Quick Wits provides big laughs for a small price
May 08, 2018 10:09AM
● By Justin Adams
March Madwits finale champions take the traveling trophy— team “Susan From HR” winners. (Photo/Bob Bedore)
By Amy Green | [email protected]
It can be hard to plan any outing for a few bucks these days. A seat in the Midvale City Performing Arts Center has a hidden gem offering just that—a less than 10 dollar evening out, with Quick Wits comedy actors. The ticket gets you out of the house, a little theater exposure, and lets others show you a good time for a few hours.
For 8 clams, there’s money left over for Sour Patch Kids, Sweet Tarts and Twizzlers. Maybe you’re that rare Peanut Roll kind of person? They have those too. While everywhere else is charging your firstborn for a bottle of concession water, it’s only one bill to get a treat here.
The Quick Wits comedy improv actors are a unique high-energy blend of silly. When arguing or stewing about where to go on weekend nights, give comedy improv a try. You can kick back, relax in the dimmed theater lights, laugh out loud, and even open-mouth chew.
Comedy improv was a popular social outing in the ‘90s, still alive and well today. You might remember visiting the Off Broadway Theater in downtown SLC, or watching “Whose Line Is It Anyway” with Drew Carey. Quick Wits performs this same off-the-cuff, unscripted humor. They use some new and long-time improv games you may have seen. The shows are mostly a PG performance. Sometimes, PG-13 (unplanned of course) topics pop up.
Hardworking mother of teen and pre-teens Becca Hair, makes time between multiple jobs, to come for some family relaxation. She brought her daughter Kylie. “I have a son as well, and he’ll come with us once in a while. It’s a good night out with the kids,” Hair said.
Quick Wits owner Bob Bedore is an experienced comedian and regular performer in the shows. Bedore explained how there are few restrictions with improv, but how certain rules make it work. “Yes, and...” is the first rule: answering “Yes” to someone’s idea and building upon it, instead of shooting it down. “That means don’t deny someone’s reality. Whatever reality they brought to the stage has to exist because they brought it. Work with the reality and build something together,” Bedore said.
The next rule is a practice in positive thinking: “No matter who you’re on stage with, they’re the best possible person you could be on stage with. Don’t be a star of the team. Make the team the star. One person being the star is not gonna be good for the improv thing. It’s always watch and listen,” Bedore advised.
His last suggestion (left to the professionals who dare step out of the curtains): “Be on the stage. Don’t be in your head. Being in your head is thinking ‘I know how to save the scene or be funny.’ While you’re doing that, the whole scene has moved past you. That makes for a forced story,” Bedore warned.
March MadWits 2018, the elimination comedy competition put on yearly by Quick Wits, finalized last month. It brought many funny people together to perform a series of shows, where the audience rated their favorite troupe of actors. The crowd reactions were strong and loud, every night of the competition. It was a to-the-death event, until one troupe was left, and declared winner of a trillion dollars! Or maybe just bragging rights? Perhaps a traditional Peanut Roll? It’s unclear what they won.
Actually, top Madwits comedians received a mega-size traveling trophy “and all the glory that winning an improv competition in Utah can bring you!” Bedore said, keeping it funny to the end.
The winning troupe, “Susan From HR” (comprised of Kelley Wood, Jason Wild, Tito Campos, and stand-in substitute Blake Heywood), won by one vote over team “Milkshake Mafia.”
Megan Sticht, improv comedy player and daytime teacher, made it to the “Elite Eight” out of 12 teams of 36 total improvisers. She described what it’s like being on stage and coming up with material on the spot. “It’s exhilarating,” she said. “It’s a lot of fun to be up there and have the structure of improv games—and then the audience throws these suggestions at you. Having to put them into the scene and make them come alive for the audience, is fun.”
Quick Wits is currently preparing for a "Summer Of Fun" series when they do specialty shows like "FreakShow," "Wheel of Fun," and others. On June 8, Quick Wits will sponsor an ‘80’s concert at Midvale City Park featuring music by "Channel Z" and an ‘80’s costume contest. On June 9, they will have a "Totally Awesome ‘80’s Quick Wits Show." Visit https://qwcomedy.com/ for more information.
Next time when thinking about where to see local and support local, improv artists are ready to entertain. They will prance about like bathing unicorns, limp the stage as wounded fish, or lay on the ground being a middle-aged man in childbirth. So you can see, there is no need to even dress up. Come as you are, in your “I heart Susan From HR” T-shirt.