Spontaneous humor is the best humor. Improvisational theatre, often called improv, is created and performed as you watch. The host, the audience or others call out the subject, action or characters while the players collaborate to create the play. Here are the best regular and one-night improv comedy venues in Minnesota.
Stevie Ray’s Comedy Cabaret
Chanhassen Dinner Theatres
501 W. 78 St.
Chanhassen, MN 55317
Dates: Fridays and Saturdays 7:00 p.m. seating and 8:00 p.m. start
Price: $28 for show. Add $15 for dinner. $10.00 off for students through September 30th.
Stevie Ray’s new summer show, “Stevie Ray’s Land of 10,000 Laughs” sheds a new light on Minnesota traditions like barbecuing, going to the lake, tubing down the river or the Minnesota State Fair. Ray’s troupe, a master at turning ideas from the audience into dazzling comedy improv, have added skits and music to create a comedy-variety format. “It’s also a comedy show that’s clean, which is rare,” says CDT publicist Kris Howland. “I recommend it as most enjoyable for teens and up.”
HUGE Improv Theater
3037 Lyndale Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN 55408
Dates: See Calendar for details.
Price: $7 to $18
Devotion to the art of improvisation in comedy, especially long-form improv, is the hallmark of HUGE. Actors parade their comedic skills in a short scene with story, character or theme transfigured by audience input. HUGE’s cozy intimate atmosphere keeps you close to the actors but the house often fills on busy nights. You will find ample parking in one of two nearby lots or on the street. Soda, vitamin water, beer and wine are available at the bar.
3001 Hennepin Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN 55408
Dates: ComedySportz is every Thurs, Fri. and Sat. at 8:00 p.m.; Others are Fri. and Sat. at 10:30 p.m.
Price: $14 for ComedySportz, $12 for 10:30 p.m. shows, $2 off for Students, Children and Seniors
ComedySportz is different every night of the week because you make it up. Call out your prompt and two crews of crack comics will use it to compete for your laughs to win points. Keep your comments clean, or you could win a “Brown Bag Foul” as the referee will award you a paper bag to wear over your head. Fridays at 10:30 p.m. is a totally live and adlib version of age-old popular police and legal episode aptly named Law & Order: The Improvised Parody. See edgy NC17 on Saturdays at 10:30 p.m. where players concoct games and short scenes for an audience intended to be on the mature side of 18.
Related: Best Improv Comedy In Minnesota
222 E. Superior St.
Duluth, MN 55802
Dates: Every Fri. and Sat. Night at 10:30 p.m.
Price: $10 in advance to reserve seat, $6.00 at the door
Teatro Zuccone hosts Renegade Improv late weekend evenings after professional theatrical productions. The theater is small but the action is near and the drinks are handy. Enjoy the improvised comedy as teams of two vie for points. Sell out crowds enjoy the riotous results.
Brave New Workshop
824 Hennepin Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55403
The BNW Comedy Theater is currently lampooning the 2016 campaign for president in Lady and the Trump on its main stage. Nevertheless, Brave New Workshop will schedule an improv night from time to time produced by BNW’s Experimental Thinking Centre. See information on current shows here. Brave New Workshop is Minnesota’s mother lode for improvisational comedy claiming to be older than any theater in the United States.
Robin Johnson was born in Annandale, Minn. and graduated from Richfield High School and then the University of Minnesota where he studied Political Science, Business and Industrial Relations. A writer for Examiner.com, he also consults with a variety of organizations and individuals helping them develop and grow. His work can be found at Examiner.com.