Revelers hoist a glass against impaired driving
August 12, 2011 · Updated 1:24 PM
Sass, sarcasm, spirits and support for an Island County cause:
Tickets are on sale now for a special one-night performance of “Comedy & Canapés,” a show that will be put on by the Whidbey Improv Team Saturday, Aug. 20, in order to raise funds for the Impaired Driving Impact Panel of Island County.
IDIPIC Executive Director JoAnn Hellman said she saw the troupe perform in the spring with her husband, and though she thoroughly enjoyed the show, she was disappointed with the turnout.
“It was just flat-out funny,” Hellman said. “It was hilarious. We have a lot of talent in this town, but in the audience there were only about 20 people.”
Hellman got the idea to do a fundraising buyout for the improv show, much like the buyouts the Whidbey Playhouse offers for its seasonal plays to nonprofit organizations.
“They just loved the idea, and the board loved it,” Hellman said. “We thought we’ll jazz it up a little bit. We have some snacks and we’re offering wine.”
Hellman said IDIPIC usually does a big Oksoberfest fundraiser in the fall, but was hoping to shake things up this year. She said many people see IDIPIC as the group against drinking, but what she wants to promote is drinking responsibly and good decision-making. She said like most nonprofits, IDIPIC’s donations are down and they’re receiving 50 percent or less of their usual proceeds. That’s where the improv troupe comes in.
The Whidbey Improv Team started about a year ago at the urging of Whidbey Playhouse member Adam Novak. According to Whidbey Playhouse board member Mary K. Hallen, the group meets at the Playhouse on Saturdays and people young and old alike are welcome to drop in and participate.
“We are building our skills, honing our wits and certainly will welcome feedback from our audiences,” Hallen said, but jokingly added, “Complaints are handled at the back of the theater at midnight with Guido and Sons, Customer Servicing Agents.”
Hallen will perform during “Comedy & Canapés” with a handful of other comedians. She said people should come to the show simply to enjoy the team’s antics.
“This group of performers is not afraid of being silly,” Hallen said. “We’re part exhibitionists, part commentators of the human condition and some of us are compelled to find an outlet for our creative expressions. It’s cheaper than therapy and a lot more fun.”
Hallen said the audience should be open to just about anything and should expect the unexpected. She said people can participate or just watch the show play out.
“There is no political correctness here,” Hallen said. “We believe that we have the right to make fun of anybody, anything and any situation, including and especially ourselves. We are earthy, irreverent, and just plain goofy.”
“Comedy & Canapés” is sponsored by Munros’ Driving Instruction with refreshments provided by Arby’s, Domino’s Pizza and Taco Bell.
Tickets for assigned seating are $12.50 in advance, and all proceeds benefit IDIPIC’s work for “safer kids, safer roads,” which includes monthly panels, driver’s education class instruction and pre-prom safety events, safety displays and activities in schools.
Tickets are available at the Whidbey Playhouse or by calling IDIPIC. Those who cannot attend but would like to support the cause can mail in donations to IDIPIC, P.O. Box 358, Oak Harbor, WA 98277.
“We can all be part of the solution,” Hellman said. “Hopefully this will get more be involved and more people interested in the Playhouse as well.”
“Comedy & Canapés” will begin at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 20, at the Whidbey Playhouse located on Midway Boulevard in Oak Harbor.