ThrowDown poster

Vancouver TheatreSports™ ThrowDown is the latest show from VTSL, marrying the love of wrestling with improv. Host Grame Duffy introduces the evening, and later ref Margret Nyfors runs down the rules of the game and brings the two battling teams onto the stage.

Each show features two different teams vying for the night’s win. When we attended last weekend, it was Skin Deep (pageant queens) vs. Super Star Rock City (hair metal rockers).

Before the skits get underway, the teams are at each other’s throats, but it’s all in good fun. The 90-minute show is offered on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 7:30 pm.

Each team faces off with a round of improv while the ref keeps things in check. A white towel is thrown onto the stage to indicate that time is winding down for each team’s skit.

The audience is encouraged to yell out suggestions as they’re asked, and the teams get into the spirit of the action by yelling back and forth between rounds. At times a bit too much in my humble opinion, but I suppose it gets the crowd fired up during the show.

A 15-minute intermission closes out the first four rounds. The second half of the show gets interesting as two audience members are chosen to get up on stage and compete, one volunteer to each team.

A final Battle Royale all-or-nothing round gets the whole troupe on stage for one last showdown.

One of our favourite pageant queens was played by Michael Teigen, a long-time Theatresports Leaguer. Lauren McGibbon is also a dynamic performer, able to pull off quick-thinking moves that got some of the evening’s best laughs.

Improv comedy can often be hit or miss. When a skit wasn’t particularly successful, I found myself laughing at some of the costumes and sideline antics. The show throws enough comedic punches for all tastes to enjoy.

We’re hoping to catch other VTSL shows in the future. If a sports-minded evening isn’t your scene, there’s also Laugh Your Head Off, Improv Test Kitchen, Ultimate Improv Championship, Late Night Fridays, Scared Scriptless (cutting-edge improv), and Rookie Night (stars of tomorrow).

Visit the Vancouver TheatreSports™ website for detailed show information and tickets. TheatreSports™ ThrowDown runs through November 16. Vancouver TheatreSports™ League is located at 1502 Duranleau Street at the entrance of Granville Island.

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