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Comedy off the cuff

The Fine Arts Council of Tracy is sponsoring a Twin Cites based improv comedy group at the Caboose

October 8, 2011
By Cindy Votruba , Marshall Independent

Fast-paced and unscripted comedy will be flying in Tracy.

ComedySportz, an improv comedy group based in the Twin Cities, is performing at 7 p.m. today at the Caboose in Tracy. The show is being sponsored by the Fine Arts Council of Tracy.

ComedySportz is a format show that was based out of Milwaukee in 1984 and was started by Dick Chudnow, said Doug Ocar, one of the ComedySportz performers. It came to the Minneapolis area in 1989 and is in more than 20 cities. Ocar has been with the group for more than 20 years.

What ComedySportz mainly does is improv comedy, Ocar said, and suggestions come from the audience.

"It can be anything to yelling out an animal to aardvark to dentist's office," Ocar said of the suggestions that come from audiences. "(It could be) something you're scared of."

Deb Miller of FACT said she saw the group perform at a church function last year.

"They were wonderful and funny," Miller said. "I try to tell people that it's not sports-related. It's not something we have much of in this area."

ComedySportz has a roster of 28 comedic actors and is sending eight to the show in Tracy. Once a year, the company has auditions.

But for its performances, audience members don't have to necessarily audition to be part of a Comedy-Sportz show.

"We like to pull up several volunteers during the show," Ocar said. "They get to be as funny as us or funnier."

Ocar said ComedySportz's shows are along the same flavor as "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" For the upcoming performance in Tracy, it will be a competition between two teams of comedic actors. The actors challenge each other and after a few rounds, the audience votes to which team was better.

Even if you are a veteran comedy improv actor, there are times where you may blank for a second, Ocar said, but another actor may help you out.

"Any spot you miss, they may pick up," Ocar said.

Ocar said ComedySportz performs at different kinds of functions, such as for businesses or at colleges. The company does have a theater in Minneapolis' Uptown where it performs on a regular basis.

Ocar said ComedySportz can be for all ages.

"The main focus is to create a show families can go to," Ocar said. The kids can feel like they're going to a show for adults, he said.

"I like that it's a clean family show," Miller said.



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