Electric Candyland

So the story might as well start at Spaceballs.

My friend’s wife’s best friend’s cousin’s husband (I had to be corrected on this) is running the Off Market Theater in San Francisco.

Lately, I went to see their latest fun bit of theater, Electric Candyland. The tagline is “Technology is sweet. Improv is sweet. Welcome to Electric Candyland.”

The big edge that Matt and his crew of improv artists have been working on is adapting technology to improv. See, normally improvisational theater has next to nothing for the actors to work with.. a few chairs, some boxes, maybe some props, as part of the improv situation.

Well, in these days of Google Image Search, if the improv turns to Starbucks, somebody can have a projected background image of something in seconds, with no prearranged images.

The last improv troupe that I saw from the crew was “Tilted Frame”. We ended up seeing it two different nights, just because we didn’t quite believe that it was being made up on the spot. We found that it was, completely different every night.

Returning in this crew was Diana Brown and Christopher DeJong, both of which I much enjoyed seeing the last time.

Highlights of this show include “The Big Head” bit, where they had fun with the video camera; a musical number, which was done to disco this time; a “Silent Film” bit where the people behind the computer put lines, a la silent film, into people’s mouths. And, finally a “Long Form”, where they brought all kinds of random threads from the first part and brought them into a cohesive, albeit weird whole involving killer Elephants, “Is that an Elephant Gun?” “No, I’m just happy to see you.” (where the person happy to see you was female), an astonishing amount of on-stage violence, and trapeze artists smoking cigarettes. And that was just the beginning.

The Off Market Theater has also expanded and opened an art gallery downstairs, which had a nice collection of women’s art this time around. Which is a much better thing to do before the show opens.

I’ve found that improv theater melds well with my preferences in theater. If I wanted to see the same show, over and over again, I’d watch a movie. But improv, it’s different every time you see it, which I like.