Washington Improv Theater’s ‘Love Bites’

Valentine’s Day was awesome as I spent it at the hysterical Love Bites, which was presented by Washington Improv Theater. In a romping good night out, audiences were treated to a beautiful fusion of Improv theatre and sketch comedy all centered around Valentine’s Day. And whether you love or hate the holiday, whether you went as a single, or with your significant other, there was something there for everyone.

Mikael Johnson and Mark Chalfant. Photo by Andrew Bossi.

Broken down into six individual events, with three on either side of the intermission, the audience was roaring with laughter from start to finish. We’re Single and Ready to Mingle featured sketch comedy with suggestions from the audience regarding celebrity couples as told through two stereotypical blond sorority girl personalities. They latched onto every couple suggested and made it a fun time for all. Blue Bunny was up next, featuring the works for Mikael Johnson and Joe Uchno as they double teamed some long form improve related to relationships. They took suggestions from the audience about problems frequently seen in relationships and then again for special moments or memories relating to the holiday. The best part of Uchno and Johnsons’ segment was that you could tell they were true improv pros. They tossed out offers at one another, they reciprocated them well and they lived the scene for truth – they went for the real payoff rather than the quick, cheap laugh and in the end the audience was still laughing until they were on the floor.

The show continued on with solid sketch comedy You Complete Me and Other Lies which was a nice flash of pun humor set in an Italian pizza kitchen. The characters that were played out here were akin to what you would expect from Saturday Night Live. And the big opener on the other side of intermission was the second best segment of the show: Be Our Guest where Mark Chalfant and his “stage wife” plucked single members from the audience and tried to pair them up. It was a riot and although I don’t think any matches were made in heaven – both audience members were good sports about the whole event.

Joe Uchno and Stephanie Anderson. Photo by Andrew Bossi.

A Romantic Dinner set the bar to new heights when it came to ‘awkward.’ A mostly silent scene about romantic dinners, spurred on by a single word given from an audience member and then the miming chaos ensued. But the funniest segment of all, the one where all of the players got involved was the closing piece …In Bed. A giant air mattress was brought on stage and all of the players donned their pajamas in varying degrees from full pajama suits to scantily clad lingerie and boxers. A basket of fortune cookies were placed at the foot of the mattress and a player would crush one open and read the fortune, adding to the end of every fortune “…in bed.” And then a mini scene would occur, players jumping in and out, tagging in and out of the scenes and switching up the events as they rolled along, every so often another fortune being added to the fun. It was hysterical as they lived up so many awkward and funny moments in bed covering everything from sleepovers to masturbation and vacuum cleaners to suffocation. The true grand finale of the evening.

It was such a fun time and those of you that missed it really missed out – but WIT is constantly doing crazy fun improv shows! For more information about what’s coming next to WIT, please visit their website.

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