National Comedy Theatre troupe touring bases in Europe
August 11, 2005
DARMSTADT, Germany — Throughout August, a five-person improv act will be bringing clean comedy to stages on installations throughout Europe while still making audiences think a little dirty.
The PG-13 performance put on by the National Comedy Theatre, based in San Diego, puts on a clever show with maximum audience participation. In its third year touring with Armed Forces Entertainment, the troupe showed off their military knowledge by asking for people by rank and poking fun at intelligence levels.
During the first show of this year’s tour, at the Escape Club in Darmstadt, the cast explained that they would be doing eight acts where the audience offers suggestions and then the actors play out their scenes.
Because the show is for all ages, cast leader Gary Kramer, 41, who calls both Los Angeles and New York home, explained the “Brown Bag Foul.”
He said this foul could be called at anytime during a skit on either the actors or an audience member for saying or doing something vulgar, dirty or otherwise offensive. That person would then have to wear a brown bag on their head for the rest of the performance.
No one at the Darmstadt show got bagged, but one audience member got close when someone dropped an “S-bomb” while offering up a skit for the four actors to play-out.
In the skit, Kevin Tryon, who is from Darmstadt but is currently stationed in Djibouti, Africa, and home on a two-week R&R break, described a recent dramatic scene in his life.
Tryon said that while he was out with a group of Irishmen in downtown Djibouti, a taxi driver threatened him with death if he didn’t take a ride in the cab. To escape, Tryon said he bought the driver a hooker.
One audience member aptly named the scene: “They bribed him with the booty in Djibouti.”
The troupe first played out the skit in normal dramatic form. Then they did it three more times, but in various audience-suggested styles. They acted it out as a romance, then as a Shakespearian play, and finally ended it as a rap song.
The crowd busted up with laughter.
After the show, Tryon and his two daughters compared it to the “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” television improv show.
“We had a fat and fluffy time, but I’m still waiting for the free beer,” Tryon said, referring to a skit in which one actor was threatened with buying the crowd beers.
After the show, the comedians explained that military shows almost make them feel bad.
“People come out and say ‘Thank you,’ to us after a show, when we should really be the ones saying thank you to them,” Les McGehee, 44, of Austin, Texas.
The schedule ...
The National Comedy Theatre will be touring Europe throughout August. For exact locations and show times, contact local Public Affairs Offices.
Thursday - Sembach, Germany
Friday - Ramstein, Germany
Saturday - Schweinfurt, Germany
Monday - Kitzingen, Germany
Wednesday - Ansbach, Germany
Thursday - Bamberg, Germany
Friday - Hanau, Germany
Aug. 20 - Baumholder, Germany
Aug. 22 - Buchel, Germany
Aug. 23 - Chievres, Belgium
Aug. 25 - Volkel, the Netherlands
Aug. 26 - Hohenfels, Germany
Aug. 27 and 29 - Garmisch-Eidelweiss Hotel, Germany
Aug. 31 - Landstuhl, Germany