WANT TO GO?
"Comedy for a Cause"
With the National Comedy Theatre
WHERE: Charleston Light Opera Guild Theater, 411 Tennessee Ave.
WHEN: 6 p.m. Saturday
INFO:www.angelsperch.com or 646-281-4795CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- J.T. Arbogast acknowledged that a certain amount of risk comes with billing an improv show as "family friendly," particularly if that show relies on audience participation.
The actor, comedian and filmmaker, who appears Saturday night at the Charleston Light Opera Guild Theater with the National Comedy Theatre troupe, said, "We have a really high energy improv show that's accessible to all ages. It's a lot of audience participation, both in terms of being used on stage as well as offering suggestions to get scenes started."
They try to avoid crossing the blue line when they can, but sure, it happens. People slip up. A comic can take a wrong turn and say something he shouldn't -- and sometimes someone in the audience brings the naughtiness.
"We have a certain set of rules we abide by," Arbogast said. "We have fouls we call if somebody says something off-color or inappropriate."
And there are punishments.
"We admonish them, lovingly," he said.
And they make them wear a paper bag over their head.
But it's all in good fun and not permanent.
Going blue isn't really what the National Comedy Theatre is about. Arbogast describes it more like a game involving comedic dexterity -- "Like Drew Carey and 'Who's Line is it Anyway?' without Drew Carey."
"We equate it to sports," he said, explaining the comedy the troupe is kind of competitive. "It's like this: if I'm on a basketball team and pushing the tempo of the game, running down the court with the ball, I want to know if I have a teammate coming up behind me that I can throw the ball back and he'll know it's coming."