‘Whose Line Is It Anyway?’ comedians bring improv to Dayton

Audience members will be on the stage for 75% of the show.

Master improv comedians Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood are bringing their live show “Looking for Trouble” to the Victoria Theatre.

Mochrie and Sherwood have been touring together since the early 2000s but have known each other since 1990. They would practice improv in Santa Monica along with other Second City alumni. They also starred together on TV’s “Whose Line is it Anyway?” in Britain and America.

“I love the fact that it [improv] is never the same thing twice,” Mochrie said. “I love the show Brad and I do because that audience is the only audience who will see that show. Unlike a rock band, we don’t have to play our hits every night.”

The show, which is at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 8, relies heavily on the audience for suggestions and for participation. Mochrie said that audience members will be on the stage for 75% of the show.

“It’s like a live version of ‘Who’s Line’ without all the dead weight,” he said. “Many games are familiar to ‘Who’s Line’ and some we’ve had to adapt for just two people.”

While there really is no preparing for an improv show, Mochrie said that he and Sherwood do work on how they engage with the audience as some of the suggestions they get might sometimes not be considered family-friendly.

“We go into dirty areas sometimes, but a lot of families come to our shows. We try to come up with different ways to ask the questions,” he said.

Mochrie is an improv veteran. He started doing improv during college and in 1980, he joined the Vancouver TheatreSports League, where he met Ryan Stiles, another “Who’s Line is it Anyway” alum. Eventually, Mochrie joined the Second City comedy troupe in Toronto. Mochrie said that he doesn’t get super nervous anymore when he performs.

“There’s a little bit of butterflies in the stomach. There’s an audience and a packed house. But once you’re on stage, there’s a blind belief that it will work out and it usually does work,” he said.

Mochrie said that working on “Whose Line is it Anyway” was fun experience. He enjoyed both versions, but in Britain, there was no censorship. The American versions sometimes had certain things cut, but it wasn’t too hateful.

“It’s like if someone sat you down and asked you what you wanted to do for a job. Not a lot of hours and you get to work with friends. We didn’t have a chance to get sick of each other. Each host brought their own personality to it, so it was different,” he said.

Mochrie has performed in other genres including TV, movies and even plays. However, Mochrie said that he would stay with improv as “his talents are extremely limited.” One thing he would never do is stand-up comedy.

“O god no. If I’m going to die on stage, I want it to be with friends,” he said.

When he’s not performing, Mochrie enjoys doing normal things like laundry and cooking meals for his wife. He said the pandemic was odd for him because he actually enjoyed being home. However, he’s happy to be performing again and said he will continue to do so “as long as his hips don’t give out.”

More details

The show will be 2.5 hours long with a 20-minute intermission. Tickets are $28.50-$58.50 and can be purchased at www.daytonlive.org.

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