Review: SWC improv group loves making up, breaking up

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Sometimes it is better to plan ahead, but other times it’s more fun just to make it up as you go.

Members of the Southwestern College Improvisation Group like to live life on the edge and tackle whatever comes along. Like gifted Jazz musicians, they create their art on the spot. They are pretty darn funny, too.

SWC’s team put on a laugh-filled show at the Lyceum Theatre in Horton Plaza, opening for the acclaimed play “Clybourne Park.” Giovanni Alva and his crew were a tough act to follow.

Alva, a theatre major, made the performance an audience-driven event and asked the crowd for ideas.

One memorable skit took place on a pier. With the actors quickly alternating, Jewell Karinen and Amanda Guerrero played the part of birds flying over the pier while aiming at their human targets. When their turn came up, Luciano Guitian and Jonathan Ortiz portrayed the roles of two men meeting on a blind date, sadly they were cut off by a quick switch. When they returned, they were on another date, which ended with Ortiz proposing to Guitian.

When the audience was asked about their favorite fairy tales, someone yelled out “Jack and the Beanstalk,” which led to the final skit. Karinen and Guitian were the humans, with Ortiz as the giant. This particular skit came with one caveat, they would perform it as Russians, Italians, and finally, as Ethiopians, as mandated by the audience. As Russians they drank Vodka constantly and spoke of Communism, while also trying to climb the beanstalk before the Americans beat them to it, a reference to the Moon landing. Their Russian accents were hilarious and a true highlight of the show.

Feisty Professor of Theatre Mark Pentilescu is the godfather of the SWC Improv. He said he was very happy with his students’ performances. More important, so was the audience.

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