How one community of improv players elevated goofy skits to high art and inspired thousands of New Yorkers to climb, and fall, on stage with them.
The lights are still on and the Magnet Theater is getting full. The crowd mingles, cheap beers in hand, awaiting performances by teams with quirky names like Flower Girl and Dr. Champagne. The people gathered here have taken classes together, or have had the same teacher, but for a different course; they’ve been on a team with a new acquaintance’s ex-roommate, or have been coached by a friend’s classmate’s team member they once met at a mixer. More connections are made, prompting iPhoned friend requests and hangouts at Mustang Sally’s after the show.
A few blocks east, just off Park Avenue, the night starts off with drinks in the chic lobby bar at The People’s Improv Theater, better known as The PIT. Shortly afterward, the basement stage is graced by the comedy troupes Nat’l Weather Service, 1-800-London, Dr. Doctor, and Matador. Shenanigans ensue. A lanky strawberry blonde dude is approached by a desperate girl, huffing and puffing. He adopts an obnoxious, but …
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