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Thursday, October 7, 2010

Improv Monster strums some comical chords this month

Improv Monster
  • Courtesy JaCKPie
  • Improv Monster
Many monsters bare their teeth in October, but when it comes to the long-form comedy troupe known as JaCKPie, the baring of teeth is usually the result of a good laugh rather than a fright. In keeping with its tradition of inviting the talents of burlesque performers, stand-up comedians and other local creative types to be part of its monthly Improv Monster shows, this month JaCKPie’s all-star team invites some of Atlanta’s most innovative musicians be part of the fun.

Unlike that more famous sketch comedy show, "Saturday Night Live," (which recently hired writers and cast members from Chicago’s iO, where JaCKPie founder Jim Karwish also studied), these musical guests won’t just perform a song or two, then pop up in a few skits. Instead, their performances will be an integral part of each show, with the troupe playing off the moods, lyrics and melodies for inspiration in their improvised skits.

Granville Automatic
  • Courtesy JaCKPie
  • Granville Automatic
The level of musical talent involved in this innovative take on Chicago-style improv is worth the price of admission. And the diversity of musical styles will make each show unlike the previous one.

The Monster arises on tonight with Granville Automatic, featuring former American Idol finalist/Sugarland songwriter Vanessa Olivarez and Elizabeth Elkins of the Swear. Oct. 14 features Tim Kaim, front man for metal band Poois, followed by a solo performance by Elkins on Oct. 21. And leading into Halloween, local avant-garde composer Klimchak, who has done eerie and experimental work with the Center for Puppetry Arts and elsewhere, will put on his multi-instrumental solo show.

Already known for bringing the relatively unfamiliar format of long-form improv to an Atlanta scene that has plenty of successful improv spaces, JaCKPie’s latest creation is yet another unique take on making people laugh. Coinciding with the renovation of Relapse Theatre, October’s Improv Monster attempts to strike a musical chord that will also tickle your funny bone.

Improv Monster $5 (with student ID)-$10. 9:30 p.m. Oct. 7, 14, 21, 28. Relapse Theatre, 380 14th St.

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