Improv comedy is usually a collaborative team activity — but this event has turned it into a sport that pits comedians head-to-head.
A group of improvisational comics will battle it out for the champion title — and a mug of beer — at Littlefield in Gowanus on March 10 at BeerProv, a live competition that its founder calls a cross between “Whose Line is it Anyway” and “Survivor.”
“These are some of the funniest improvisers in the city,” said Jim Robinson, who is also the host. “Getting them all together in the same room means it will be an hilarious night.”
The two-part show starts off with improv and stand-up sets from each of the contestants, giving them a chance to warm up. Then the battle begins.
The competition consists of a series of classic improv skill games, including “party quirks,” in which the audience gives contestants personas as party guests and one must guess who they are, and “take that back,” in which contestants are periodically interrupted and told to take their last line of dialogue back and come up with a new one.
The audience votes on the winners of each round, knocking contestants out as the show progresses. The comedian left standing at the end is the winner, and gets to drink a beer from the “BeerProv Mug of Champions” — hence the name of the show.
Robinson, who started BeerProv in Toronto in 2010, said the contest focuses entirely on short-form improv, which is different from most of the improv performed in New York City.
“It keeps it fresher, faster-paced, there are a lot more jokes, and it is a lot funnier,” he said.
And no show is ever the same, said Robinson.
“The audience knows that what they are seeing is being created right before their eyes and will never be seen again,” he said. “And by giving suggestions, the audience feels that they are part of the show.”
BeerProv at Littlefield [622 Degraw St. between Fourth and Third Avenues in Gowanus, (718) 855–3388, www.littl