Thursday, June 27, 2019

Laughing Stock: Take the kids to the laughing pool!

Posted By on Thu, Jun 27, 2019 at 3:30 PM

What to do with the kids this long, hot summer? Luckily Tucson’s got air-conditioned fun in cool, cool venues.

Colorful Game Shows at Tucson Improv Movement

click to enlarge Kurt Leuders keeps order among the fractious and funny celebrity pretenders in The Match Game. - GERRY MORGAN
  • Gerry Morgan
  • Kurt Leuders keeps order among the fractious and funny celebrity pretenders in The Match Game.
Meet Phyllis Diller, Guy Fieri, Elvis, Lucille Ball, Britney Spears, Humphrey Bogart, Marco Mario, The Wicked Witch of the West and other celebrities in TIM’s summer special. The Match Game. You’ve never seen it played for more silly fun. The Tucson Improv Movement stages the show at 7:30 p.m. every Saturday, July 6 through 20. Containing the mayhem is its host, Kurt Leuders. An actual rocket scientist, he’s also a lifelong game show fan. “The best thing about staying home sick from school was watching daytime game shows like The Price is Right, Card Sharks, Press Your Luck and High Rollers,” he says.

In the Match Game, six faux celebrities try to match wits with two contestants chosen from the audience. A random, often ridiculous, question is asked, and the panel of celebrities tries to guess how the contestant would answer. Panelists’ answers naturally project their personal experiences and world views. The connections can be hilariously wide of the mark.

Leuders says he never dreamed of being a game show host until he joined TIM. The company’s first three levels of classes focus on skill-building “short form” games. One game that involved pantomime inspired Leuders to pitch a game show idea to the TIM company leadership. The idea evolved into The Game Show Show, now entering its second year as a monthly Saturday feature on TIM’s performance schedule. Over that time, the show has steadily built a regular following among game show fans.

“I set up a show where real contestants would try to guess as quickly as possible while improvisors were doing their improv,” Leuters says. In the game he asks a question and the improv team dramatizes “clues” for answers the audience can see on a screen above the stage. Contestants compete for “fabulous prizes” that are not even a little bit fabulous.

“This Saturday’s show (June 29) is a special show for Pride Month,” Leuters says. “The contestants will be Jai Smith (drag queen and sexual health educator) and JP Martin (organizer of Equality Arizona).

“The best crowd reactions come organically, when the audience knows what the answer is, the improvisors are going all out, and the contestant gets the right answer as time is running out. It’s fun watching real competition, even if it is super silly,” Leuters continues. “And the crowd loves the impersonations that team members do. Some of them are spot on. The others are just fun to watch! The most fun I have on stage is when someone, either the contestant or one of the stars, really catches me off guard with a good joke. Nothing makes me happier.”

Tim features game shows at 7:30 p.m. every Saturday. Tickets to all TIM shows are $5 via Squareup or at the door.

It’s like The Loft  understands your family knows the words

Can’t get to the beach, let alone The Islands? Why not join a couple hundred other families at The Loft Cinema’s Moana Sing-Along over the July 4 weekend?

The scale of Moana’s musical numbers is spectacular even by Disney standards. Hamilton composer Lin-Manuel contributed to the score, including family favorites like “How Far I’ll Go,” “You’re Welcome” and “Shiny.” They’re subtitled so everyone can sing along.

The story is both action-packed and relatable. It’s set in lavish underwater visuals where you can feel everyday stress fall away into depths of swirling blue coolness.

Screenings are at 2 p.m., Thursday through Sunday, July 4 through July 7. Admission is $12 for adults and $10 for Loft members and children under 13. The ticket price includes a Moana goodie bag full of props and surprises to us throughout the movie.

Moana, herself, will be present for autographs starting at 1:15 p.m. before each performance. Each show will feature a costume parade for all the little Moanas in your family.

Tabitha Turnpike has a MONSTERous problem

click to enlarge Tabitha, her monster and her imagination change each other for the better. - LIVE THEATRE WORKSHOP
  • Live Theatre Workshop
  • Tabitha, her monster and her imagination change each other for the better.
Tabitha Turnpike is a little girl whose big imagination gets her in trouble with her mom and dad. Just as they begin to insist that she grow up, she discovers a monster living under her bed. How could she possibly tell her parents? They’d just think her imagination is playing tricks.

Kids and adults both can empathize as she struggles through her monster problem on her own and discovers all the good things that can come from using her imagination.

Tabitha Turnpike has a MONSTEROUS Problem is an original children’s musical opening Live Theater Workshop’s 2019 season. Director Susan Cormier says, “Kids’ imaginations are already so strong, and no matter what we do on the stage, their brilliant imaginations will make it a ‘Broadway hit!’”

Performances are at 12:30 p.m. every Sunday through August 11, except July 21. Tickets are $7 for kids and $10 for adults vialivetheatreworkshop.org or (520) 327-4242. Live Theatre Workshop is located at 5317 E. Speedway Blvd. 

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