Whew! The last night of Ventura Area Theatresports (VATS) Laughingstock 3: Rumble in the Comedy Jungle was a full on, short form extravaganza, and they went out with a very successful bang. They started the same as every night with a Free-For-All. Jim, Mike, Patrick, and I all participated in that first performance, along with players from VATS and Chimps (the Chadwick Improvisors). I think we all had a good time, and I really enjoy the challenge of working with other improvisers.
Then it was a Micetro knockdown. There were a total of 3 shows, in an elimination match to determine the Master of the Universe. At least in Improv. And maybe just in our region. And pretty much just Theatresports folks. But still, it was damn good improv, and really funny.
There's a better descriptions of the Micetro here, but briefly the idea is a large group of players compete by performing scenes in small groups chosen randomly. Each piece is assigned points by the audience, and all players in that piece are awarded those points. At the end of a match, the top point winners move on the next round.
The first two Micetro shows of the night were preliminaries with 12 to 13 players in each match. The players came from VATS, Chimps, Rapid Fire Theatre (the Edmonton guys), and LATS (LA Theatresports). The top 6 from each met in the final match, with some alterations made to accommodate some of the guests. It was a lot of short form improv, and I was pretty tired by the end, but to their credit, that last show just got funnier.
At the end, there was a multi-way tie, and frankly I don't remember who won what. It really didn't matter, since it was the end of the festival, and they didn't even bother with any sort of a tie-breaker. They invited all the performers from the entire weekend up on stage for a final thank you, and it was all applause and appreciation. VATS was a great host, and Tom Mueller and Judy Gottlieb deserve a lot of credit. Thank you both.
Actually, I'd like to thank several of the folks from the VATS group who were very welcoming and helped put on a great show: Tom and Judy I mentioned before; George Morgan, the piano player who added mood to every piece and made each musical number sound like real show tune; Gary Best who MC'd many of the shows; Katherine Boring and Jim Kasmir who directed Sunday's Free-For-All; and a general thank you to so many of the VATS members who would check in to be sure we had whatever we needed or just to make us feel welcomed.