REVIEW: Horatio Sanz and The Improv All-Stars @ Chicago Improv Festival

Deep Dish Chicago Throwback.

Horatio Sanz & The All-Stars of ComedyThis show was star-studded with Matt Besser, Matt Walsh, Michael Delaney, Anthony Atamanuik, Betsy Sodaro and led by Horatio Sanz. The cast stepped on stage to a very warm Chicago welcome and from there things got a bit interesting.

Walsh and Sanz went out into the audience to interview an audience member about their day. Sanz began talking to a young man, however, Walsh made the mistake of thinking “he” was a “she” which, needless to say, was an awkward moment we all shared together. This young man seemed a little confused about what he did during the day. The biggest point of confusion was whether or not he and his friends drank at brunch that morning. I mean, how do you not know? Which is clearly what the cast was thinking as well. Once Sanz gathered as much as he could, they started the show.

I’ll be honest, I wanted to like this show a lot more than I did. Maybe it was because they were tired. Maybe it was because the show got off to a rocky start. Maybe it was an off night. But whatever it was, I just had higher expectations. I think the cast had a lot of fun, which is usually a good time for the audience too, but it just felt a bit sloppy.

We started off at a farmers market, feeding a monkey and then we find out there’s an epidemic of monkey’s ripping off people’s faces. So we see the consequences of accidentally swapped faces. Later on, we see the consequences of swapped vaginas. We witness a brunch server commit suicide and bounce back and forth between brunch and the interrogation room. I had two favorite parts of the show and this was one of them: Besser steps in as a cop in the interrogation room and realizes that it no longer matters what happened to the server, all that mattered was whether or not the two people had drank anything. Of which they make quite a commotion, which was suiting given the opening interview.

After that we see Besser enter a coffee shop, distraught that the woman had written his name wrong on the coffee cup. She wrote “Jerry” but his name was actually “Google.” Then we see a montage of Google growing up and excelling at “looking stuff up.” We follow him through life as people continue to make up fake names for him. This was the other highlight, in my opinion, because it had more depth and they really stretched the concept. I think they probably laughed the most during this scene as well, which like I said, it’s always fun to see the pros crack.

The show closed out with a nephew getting stabbed at an apple store, a book club mulling over why a man would spread peanut butter on a vagina and an Indian-bank-sex rant. Matt Besser was by far the most on top of it than anyone else. He had strong walk-ons and choices, found the opportunity to heighten and edit when needed and was essential to keep the show moving. It definitely had it’s moments, but it was kind of all over the place. It was great to see these guys, as they are heroes to most of us, but like I said, I just had higher expectations.

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posted on by Kiley Peters posted in Chatter, Reviews

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