A few weekends previous I attended an improv show at Theatre 99 down on Meeting Street. The comedy group that was performing was called The Have Nots!, and being a relative newbie to the improv scene in general I was excited to see what the evening had in store. Initially I was nervous; not for me, but for the performers. Regrettably I have a large amount of performance empathy for anyone on stage, especially for the judgement or co-operation of an audience. It often gets in the way of my own enjoyment, but these performers hit it off so quickly with the theatre that I was not given time for my own worry. Practically the entire show was based off of audience participation, eliminating any chance of a disinterested viewer. It was a rare moment for any joke to land badly and I was laughing along within minutes, with everyone around me seeming just as enthusiastic as I was to be there.
What interested me most about the evening was the demographic appeal of the performance. There were people in the rows ranging from age eighteen to what must have been their late sixties. Everyone was enjoying themselves equally. This form of comedic, improvisational theatre creates a huge amount of general appeal; there is a much larger demographic base for them to draw upon for shows than other arts mediums. It appears it is easier to sell easy laughter than an enlightening gallery opening. It’s not just educated, middle-class, middle-aged Americans showing up for shows, but a wide range of people from different backgrounds coming from Europe on the cruise ships or simply Charleston natives.
Overall, I would highly recommend this evening for others. It’s a great event to go to with friends or family, regardless of age. Anyone looking for a comedic release should definitely head down, especially as ticket prices were low enough to enjoy the show and still get dinner afterwards.