The COVID-19 pandemic forced Board meetings and student learning online last year, so why not comedy?
That is exactly what comedians Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood of TV’s “Whose Line is it Anyway?” fame did when theaters shut down last year.
They created an all-new live improv show via Zoom called “Stream of Consciousness.”
“The show is using a technology that I can’t explain or in fact know anything about,” Mochrie said. “Brad is in Vegas, I am in Toronto and through the technology, it looks like we’re in the same space.”
The technology also puts the comics into their audience members’ livings rooms, where they can talk to them, get suggestions from them and have them in their scenes.
“It’s a version of our live show, but because we’re on Zoom, peoples’ attention spans tend to shorten when they’re watching screens,” Mochrie said. “So it’s a sort of a faster, zippier version of our stage show.”
He and Sherwood can see audience members, but they cannot hear them unless they are talking to them.
The comics each have a couple of monitors at home so they can see a strip of audience members on the screen, to see if they are laughing.
“One of the things I do love about the show, I do the entire show sitting down, which, for an old guy, is just the best,” Mochrie said. “We can’t get that physical because of the technology. It was great finding a way to have the technology be our friend rather than something we were worried about or fighting against.”
He and Sherwood have toured together for 18 years. They had shows booked at venues last year that the pandemic upended.
“Our lives for the last 18 years have been airplanes and theaters,” Mochrie said. “And it seemed like, hmm, these may not be the first things that come back full force. So we got together with our tech team and came up with a way to do the show. I’m really glad we did. It was nice to have a creative outlet.”
Sherwood said this is their online, Coronavirus adaptation, so they can still do some comedy and perform.
“We’ve come up with so many cool technical things so it doesn’t look like a Zoom call, but we’re broadcasting it on Zoom,” he said.
“Stream of Consciousness’ is like a regular sketch show, but online.
“Out of necessity, we sort of figured out how to make it work,” Sherwood said. “Really, there’s no other show like ours. When you see our show, you realize nobody is doing anything like this. It’s like an actual sketch show because we look like we’re in scenes, backgrounds and sets. It’s like a sketch show with lots of visual stuff that we can’t do in our live show, obviously. We’re just two guys on stage during our live show. The biggest drawback is, we can’t hear the audience laughing, so we just have to use our instincts and try to make each other laugh and carry on.”
“Stream of Consciousness” will come to audiences via Lancaster Performing Arts Center at 5 p.m., Saturday. Tickets cost $35 and allows viewing on one device, so audience members can enjoy the show solo or share the fun with the entire family.
For tickets visit www.lpac.org