The audience convulsed with laughter, and as if on cue it seemed inevitable that the physical repercussions of such boisterous knee slapping and puffed chests would result in some spilled beer. Alas, all is fair in comedy and booze-loss at BeerProv – a show filled with laughter and improvisation.
Jim Robinson, the creator of the show, took me back to the roots of BeerProv’s inception: As a Queen’s University student, he and his fellow cohorts were apt at participating in a series of short-form improv games. Typically with beers in hand, Jim and his friends would perform in front of tipsy-minded folk who were out for some jovial times and loads of chuckles.
Upon graduation, he observed that Toronto was lacking in this comedic format and sensed that we were ready for it. Jim pitched the idea to Gary Rideout, owner of the Comedy Bar at Bloor and Ossington, and in May 2010 BeerProv was born.
With a sea of people who have alcohol-infused breath, you may suspect that a lot of raucous behavior would be exercised; however, there is a structure to keep the show flowing from one act to another. Jim is a gracious host whose banter with Daryl at the back of the house (light and sound) is amusing and sets the mood for the evening. But while the audience may feel at ease, this does not imply that passivity will be accepted! They’re asked to answer a questionnaire sheet beforehand and are queried for suggestions by Jim during the show.
If you’ve ever watched Whose Line is It Anyway on television, the premise of BeerProv is similar. Three sets of four comedians will duke it out on stage for laughs. Through a series of games such as Puppeteer (which involves audience participation and manipulating the bodies and limbs of comedians) and Press Conference (a guessing game taken to hilarious heights – Einstein who becomes a Ghostbuster, anyone?), it’s a battle of the funniest. Jim, Daryl and the audience get to vote on who will move on. The one who survives will be declared the victor and BeerProv Champion; he or she gets to guzzle beer from the BeerProv Mug of Champions and relish in all the glory while exercising bragging rights.
Catch the next BeerProv on Friday May 31st at 10:30pm. Tickets can be purchased online.