love story, too, to keep things entertaining.
But each night these plot lines will be woven into a completely different story. In classic improv style, the audience will dictate the direction the tale takes. Performers on stage incorporate the sometimes helpful, often absurd, suggestions from audience members as they improvise their way to a different happy ending (hopefully) night after night.
Writing a brand new Christmas classic with each performance may sound like an uphill battle, but the pros at Vancouver TheatreSports League are up to the challenge. Founded in 1980, the League is regarded as one of the most progressive and accomplished improv troupes in the world. Luminaries to have passed through their doors include Ryan Stiles and Colin Mochrie from TV’s Whose Line is it Anyway, as well as a host of movie and sitcom stars. They draw more than 55,000 enthusiasts every year to their waterfront home at the Improv Centre on Granville Island.
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