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Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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« FilmStrips: An Evening of Cinematic Burlesque Intel's Global Tour Comes to Grant Park »

Comedy Sat Jun 01 2013

Improv Spotlight: Switch Committee

After I watched the improv team Switch Committee perform at Second City's Donny's Skybox last night, I decided to get a $1 vanilla cone from McDonald's. But, instead of my midnight, summer ice-cream, I learned a hard lesson: even at a 24 hr. location, the McDonald's dining area closes sometime before midnight. The point of this story is that summer is almost here and that means it's a perfect time for ice-cream and by ice-cream I mean seeing Switch Committee, because unlike my failed $1 cone trip you won't be disappointed.

Switch Committee has been performing together since around November 2011. The team's members -- Ryan Nallen, Alan Linic, Collin Dahlgren, Dave Karasik, and David Schwartzbaum -- have performed/studied improv all over the city, including at Second City, iO, and The Annoyance. "We're very playful," said Karasik. "In real life we're close friends so we have the camaraderie with messing with each other and we love bringing that to the stage."

At last night's show the team started with the suggestion of "sour cream" and somehow ended up in a Jimmy John's giving a customer "the works" AKA killing off a bunch of people. The team did it in a really fun way and was edgy without being too sinister. "We enjoy getting real physical with each other," said Linic. "Oftentimes that heightens to death or black-outs or like riding each other around or tossing each other places." The team's personal history really works for them -- they let the scene build and really go for it with each other. The iO website says that, "With deft play making and quick groupwork, Switch attacks each scene, allowing nothing to go unnoticed, bringing the fun out of any situation and theme."

This summer, you'll have plenty of chances to check out this type of physical-maybe-death heightening. For the next three Fridays, the team will continue their run at Donny's Skybox, sharing billing with the hilarious Manny Mora in "Blood Feud: Switch Committee VS. Manny Mora."

Two weeks ago Switch Committee auditioned in front of iO co-founder Charna Halpern to open for the team Lethal Action Force (which I wrote about here). Switch performed a one-off and after the show they were asked to open for LAF on Saturdays at midnight. The next day Halpern emailed the team asking if they'd be interested in trying out a Thursday slot for a month (in June, 8PM).

Like a midnight ice-cream run, Switch Committee is going to be a great summer treat, just don't be crazy and wait too long to see them.

You can catch the team tonight with LAF for $5/free for students at iO (midnight, Del Close Theater) or Thursday at 8PM in iO's Cabaret Theater ($12). Check out Switch Committee's website -- with upcoming show dates, the team's podcasts, and videos.

Below is a Switch Committee Teaser Video for iO to get your heart pumping.

top photo credit: Heather Scholl

Follow me on Twitter: @Ty_e_

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Architecture Tue Nov 03 2015

Paul Goldberger Describes the "Pragmatism and Poetry" of Frank Gehry's Architecture in His New Book

By Nancy Bishop

Architecture critic Paul Goldberger talks about Frank Gehry's life and work in a new book.
Read this feature »

Steve at the Movies Fri Jan 01 2016

Best Feature Films & Documentaries of 2015

By Steve Prokopy

Read this column »


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