Heroes Take the Stage

Written by Caitlyn Buckley
Megaphone Staff Writer

Most SU students have, at one point or another in their time here, lamented the lack of things to do in Georgetown on weekends. Going to Austin is usually a good option in times like this, but it’s harder for those under 21 to have as much fun as their older classmates.

Luckily, the Hideout Theater on Congress and 6th hosts an improv troupe called “Heroes of Comedy” on Saturday nights, and provides an exciting and hilarious alternative to sitting in the dorm alone.

The Heroes of Comedy typically perform two shows on Saturday nights. One is Shakespearean in nature while the other is a more orthodox improv show. While “improvised” Shakespeare sounds impossible, the troupe clarifies before they perform that their comedy is really in the style of Shakespeare. They borrow themes from Shakespearean classics and their improvised lines are in rhyming couplets or in iambic pentameter.

This show is typically an improvised full-length play instead of the standard shorter scenes. They claim that watching the Shakespearean themed improv will “make you shuffle off this mortal coil” with laughter.

The other show is one in which the audience votes on favorite performers to have the best improv comedian continue to the end and win a Canadian five dollar bill. After each comedy scene or game, the audience is asked to clap if they believe the scene was a certain number on a scale of one to five. The performers in the scene then are awarded points and eliminated if they don’t have enough by the end of a round. The game goes through several rounds until 11 of the 12 members are eliminated.

The improv competition calls for audience involvement, which makes it more entertaining to the audience. Before the show begins, each audience member is asked to write something on a card. In a Jan. 19 Maestro show, the audience was asked to write down different genres, like “romance” or “Western” or “horror.”

During the show, they also call some audience members up to join the performers in an improv scene. Mariah Arispe was asked to participate in a scene at the performance she attended.

“I really had a lot of fun. It was nice and refreshing to see actual raw talent,” Arispe said.

When asked about going up to perform, she said “It was really scary being called up onstage because I didn’t think anything like that was going to happen to me. It was really weird being onstage because I didn’t want to look silly in front of improv actors or the audience. But it was really cool, because after I was done with my improv act, I received a free ticket to another show. I will definitely go back soon, and I encourage others to do the same.”

Different improvised scenes included the audience’s genres being shouted at performers, who had to change their entirely improvised scene around the genres. The two performers on stage for that scene had to change their scene from an ordinary scene to a horror scene, to a “Dukes of Hazzard” style scene, finishing with it being a creepy children’s show style scene.

Another game had several performers doing a scene and then being told that the ceiling was where they were to direct their performance, and that the audience was the new ceiling. The performers had to continue their scene on their backs, which made their movements awkward and humorous.

The scene Arispe participated in featured one troupe member as a slideshow presenter and Arispe and the other troupe members as the pictures on the slides. An audience member suggested that the theme of the presentation be sex ed. As uncomfortable and embarrassing as sex ed can be in junior high, seeing it mocked by an improv troupe makes it hilariously funny.

It was particularly funny because the comedian acting as the speaker was not allowed to look at his “slide” (the other three on stage) until after they had struck a pose for the slide to be based off of. All in all, the performance was a good laugh, and relatively inexpensive for an Austin outing (only $10!).

Any SU student looking for entertainment at a decent cost and within close proximity to other hotspots is advised to go visit the Hideaway Theater and watch the Heroes of Comedy perform.

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