Improv troupe brings smiles, smirks to Sturges

Last Friday afternoon, the sounds of laughter echoed through Sturges Auditorium as the members of No Laugh Track Required performed for a packed house.

Making their entrance through the back doors of the auditorium, the No Laugh Trackers charged through the audience like a herd of bulls. "Every face in the room lit up with a smile before any of the members had even said a word," said senior Leslie Krotman.

The show began with the troupe putting on a live "slideshow." It featured juniors Nick Ponterio and Jen Thorpe telling the story of "How the New Girl Got In," as the rest of the group acted out freeze-frames accordingly.

In their classic fashion, NLTR continued with a series of improvisational games adapted from the comedy show "Whose Line is it Anyway?"

Among these was "No, You Didn't," which featured four members of the group acting out a scenario about a spider - the theme chosen by the audience. During the skit, Ponterio would shout "No, you didn't!" at the participants when he wanted the story to change course. The actors would then have to find different ways to continue their scenario.

The audience roared with laughter as the plot thickened, incorporating Thorpe as a top-hat-wearing spider who was taken in by a lollipop-loving little girl, acted by junior John Gasper.

Another timeless off-the-cuff skit called "Party Quirks" was executed exactly as the name implies. Members of the group embodied partygoers with extremely odd habits. The catch? The "host" of the party, senior David French, had to pick out each character's quirk in order for the scene to end.

"Being up there with the guys for Party Quirks is like hanging out with them in real life," said French, "I played the straight character and let those guys do what they do."

Among the partygoers were a marshmallow woman, a man who thought everyone's pants were on fire and the McDonald's Hamburglar. Needless to say, picking out each character's identity was no easy task. Somehow, French managed to do so, admitting, "I have no idea how I guessed The Hamburglar."

One of the most successful skits was a scene performed by French, senior Gavin Price and junior Matt Grossman. It began with mother Grossman's reprimand of French for playing Pirates with chocolate and pixie sticks in his room. Hilarity ensued as the batty, shrill-voiced father, Price, scolded his son.

With a wild bunch of comedians and an eager audience, the performance was a hit from every angle. "I was laughing so hard," said Krotman.

"The show was such a success," said Thorpe. "It was more due to the audience than us."