The Improv Summit, now in it’s 11th year, was held at TSC last night before a packed house. Josh hosted for the first time this year, using the now well-worn Beat It format.
In the first semi-final, McGill (11th participation, natch) squared off against teams from Queens (5th), Carleton (9th) and Western (2nd). Overall, it was a pretty even round. McGill’s best scene was a wedding night scene where the fiancée was engaging in premarital activities behind (literally) the fiancé’s back. Queens put together a good string of scenes, capped off by a successful scene of Smote Loi Let where one player plays as many characters as possible. Carleton’s highlight was a Puppets scene with a vigorous audience member. Western performed my favourite scene of the round: a film noir with some great narration by Matt. Queens won the round with 6 points, whereas Western collected 4 points, Carleton 2, and McGill none.
In the second semi-final, Toronto (5th participation) swept the round with 4 great scenes (8 points): two boxers who take their coaches dating analogies literally and fall in love; the invention of basketball, not by Dr. James Naismith, but by cavemen; happy miners; and a psycho keeping her inner monologue under wraps just long enough to score an apartment. Brock got 4 points on the backs of some character work by Liv and storytelling by Erik. They had a creepy 1st date scene I quite liked. Ottawa, who had recently won the U of Toronto Summit at Beat It, had some good moments with a Day in the Life scene they inexplicably lost, but were shut out of the scoring.
The audience was fantastic this year–enthusiastic and non-partisan. Save for the aforementioned Ottawa scene and a couple of close votes in the final round, I thought the audience had very good taste (in that it matched my own) and favoured substance over cheap d&f jokes.
Judges, Sandi, Mariana & Bryan were dishing out lots of awards, including one to Brock for “Most disgusting thing Bryan has every seen” for a horrific tongue-wagging open-mouthed kiss, an award to the audience for “Collective gasp at the mention of ‘High Fat Mayonnaise’”, and one to Anton on lights & sound for “Best Indian music at the Egyptian pyramids”.
The final round featured Queens, Toronto, and judge wildcard pick Western. Whereas it looked like Toronto was going to run away with the prize, the round ended with 4 points all around. Western did a great silent time machine scene where a couple of guys visited a dancing lady in different eras. Queens did a nice Hansel & Gretel retelling. Toronto had a scene set in the future where “there are no more humans, just people who act like robots”, a cinematographic masterpiece in the story of a horse who betrays his jockey and jumps the fence to run free, and a cop/robber shootout scene where the cops can’t decide who should draw fire since they both have considerable RRSP investments. The tie-breaker came in the form of a 1-minute scene in which all 3 teams performed their worst scene to date. In the end, Toronto was crowned champion by applause-o-meter. The judges ranked Western 2nd, and Queens a close 3rd.
The MVP certificate was awarded to Charles from Toronto (though Sam, Robby and Talal also made huge contributions to the win). The 2nd star went to Josh from Queens, who was making his 5th and final trip with the team. Michelle from Western picked up her 2nd consecutive 3rd star.