Doing the IMPROVable
The Third Street Promenade is very well known and visited for its shops, movie theaters, restaurants, and bars.
But just when you think you have experienced it all, its nightlife has even more to offer: a comedy theater.
Every Friday and Saturday night at 10 p.m., a few members of an improvisational comedy group gather onstage at M.i. Westside Comedy Theater to make the audience laugh and clap nonstop.
On Friday night, tables and chairs surrounded the stage and red bricks dressed the walls. The lights dimmed as the show began.
The comedians did not wait long to get the audience to participate. Each scene became a game where the public played an active part. Some of them even joined the comedians on stage, much to the delight of the rest of the audience.
“It’s a fun evening — a different evening," said Aaron Krebs, co-owner of the M.i. Westside Comedy Theater. "People come for parties of all sorts, like birthdays. It’s a great place for dates too.”
Open seven nights a week, the comedy theater provides a wide variety of shows to attend. Krebs, also a cast member of the IMPROVable show, explained the secret of its popularity Friday night.
“I think it makes itself popular because it is so different," he said. "You can always go to a movie, you can always go see a music show or a stand-up comedian but this show is interactive with the audience."
The comedians were full of energy, jumping and dancing all night long. The secret for this high-energy, fun and interactive performance?
“A lot of sugar,” Krebs said.
While some of the comedians are actors or writers, others are simply everyday people.
“It is not just about acting; it can be anybody," Krebs said. "We have classes here, people take the classes, and then we have auditions about once a year to put more people in the show.”
Ulrika Beitnere, a UCLA student from Latvia, seemed to enjoy the show.
"It was really fun, even if I didn't get the sense of every word," she said. "I still understood most of it."
Mission IMPROVable originally started in 1995 in Chicago and toured nationally before settling down in Santa Monica three years ago. The improv comedy group went from Disney cruise ships to the music festival Lollapalooza, performing for hundreds of thousands of fans around the world.
M.i. Westside Comedy Theater is located in the alley behind Third and Fourth Street at 1323-A Third Street Promenade. The easiest way to get there is to park in the near parking structure of Fourth Street and Arizona Avenue.
Tickets to the one-hour show are $10 and the venue is 21 and over. Tickets can be purchased at westsidecomedy.com.
What are you waiting for? Call your friends and enjoy a night of comedy.