HUGE Theater says that improv is “built on conquering fears and working collaboratively in an accepting environment.” Doesn’t that sound a little like a first date?
If the comparison isn’t working for you, imagine the weird situations in improv… sounding more like a first date? I could describe improv in my own words, but this clip from Inception, in which Cobb describes the dream world says it better. Improv actors perceive and create their world simultaneously. Because of this—like in dreams—the audience witnesses crazy universes, hilarious non-sequiturs, and situations your mind would never produce on its own. In improv though, it somehow manages to make sense.
HUGE improv specializes in a rare type of improv called long-form improvisation, and HUGE is the only place in the Twin Cities you can find it. Don’t think Who’s Line Is It Anyway (yes, I’m sure you love Who’s Line); rather think of an extended scene or production sans a script. And if all you’re interested in is Wayne Brady doing hoedowns stop reading here. (That was sarcasm, please read on. Here’s a clip of Wayne Brady to get you through it.)
HUGE has an industrial look and yet personal feel. I walked in (an unassuming Tomato Dater) and received a friendly greeting from Butch Roy who turned out to be the Executive Director. At first I thought they must’ve known I was coming, what with the executive director greeting me and providing a free Vitamin Water. But no, apparently they had never even heard of Date Tomato (What? Have they been living a under a rock!?) and Vitamin Waters are free for anyone who bikes!
The actual theater space is anything but HUGE. The stage is nondescript and small. The seating seems as if it’s been pulled together at the last minute rather than part of a theater approaching its first birthday that sells out many shows. All of this, however, lends to the style and atmosphere of the theater—as if the theater itself is improvised every evening. It’s fun, casual and personal. After the show the cast comes out and mingles in the lobby. From start to finish it feels like every detail was calculated and at the same time those details are entirely spontaneous—as is the point, one would imagine.
HUGE is located on Lyndale and 31st. There’s new stuff going on all the time. Check out their full schedule here. The shows are short and cheap and funny and there’s beer. Really, what more could you want for a first date?
Edit: I guess I can’t say that they’re the only place that does long-form improv in the Twin Cities, because if you try hard, you can find shows scattered around. They’re just the only theater dedicated to it. On the other hand, I can say whatever I want.