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Monday, March 24, 2014

Ninja Woman Triumphs in Action Musical

T.I.M.’s latest improvised exercise in cleverness

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T.I.M.: The Improvised Musical continued its monthly journey in March into long-form musical improv. The title drawn from audience suggestions this month was Book of Ninjas.

A sophisticated satire on American notions of Ninjutsu was lost to the diverse talents of the improv group. T.I.M. did, however, conjure a fun action-musical story. There were more than those few moments of genuine cleverness that have become a hallmark for T.I.M. over the years.

Now in its third year, the show regularly sells out. This month’s show was no exception with an enthusiastic crowd enjoying the presentation. A very charming Amanda Carson played the central heroine, a timid young woman studying to become a ninja. The cheesy action-musical plot played traditional journey-of-the-hero themes that were manipulated with some considerable efficiency by a group of students and a sassy spirit played by Mara McGhee as they followed the heroine to her triumphant finale.

The great thing about a T.I.M. show is the degree to which everyone involved in the production picks up the ball when the game seems to slow down. Much like a tide of ninjas in some cheesy movie, when things stall for one performer onstage, there are a number of others diving in to take up the rhythm. Even when the action stalls for everyone onstage, the T.I.M. band is good on the fly. Led by Colleen Schmitt on keyboard, they aided Jacob Bach in delivering an entirely improvised song to open and close the show that lingered long after the final bows.

T.I.M.: The Improvised Musical performs the third Thursday of every month at ComedySportz Milwaukee, 420 S. First St. The next performance is April 17. For tickets, call 414-272-8888.