At the height of the McCarthy era, an experimental theater troupe set up shop in a bar near the University of Chicago. Via word-of-mouth, astonished crowds packed the ad-hoc venue to see its unscripted, interactive, co
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Full disclosure: I won a free ARC of this book in a Goodreads giveaway.
As you’d surmise, this is a history of the improv movement in the USA. Wasson presents it as an American artform–yes, there are antecedents in European traditions, but nothing quite like improv as the term is commonly understood. Anyway, he makes a persuasive case, but whether you accept it as American or not, the history–Nichols & May, Second City, the Groundlings, Saturday Night Live, SCTV, This is Spinal Tap, Stephe
really solid and entertaining history – the notes section alone is a trove of cool stuff to follow through on, videos to check out, interviews to read, etc. the writing gets a lil clumsy i think, proportionate to the author’s enthusiasm. like based on how he described some of the sctv crew’s parties i could tell they were his favs cause it got a little cringey reading it – and then in the afterword it’s like yep, they were his favs. but honestly there’s also something kind of lovely about that,
I can’t even begin to describe how much this book means to me. When I first started reading it, I assumed it would be the history of improv. However, this was way more than just a history book. This is the story (or should I say, stories) of artists we have come to know and love and their passion for improvisation.
As an improviser myself, I can say that yes I did know a lot of the information already written in my book. But, this book made me feel like I personally knew the legends I read so mu