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L.A. Beat

Improv “In the Shadow of the Bridge”

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If you like “Who’s Your Line Anyway,” then don’t miss the Desperate Jesters’ improv set at the “In the Shadow of the Bridge” festival, Sept. 5  next to Fort Whoop Up.
 The Jesters are one of several local musical and dramatic acts performing from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. including  Leon Barr, the Lethbridge Playgoers, Joshua Fritz and Bridgette Yarwood, Leah Sadler, Dave McCann and the Firehearts and Hippodrome among  others.
Founding Jester Jeremy Mason noted the improv troupe formed in 2005 then took a bit of a break in 2007 after several of the members sought acting careers in bigger cities like Vancouver and Toronto.
“We’ll perform a lot of the games like they do on Whose Line Is It Anyway and  will make up scenes based on suggestions from the audience,” said Mason, who has had a busy summer as the new general manager of New West Theatre and has been working with Empress Theatre in Fort Macleod as well. At their peak, they were doing four or five gigs a month — usually corporate functions.
“There’s not  really many other groups in Lethbridge doing what we do,” Mason said, adding Drama Nutz also does corporate gigs, but Desperate Jester is the only group focusing on improv. The four members performing at  “In the Shadow of the Bridge” at 4:45  p.m. and  6:45 p.m. are looking forward to the event.

“It’s twofold for me. The bridge is clearly such a Lethbridge landmark and part of our history. My dad and granddad all worked for the CP Rail, that’s why I moved to Lethbridge,  so it’s fun for this to be my part of the railroad’s history,” he said, adding the troupe meets every Sunday to go over games and try to anticipate audience responses.
“It’s definitely is lot of fun for the audience because it is all spontaneous and that always creates good comedy,” he said  adding he doesn’t anticipate any problems keeping the show clean, the event being a family festival.
“We’ve worked with so many different people, for parties and corporations. We know how to keep it clean. And the audience is usually dirtier than us, ” he said adding Desperate Jester is planning more of their own shows now they have reformed.
“We’re hoping to do one a month. Maybe we can rent out the Slice or Sterndale Bennett  and  just perform,” he said.

— Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
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