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 www.ACEcomedy.com.