Elkins Auditorium was packed Friday night, for the Pepperdine Improv Troupe’s first show of the year. Fourteen members of PIT pranced their way onto the stage to bring bales of laughter to the evening.
Many among the members were bright new shining faces, though not all were well received.
“I thought the group from [my] freshman year was better. I miss my favorite seniors. I still enjoyed the show, don’t get me wrong, it’s just a new group of faces,” junior Rae Murphy said.
The new members, who included an unusually large amount of freshman, exhibited their natural talent for comedy. The interactive show allowed the audience to provide any outrageous suggestion they pleased.
The first game of the night was categories. The rules are simple: react quickly and you live, hesitate and the audience will yell, “die!” and you’re out. The audience shouted, “Juice! Disney princesses! Music!” as their top categories. This combination of topics kept the room lively and engaging.
“I thought the show was a bundle of joy,” junior Corey Rhoads said. “I actually enjoyed it.”
The open dialogue kept the show creative and inviting. The most memorable line was, “Adult whales drink good juice,” which was said by #TGIF.
For the remainder of the show, the players split into two teams: #TGIF and the Celebrity Centaurs. These mini-troupes went head to head on the carpeted stage. Only one team could walk away with the bragging rights of top comic. To beat out the competition, each team performed different scenes based on the shocking suggestions of the audience and then scored ranging one to five based on the audience’s applause. Other suggestions included twerking and childbirth.
Although no one in #TGIF was a pre-med major, they performed an open heart surgery scene which made it a bumbling mess of comedy. First, the patient woke up because the clueless assistant, freshman Amoni Henderson, forgot to administer the anesthesia. “Anesthesia? I thought you said Anastasia,” Henderson said. Thankfully, the doctor closed up the patient before the second assistant, freshman Joel Denning, stumbled on the verge of unconsciousness because of the invisible anesthesia needle in his arm. #TGIF received a solid four.
The Celebrity Centaurs came right back with a ring store scene: After an awkward encounter between boyfriend and girlfriend, it was revealed the boyfriend had already bought a ring, but it wasn’t for her. “You bought Lavinia a ring?” asked by freshman Jalon Matthews. The Celebrity Centaurs stole a top score of five.
The scenes continued with vaulted laughs, several standing ovations and an astonishing amount of horror scenes. The crowd remained strong even after the ten-minute intermission. The audience’s energy soared as the final scores of the night were announced. The Celebrity Centaurs were the crowd’s favorite and took home the win with a score of 35 to #TGIF’s score of 26.
In the end, the entire troupe won because of the talent and turnout. The troupe this year is an entertaining and creative group. They leap into scenes without hesitation. The audience loved the troupe so much and only demanded scores of five from the host alumnus Brian Jones.
It was refreshing for Elkins Auditorium to roar with laughter instead of hearing the groans from humanities students. Each individual was truly natural on stage. For a night, Elkins turned into the Laugh Factory in Hollywood.
If you are looking for a barrel of laughs and have a night free, join PIT for a night of absurdity and commonsensical at their next show on Oct. 25.
Follow Jacklyn Maza on Twitter: @jbizzmazzz
As published in the Sept. 26 issue of the Pepperdine Graphic.