Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2012

Hardy Boys Improv with Smithereen

By Russ Bickerstaff
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The Hardy Boys have been around for 85 years. If the continuity of the original series was intact, Frank and Joe Hardy would be cranky, old rich white guys complaining about the general state of things in the modern world. Thanks to a steady stream of authors and a floating timeline, they remain young and very, very popular. They have evolved a lot over the years. As I understand it, they remain the creepily "wholesome," rich American ideal of traditional masculinity that they always were. The original series may have ended in '05, but now they're part of some weird undercover syndicate. Strange . . . 


And yes, they may be still appear to be a fully-owned property of publishing mega-giant Simon and Schuster, but that's no reason a few import actors can't poke a little fun at the traditional image of Frank and Joe. Next week Smithereen Productions . . . the people evidently in some way responsible for T.I.M.--The Improvised Musical bring you The Hardy Boys and the Case of the Blankety-Blank. This being imrpov, the Blankety-Blank in question will become clear the evening of the performance, which in this case ends up being. Friday, September 28th. 


Some of those books probably SEEMED as though they were improvised as the author went along. (This WAS work for hire after all . . . some of these guys were only making the modern equivalent $1500 per book with no rights or royalties . . . not exactly incentive for writing anything of merit . . . ) Here we get a chance to see a talented group of improv artists do the same work for a fraction of the pay as an all-new spooftacular Hardy Boys mystery is made up entirely on the spot. 


The group in question includes the following: Ryan Spiering (who appeared in the last Natalie ryan show,) Gretchen Mahkorn (of World's Stage Theatre) and the more improv-centric talents of Andrew Pauly, Cameron Smith, Jacob Bach (of T.I.M.) and Joe Vella. The clever improv scoring talents of T.I.M,'s keyboardist Colleen Schmitt fill out the performance. This sounds like a really good group with what could end up being a really interesting stage dynamic.


The Hardy Boys and the Case of the Blankety-Blank will be performed Friday, September 28th at 11:59 pm. (Yes, this is a late-night show) at ComedySportz on 420 South 1st Street. Tickets are a paltry $5 at the door. (Cash only.) It's general admission. And if you want to get the whole ticket thing out of the way before the performance. you can call 414-272-8888 to reserve seats or for further information. 

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