The Mirth-O-Matics, Monterey County’s stellar improvisational comedy troupe, returns to the Carl Cherry Center Friday, February 3rd at 7:30 p.m. Tickets $20.
A Mirth-O-Matics evening of theater games features a company of actors, a bare stage and a lot of ideas whose outlines are about as fixed as liquid mercury. Sometimes it starts with an unlikely combination of characters placed in equally improbable situations: Whoopie cushions, politicians, bagel salesmen and roller derbies can all find their way into a Mirth-O-Matics’ skit. Other skits are prompted by the audience, who are encouraged to suggest scenes.
Sometimes the situation is transformed time and again as the characters undergo a series of split-second metamorphoses: an irritated polka troupe on a bus, who then turn into faith healers at a revival meeting, gamblers at a casino, accusers at a witch trial and players in a rugby game.
However bizarre the setup, it is unique to the moment, no script and no structure except for the games, a fanciful array of exercises whose requirements range from making as many exits and entrances as possible in one scene to switching repeatedly back and forth from English to gibberish in another.