Zany improv hits the Vineyard in DT Chilliwack

So is the new Chilliwack group, SimPhoney Improv, actually funny?
"We crack each other up. We figure that's a pretty good sign."

SimPhoney Improv members say there's a night of improvised comedy fun set for Oct. 4

It’s going to be a fun night in downtown Chilliwack.

That’s how a member of SimPhoney Improv troupe describes the energized show they will perform at the Vineyard Community Centre set for Oct. 4 on Wellington Avenue.

What can folks expect? Well, they can expect the unexpected, says Michael Berger, one of five members of the SimPhoney Improv troupe.

And the audience might even be tempted or encouraged to call out some suggestions, numbers and themes that the players will then incorporate cleverly into the skits and games.

“That’s the beauty of improv. You can talk about anything and everything,” said Berger.

“Whatever people bring to the scene is what you get. To be in the moment fully, it’s amazing the kind of comedy that comes out of that.”

Berger is an award-winning Toastmaster who critiques speech techniques, and a performer with Secondary Characters Musical Theatre.

His listening skills come in handy, since with improv the members listen intently and then build on each other’s work.

“When I joined, I never thought of the end result, that it might be some local gigs.”

This is the troupe’s second performance in a few weeks.

“I just thought it would be fun.”

He likes the idea of improv better than standup, which he said can leave someone feeling “vulnerable.”

“With improv you’re on stage in a group; part of a team, but with standup you’re totally out there on your own.”

And if one bit doesn’t work, meh, you’re back out in a few shakes of a lamb’s tail to try another scene.

So is the group actually funny?

“We crack each other up. We figure that’s a pretty good sign.”

They’ve had some really good laughs at the last one. The last scene of the last show at Bozzini’s got the biggest guffaws.

Berger recently performed in musical “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” but improv is a little different.

So what brought the players together?

“In my case it was a post on Facebook. Everyone knew one other person. It’s kind of neat. We got along and found we can work well with each other. It just felt natural.”

They’re all vying to make the others laugh.

“Nobody has come right out and said it, but i think we compete to make each others laugh. Everyone has that feeling. So that’s another good sign.”

It’s cheaper than a movie, and you get the feeling of live theatre.

“It brings its own magic.”

Other members include David Hobson, a professional speaker and a former Chilliwack Players’ Guild where he performed in “Friends and Neighbours, “Office Hours”, “Alice in Wonderland” and “Witness for the Prosecution”, as well as several British Nights productions. He’s also trained with Vancouver Theatre Sports League Improv Comedy Company.

Nancy Guitar is a stand-up comedian, actor, playwright and children’s author. She has acted in student films and performed across the Fraser Valley and Lower Mainland, in productions like as Penny-A-Line Promotions “Vagina Monologues” and “His/Her Retirement”.

Mary Erickson of Chilliwack has previously appeared on stage in a Midsummer Night’s Dream as well as playing an extra in other plays. She has also voiced a number of radio commercials.

Mission’s Shelley Haggard is an award-winning spoken word poet, author, and stage performer. She’s appeared in Funny Bones Productions “Moonlight on Magnolias” and Penny-A-Line Promotions “Vagina Monologues”.

For more 604-702-9850, or SimPhoneyImprov@gmail.com or Facebook at www.facebook.com/SPImprov.

SimPhoney Improv, A night of improvised comedy fun, Oct. 4, The Vineyard Community Centre, 45892 Wellington Avenue, Chilliwack,. 8 p.m. showtime, doors 7 p.m., tickets $10 at the door