Courtesy of BROOKES MAY
“Seniors, best of luck and blah blah blah” was the farewell message to Mission Improvable’s graduating members at their last appearance Thursday night in the Tavern.
At Mission Improvable’s final show of the semester and send-off of their 10 departing seniors, the atmosphere was more “blah blah blah” than bittersweet goodbye. Known as the “premier improv group at AU” — last semester, 45 people auditioned for just three spots — the troupe drew a sizeable crowd, having to add chairs to accommodate their audience. Nothing less than their best would be a fitting farewell, and they pulled out all the stops to make their audience (many sparing precious library time to come to the show) laugh out loud.
The enthusiasm of the crowd was evident as the cheering began during the senior photo slideshow and carried through the night. The consistency was unsurprising given the variety of subjects broached during the show, from Beanie Babies and pedophiles to terrorists and Muppets. Television shows, classic fairy tales, even their own cast members — nothing was spared from Mission Improvable’s interpretation and ridicule.
The show started late, but quickly made up for lost time as the skits began immediately following the slideshow. With minor breaks for transitions, time seemed to fly by as laughter abounded in the Tavern. Despite the lateness of the hour (the show didn’t begin until after 11 p.m.), a large audience remained throughout the show, taking in all the jokes Mission Improvable threw their way.
Audience support was enlisted in choosing topics for each of the games performed, resulting in sometimes outlandish but always entertaining moments. Kevin Spacey growing out of someone’s shoulder, a person turning into a Beanie Baby, another being chased by Chewbacca at a party and a gay dolphin shark solving a toilet paper crisis were among the audience’s contributions to the night’s hilarity. The troupe came up with some good wisecracks of their own, combining anime, film noir and “Jersey Shore” into a film for the first time and “retelling” the classic tale of “Little Red Riding Skank”.
AU-specific jokes also made their appearance in the show, with multiple references to the Alex Knepper controversy. Mission Improvable was able to do the impossible and make light of the situation while not further fanning the flames. Also subject to jokes were the members of the troupe themselves, with one of the personalities impersonated during “Dating Game” being Mission Improvable’s very own JonRobert “Tat” Tartaglione.
The spotlight of the show was the seniors as they performed their favorite improv games for the last time. “Good Cop, Bad Cop”, “Director’s Cut” and “Dating Game” were amongst those featuring the seniors in their farewell AU appearance. The show ended with a spirited rendition of “Rock Paper Anything” — a take on Rock, Paper, Scissors where the players came up with their own “trump card” move — which pitted the seniors against the younger members of the troupe. Despite the air of competition, it was evident throughout the show and with the farewell presents given by some of the younger members at the end that there was nothing but love within the group.
“It’s an escape from everything else on campus — it’s just fun,” sophomore member and Student Government president-elect Nate Bronstein said. “We’re some of the loudest people from all across campus, and we all do this thing we mutually enjoy.”
When most students are stressing over papers and exams and seniors are reminiscing over their times at AU while trying to figure out what to do next, Mission Improvable shared in some of their “escape” by cracking jokes and relieving stress while commending their seniors who will surely be missed.