On The Radar: 2015

It’s finally here everyone, the 2nd Annual San Diego Improv Festival.  After watching 96 teams’ submission videos, it’s exciting to have so many teams here to see in person.  With so many shows going on, it may seem overwhelming to try and catch enough to “do the fest”.  The mainstays like LA’s King Ten and Chicago’s Dummy are obvious choices, but there are so many terrific teams here this year.  Here are a few my picks for great teams to catch that are less known (though probably not for long) and definitely worth making an effort to catch.

Friday at 10pm is a terrific block all the way through; first up is Apollo 12 (Phoenix), one of Arizona’s longest running longform teams.  This will actually be my first time to catch them after years of hearing their name hyped up.  After that is Old Vegas (LA), returning for their second year at the festival, and they had a terrific show last year.  These guys travel to multiple festivals each year, so we’re real lucky to have them again.  Following them is Red Door (LA), a two-man duo that wowed the programming committee with a high energy, physical, fourth-wall busting show.  Closing out is Gallons (NYC/SD), and given the clown background of the brother pair performing, expect a great, ridiculous end to the second night of the fest.

Saturday at 10pm is another unbelievable block – kicking it off is the Laser Comedy Show (Chicago), also returning for a second year.  It’s one man show; Chris Fair draws images using green lasers on a screen which gradually vanish, for some very ethereal, stream-of-conciousness improv.  In the #2 spot in the block is Pawn Takes Queen (Cedar City, UT), a very fun three-man monoscene team.  I’ve known these guys for about 3 years, and they have such a wonderful chemistry for some very playful characters.  After them is Patchwork (San Francisco), one of many teams representing the Bay Area this year.  They are funny and high energy, just perfect for a thrilling Saturday end of night 3.  Batting cleanup is Melissa?! (LA), and I really love these ladies.  Its a rowdy, raucous show, brilliantly intense and very funny.

There are of course tons and tons of great teams here, more than I could easily write about in one post without just saying: see everything!  Check back here for updates, reviews, and comments on shows and the festival at large.  Tweet @RidingontheWall #SDImprovFest with your picks for the best show in town.