The Dinner Detective eschews campy costumes and plots for an exciting evening of food-accompanied mystery and paranoia, where actors hide among the diners, playing innocent and making everyone a potential suspect. To solve the crime, guests freely interrogate one another, chivvying out clues about the murderer and determining who has a bloodthirsty look in their eyes. Between dramatic deaths and simulated police involvement, guests dig into three-course meals, washed down with bottomless iced tea, coffee, and drinks from the cash bar. The diner who comes closest to solving the mystery through their snooping goes home with a prize basket to show off to their friends or split with the murderer as per their shadowy conspiracy. Prop guns and gunshot sound effects may be used during the performance.
Actor Steven Nelson, a professional with 15 years of experience, works alongside fellow instructors Curtis Andersen and Amber Robins to teach students the fundamentals of acting and improv. Workshops cover subjects ranging from cold readings to audition techniques. On-camera acting courses use a projection system to help actors study their own performances onscreen.
As one of the nation's leading comedy clubs, Laugh Factory offers stage time to up-and-coming talent as well as some of the most recognizable names in the industry of funny. Guests 18 and older can visit either location to hear hilarious commentaries on life and furniture assembly from a lineup of gifted comedians––past performers include George Carlin, Donald Glover, Tim Allen, and many others who have gone on to run for public office. Click here to view the upcoming schedule for both locations. Seating is first-come, first-served, so plan to show up early to claim a rump repository. In keeping with the Roman custom of having two drinks during every show, Laugh Factory enforces a two-drink minimum in its chuckle theater.
You never know what you're going to see at an improv comedy show—and that's the beauty of it. Read on to see what you should expect at a show or class and to learn just how it is that actors can put their scenes together so fast.
Even when their characters are arguing, improv comics are working from a philosophy of trust and agreement—necessary ingredients for acting together with no script. Improv comedy encompasses a broad array of styles, with the major division between short form—quick, self-contained games—and long form—a series of multiple, interconnected scenes featuring distinct beats. Accordingly, a given performance might resemble a one-act play, a Saturday Night Live–style sketch scene, or a high-energy game show. Most rely on audience suggestions to spark the flow of fresh ideas, however, and some even weave brave audience members into the action.
Perhaps the most famous long-form style is the Harold, in which performers build continuous scenes that develop and intermingle in surprising ways. The unusual name arises from a joke, according to developer Del Close's biography, The Funniest One in the Room. As Close asked his collaborators what to call the new form, someone sarcastically yelled, "Well, Harold's a nice name." Appropriately for a form devoted to spontaneous absurdity, the name stuck.
This comic form also has roots in one of America's darkest eras: the Great Depression. While working for the Works Progress Administration, Viola Spolin needed a way to teach basic theater precepts to unschooled actors of various ages and backgrounds, so she created a series of theater games that focused on the playfulness at the heart of acting. In the 1950s, her son, Paul Sills, applied her principles at the short-lived but influential Compass Players on Chicago's South Side, and, later, at The Second City—one of the most prominent comedy companies of the 20th century, with alumni including John Belushi, Tina Fey, and Steve Carell.
Largely known for their frequent live music, Harvelle's low-lit interior is an intimate setting for enjoying drinks, gourmet food, and live entertainment, six days a week. Huddled over candle-lit tables, couples can enjoy craft cocktails from the bar or edibles from the kitchen such as the brandy pulled-pork and brie sandwich with caramelized onions or the roasted tomato and garlic flatbread.
Flaunt houses its knowledgeable squad of beauty defenders in a modern, upscale habitat, where they impart a variety of compliment-corralling hair services. Entrust your threads to passionate, expert hair sculptors who carefully shape and snip women's locks ($50+) or men's manes ($30+) to match a desired style, highlight facial features, and compliment trouser cut. The full menu of color services bathes hair in new hues ($55+) or tone and glazes ($25+) coiffures with a shine rivaled only by breakfast pastries. Textural-restructuring techniques iron out frizz with above-shoulder straightening ($95+) and aluminum support girders, and allow you to reinvent a bygone decade on your head with a classic permanent wave ($85+). Flaunt Salon's creative stylists continually expand their mop-top moxie through continuing education that plugs them into the latest trends without sculpting pairs of scissors out of Play-Doh.