After over 25 years on stage, the Stevie Ray’s Comedy Club is getting a new look.
And they are improvising.
The Stevie Ray’s Comedy Club has rebranded itself to be the Stevie Ray’s Comedy Cabaret. A two-hour long show complete with stand-up comedy and improvisation.
Saturday night’s performance was the official kick-off to the new format. It included performances by the Stevie Ray’s Improv Troupe, made up of Carl Olson, Brett Williams, Rex Isom Jr., Caroline Hitt, Joe Lovitt and Heather Girard-Peabody, and comedian Chris Barron.
Stevie Ray himself also made a rare performance as the emcee of the night.
The new format of Stevie Ray’s acts as a great introduction to the world of improv, helping audiences who may be unfamiliar with the format understand more of how it works.
Whether it was because the show’s format just changed to include improv as well as stand-up, or because Ray himself was there, Saturday’s performance offered a large amount of explanation of what improv is and what the actors would be doing.
Prior to the troupe’s introduction, Ray explained how different portions of the show would work, stating a number of times that the actors would be making things up as they go along.
He also called out for suggestions, noting that they would only accept clean ones.
(So, families, this is a great option for you as well.)
As with all improvisational comedy, there were some hits and some misses.
Gerard-Peabody and Hitt had a great skit called “Talkin’ Crafts.” The two played middle-aged Minnesota women who made things out of ridiculous items, such as used toothbrushes.
Another successful bit was when each comedian was given the chance to emulate Jeff Foxworthy. Foxworthy is known for his segment, “You Might Be A Redneck If…” So the comedians asked for suggestions from the audience, which led to things like “You Might Be A Vegetarian If…” or “You Might Be A Mother Of Teenagers If…”
But while these skits were well received, the stand-up comedian that broke up the troupes two acts had some trouble engaging the crowd.
Luckily, the stand-up portion of the show was sandwiched in between the troupes two sets, so it wasn’t the first, or last, impression left on the audience.
The show’s humor definitely leaned toward an older crowd, with a lot of jokes about family and ball-and-chain type humor.
But when something is truly funny it doesn’t really matter how old anyone is, it’ll get a laugh.
So for those looking to see some improv for the first time, head to Stevie Ray’s. You’ll learn a lot, and you’ll get dinner and drinks too!
Stevie Ray’s takes place at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Tickets cost $28 and dinner can be added for $15 per person. Tickets can be purchased by calling 952-934-1525, or visiting Stevie Ray’s online. The show is performed at the Chanhassen Dinner Theaters, located at 501 W. 78th Street. For more information, call 952-934-1525.