The Utility Players
If you are a fan of Whose Line is it Anyway or The Second City, then you know the kind of comedy to expect with Reno’s improv group, The Utility Players.
Each show is themed, unscripted, and always different. For example, when I saw the show at the Sands Regency the premise for the night was Prom Queen and King.
You can tell that The Utility Players have been doing improv together for many years as they worked off of each other. I loved their style of short form improv, which keeps the audience engaged and laughing. The group played a number of different games that exposed their talents including musical improv and character acting — they even have a piano player for all background music.
One game had two audience members move the improvisers into different positions while they made up the scene. The players weren’t allowed to move by themselves and it was hilarious. I honestly don’t know how the actors didn’t break character in that one!
They also ask the audience for suggestions based on the theme for most of the games. There were many members in the audience that seemed to know the players well and go almost every week. They call these regulars “Utilitarians.”
I recommend bringing a lot of friends for a fun night out with laughs and drinks. You’ll walk out quoting the show, my friends and I definitely did. It put us in a wonderful mood the rest of the evening.
The Utility Players have been running since 2009 and this is their thirteenth season. The show is only running through May 27th so get out to The Sands soon! On May 6 you can catch their Star Wars theme, “May the Fourth (on May 6th)”.
Savage Henry Get in the Van Tour
I’ve been working with Savage Henry Independent Times for about three years now and I couldn’t be happier to have their comedy show back in Tahoe/Reno. The humor magazine is a free monthly based out of Humboldt County and distributed through Oregon and California. They have been producing shows since 2011.
The “Get in the Van” tour will have dates in California, Nevada, and Oregon and on April 26 the tour comes to Truckee after hours at Dark Horse Coffee. Monthly free comedy shows have started there about three months ago and have been packed each time. Local comedians James McLeod and Andrea B (that’s me) host the free shows with special guest comedians. These comics have credits including Comedy Central, Viceland, and Hulu.
You won’t want to miss these comics grace the stage on this tour. If you haven’t been able to check out live comedy at Dark Horse after hours, this is the show to attend. The “Get in the Van” tour moves on to Reno the next day, April 27. Then the comics then travel to Sacramento, Oakland, Santa Cruz, and Los Angeles. You don’t have to actually get in the van with us but it is a non-threatening van, we promise.
~ Andrea Bartunek is a Truckee/Tahoe based comedian. Originally from Yonkers, N.Y., Bartunek spent years studying and performing improve and stand up in NYC.