Last Saturday night, Hope’s very own improvisation comedy group, Vanderprov, held their very first show of the season. A one-of-a-kind show with plenty of twists and turns, VanderProv is always a great time, and Saturday was no exception. Led by a group of five that consists of Griffin Baer, Shannon Rogers, Johnny DeMaagd, Ben Douma and Matt Schuiling, Vanderprov put on an hour-long spectacle that moved from one quirky suggestion to another. Consisting of a series of games that allow the cast to “freeze” the scene at any moment they choose, their first scene featured a scene in which a lonely zookeeper discovers his gorilla is a highly competent communicator. This was followed up by a game where two select audience members are relied on to summon verbs and nouns that change the dynamic of the scene on the spot, with all eyes on them.
Like a game of real-life Mad Libs, the skit evolved into a handyman father paying ludicrous amounts of allowance to his loving daughter, who wielded a magic monocle and a
miniature Johnny Depp. Further games such as “Mr.KnowItAll” and “Taxi” led to lightning-fast comedy and lasting laughs.
While these skits were silly in nature, they relied heavily on the talent and ingenuity of the Vanderprov team. At one point, five members of the group even spawned a pitch-perfect Scottish pirate metal song surrounding only the infamous the phrase “Yeet” live on stage. This was just one example of the creativity and humor on display during the show, as they continued on, one scene after another, for over an hour without any noticeable water breaks or pauses.
Communication between the members was often wordless and fluid, leaving virtually no awkward moments, which oftentimes can be the bane of improv’s medium. For anyone who finds the idea
of improv strange or unusual, Vanderprov is all of those things and more, but in a good way. Vanderprov was an awesome event, in its own weird way, and hopefully future shows don’t lose this quality.