An Evening with Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood, presented Oct. 27th by Broadway Series South, was a wonderfully wacky affair. This totally interactive one-night stand not only showcased the considerable comic talents of two of the stars of the “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” television series, but it gave selected members of the audience a chance to enjoy their proverbial 15 minutes of fame onstage with two masters of improvisational comedy.
Indeed, one balding, roly-poly Broadway Series South patron, who occupied a front-row seat, showed up (four days before Halloween) wearing an outrageously funny horse-and-rider outfit. Poured into pants that represented the horse ’s hind legs like 10 lbs. of flour in a 5 lb sack, he wore an inflatable horse head and forelegs—like an oversized swimming-pool toy—wrapped around his waist. He not only captured the comedians’ attention and wangled his way onstage, but he also proceeded to steal an entire segment of the show as he reared and whinnied and tugged on his horsey’s reins as he gleefully galumphed around the Raleigh Memorial Auditorium stage.
From the show’s opening segment to the grand finale, Brad Sherwood and Colin Mochrie kept the audience in stitches, with familiar improv games such as “Moving Bodies,” in which two audience members manipulated the comedians’ heads and upper bodies and moved the dynamic duo around the stage like giant meat puppets, and “New Choice,” in which another set of volunteers forced the improv specialists to change dialogue, character, etc., in midstream-of-consciousness in a hilarious form of comedy interruptus.
Sherwood and Mochrie then played “The Torture Game,” which combines five “Whose Line” games—“Questions Only,” “One-Syllable Words,” “If You Know What I Mean,” “Letter Substitution,” and “Dr. Seuss”—into a challenging comic gauntlet that the performers ran with style and wit.
The “World’s Most Dangerous Improv Game,” in which the blindfolded and barefoot comedians tried to avoid 100 live mousetraps, closed the first half of the show; and was the evening’s funniest segment as Messrs. Mochrie and Sherwood gingerly negotiated their way through this veritable minefield. After ungallantly throwing mousetraps at Sherwood’s crotch, Mochrie doffed his blindfold to cause his partner in improv even more discomfort.
The second-half segments included a long-form improv exercise in which Sherwood and Mochrie played a spy game, and brought the roof down while inserting random bits of dialogue written on index cards by audience members into the skit. My favorite audience contribution, “Put on your big-girl panties, and deal with it,” became a recurring theme.
Then there was another segment in which a couple of volunteers found out how difficult it is to improvise sound effects on the fly; but from the moment that the man in the horse-and-rider costume rode in on his spotted steed, the second half of the evening belonged to him.
An Evening with Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood drew a large and highly appreciative crowd, and received ecstatic applause from delighted Triangle theatergoers. Indeed, the audience leaped to its feet to cheer Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood at the end of the show, which really left them laughing in Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, and Tar Heel towns in-between.
Broadway Series South: http://www.broadwayseriessouth.com/. An Evening with Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood: http://www.colinandbradshow.com/. Colin Mochrie: http://www.colinmochrie.com/ (official web site) [inactive 11/08] and http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0595110/ (Internet Movie Database). Brad Sherwood: http://www.bradsherwood.com/index_flash.html (official web site) and http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0792798/ (Internet Movie Database). “Whose Line Is It Anyway?”: http://www2.warnerbros.com/web/whoseline/index.jsp (Warner Brothers) and http://abc.go.com/primetime/whoseline/ [inactive 3/07] (ABC).