Dad’s Garage is internationally known for its ability to provide the best improv in the city of Atlanta while at the same time host some of the most dynamic theater in the Southeast. The Backstage Beat has long been a fan of Dad’s Garage and its impressive and varied scheduled for any week. This weekend, I had a chance to take in TheaterSports, Dad’s longest running improv.
What is TheaterSports?
Taking the Main Stage performance space at Dad’s every Saturday night, TheaterSports pits two teams of established improvisers against each other as both teams take turns challenging each other. Eve Krueger, acting as host/referee, officiated by controlling the time and pace of the competition as well as monitoring for particularly foul language. While this is not an “all-ages show” by any means, the improv-ers are not allowed to gratuitously use obscene language. The teams were assisted by a keyboard player, Sydney Ellis-Gaskins, who managed to delightfully interject the music to enhance the competition.
The evening provided belly laughs to an appreciative and receptive audience. Team “Time-Fixing Future Cops” took on team “Past Nasties.” The Time-Fixing Future Cops were led by local improv legend Lucky Yates, supported by the talents of Christian Danley and Tommy Futch. The Past Nasties boasted veteran improv artists Megan Leahy, Ed Morgan and Karen Cassady. While voting in the onstage competition went to the Time-Fixing Future Cops, granting them the prize of “all the gold in Costa Rica,” there was no doubt that everyone was a winner, especially the audience.
This style of completion feeds off audience suggestions and interaction. In a fortuitous and ultimately hysterical coincidence, that separate bachelorette parties ended up at Dad’s Garage during this show. One bride-to-be, Elizabeth, was brought on stage to judge how well the performers attempted to recreate the life of her and her fiancé. The other bride-to-be, Kelly, was actually asked to act out an outrageous last date before dating her fiancé.
(Stacie, Kelly (The Bride-to-Be), Mindy and Casey Enjoying A Bachelorette Party At Dad’s Garage)
Because of the ephemeral nature of live improvisational theater, it would be difficult to capture the situations in a way to give them justice, but please find the time to come out and enjoy TheaterSports at Dad’s Garage yourself. TheaterSports is performed every Saturday evening at 10:30 PM. Check the website (HERE) for ticket availability. Dad’s Garage shows usually sell out.
1980s Teen Comedy Recreated on Stage
If you are looking to explore the Theater side of Dad’s Garage, there is a play, “Z.O.N.K.E.R.S.,” that just opened and is getting a lot of buzz. “Z.O.N.K.E.R.S.” bills itself as a 1980s Tit Comedy and incorporates many of the elements of 1980s teen movies including space aliens, summer camps, and boobs. Actually, according to actress Eve Krueger, there will be “actual boobs on stage.” This show does carry a warning that is appropriate only for those who can handle adult humor, and there is nudity on the stage. “Z.O.N.K.E.R.S.” runs through October 15.
Dad’s Garage TV
During intermission, I was introduced to a new concept at Dad’s Garage: Dad’s Garage TV. Using the Internet (YouTube and other locations), Dad’s Garage has expended out of Atlanta and across the world. Though only eight videos have been uploaded, these uncomfortably hilarious videos are a start to something that will give a greater voice to the comic talents of Dad’s Garage. The YouTube feed is located at: HERE
Volunteering and Classes
As a theater, Dad’s Garage depends on its volunteers to keep it vital and viable. The performers were genuinely appreciative of Dad’s volunteers and reminded the audience that there was always room for more volunteers. On a similar note, most of the talents on stage studied Improv at Dad’s Garage before becoming performers. It is best to check to the website for new classes starting in late October as well as well as volunteer opportunities.
A Vital Spot in Atlanta’s Entertainment Scene
With the thriving improvisational group, a long history of experimental theater, and flexibility unrivaled by any other theater in the nation, Dad’s Garage has the tools to delivery quality entertainment to the Atlanta audience. Two of Dad’s Garage’s key improvisers, Lucky Yates and Amber Nash, have been playing key supporting roles on FX’s cartoon Archer for three seasons now. The annual Baconfest at Dad’s Garage has become a local tradition.
A visit to TheaterSports highlights just how dynamic and engaging this type of theater is. Dad’s Garage knows how to create an audience experience that brings people back week after week, year after year. After fifteen years, this theater is still growing, fresh, and a vital spot in Atlanta’s entertainment scene.
Dad’s Garage Information
Location and Phone:
280 Elizabeth Street
Atlanta, GA 30307
GET OUT THERE AND VISIT DAD’S GARAGE! TELL THEM THE BACKSTAGE BEAT SENT YA!