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Mork, the alien from Ork, ad-libbed his way into American consciousness in 1978 and America has chuckled along with Robin Williams ever since. Famous for on-the-spot improv and impersonations, his performance in Mrs. Doubtfire got our kids giggling from the get-go. Williams plays Daniel Hillard, an unemployed voice-over artist for cartoon figures who loves to perform for children. His wife, Miranda, however, does not find his antics at all entertaining and gives him the boot. Despondent when the judge allows him visitation just once a week, he disguises himself as Scottish nanny Mrs. Euphegeia Doubtfire, and is hired. In high heels and prim dresses, Mrs. Doubtfire makes her/himself indispensable as the nanny -- connecting emotionally to his kids, even though they don't know it's their father under all the makeup. Williams in drag, channeling Mary Poppins and who-know-what else, turned our kids into comedy fans.
Even if you've got a natural funny bone, it's not easy to make an audience laugh. We thought it would be a treat to introduce the kids to improvisational theatre, so we brought a group of ten kids to a kids comedy club. The atmosphere at this small venue was extremely welcoming. Lively house music played while the audience filled the seats. The six actors took the stage, bubbling over with youthful energy, and explained how the improvisational journey would unfold. The actors were divided into two teams, with a referee, to compete using various improvisational techniques. The audience selects the game scenario, offers up suggestions and directions "Mad Lib's" style, hurling crazy nouns and adjective at the stage, and finally decides which team wins by a show of enthusiastic clapping. The kids loved the opportunity to freely interact with the cast, who were engaging, hilarious and highly skilled. The kids left the performance charged, recounting zany improvisational moments and impressed with how much hard work goes into a good joke.
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Watch Improv at a Kid's Comedy Club
Age Recommendation: Five and Up
Time Allotment: Two hours
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