Comedy you can taste, touch and smell
- Greg Glasgow for the Daily Camera - May 11, 2001

Go to most comedy shows and you'll have just two of your five senses engaged. You'll hear the jokes, you'll see the occasional prop or impression, but that's as far as it goes. Fortunately, Denver-based improv trio A.C.E. hasn't forgotten about touch, taste or smell, and the group's annual show at the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art - aptly titled "A Festival for the Senses" - is a unique comedy event.

"We try and do a new show at BMoCA every year, keeping it in the same theme of giving the audience this ride through all five senses with music and comedy and the completely unexpected," says A.C.E. member Barbara Gehring.
The troupe was formed in 1998 by Canadian Gehring, American Linda Klein and Englishman Matthew Taylor and launched as a one-time act to audition for the Aspen Comedy Festival. The three liked what they came up with and made the act permanent, naming it for the first letters of each of their home countries. The group performs improv comedy, but unlike the fast-thinking comics on "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" Klein, Gehring and Taylor have a repertoire of existing characters to take through any given scene. Exactly what that scene is and how the characters react to it change with every show. At last year's Festival for the Senses show, characters included a trio of elderly women known as the Biddies and cooking show hosts Angus and Julie. There also was a bizarre ritual known as the Bologna Dance.

"We basically have a concept or an idea of what we want to do with these certain characters - the show is very character-driven," Gehring says. "And then we will go from there. It's not like we ever have anything written down; it's, 'Let's do these characters in this type of situation.' We put them in that situation with an audience and see what happens."
Fresh from a six-stop international tour that included a sold-out show in Chicago, A.C.E. is back in its home state at 8 p.m. today and Saturday, and May 18 and 19 at the BMoCA theater, 1750 13th St., Boulder. Tickets are $15; call (303) 443-2122. For more info on A.C.E., check out

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