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Sunday, May 16, 2021

‘Whose Line Is It Anyway?’ stars to perform in virtual Hippodrome showing

Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood will perform their second of two shows with the theater Saturday

The Hippodrome
The Hippodrome

A pair of comedy icons will make their second of two virtual appearances via the Hippodrome Theatre Saturday.

Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood, cast members of the TV show “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” and improv veterans, will perform in their “Stream of Consciousness” virtual comedy show Saturday at 8 p.m. Hippodrome will host the duo, who will appear via livestreaming, as part of their ongoing “Hipp at Home” virtual series.

“Stream of Consciousness” is an ongoing virtual tour, with Mochrie and Sherwood performing their improv show weekly to a Zoom audience. The show is entirely driven by audience participation, and Mochrie and Sherwood come up with jokes and dialogue based on the suggestions of audience members.

The show is a similar format to Mochrie and Sherwood’s work on the award-winning improv comedy program “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” for which the duo became famous. The off-the-cuff humor that characterizes “Whose Line Is It Anyway” is still intact here, just delivered virtually.

Saturday’s showing will be the second of two performances with the Hippodrome. The first show occurred last Saturday.  Though the performance is virtual, attendees can purchase their tickets online via Hippodrome’s website.

Cost of attendance is $35 and limited to one device per household, though an unlimited number of people can watch the stream together. Attendees will be emailed a Zoom link to the show following their purchase, which they will use to access the performance.

Deanna Natour, a graphic designer and marketing coordinator at the Hippodrome, said the “Stream of Consciousness” show is the theater’s first foray into comedy since the House Improv group’s regular performances pre-pandemic. Though the Hippodrome hosted in-person ballets and allowed patrons to rent the theater for personal events, this show represents their return to comedy after a hiatus of more than a year. 

Natour said the inclusion of a comedy show represents the variety of performances within the Hippodrome’s repertoire. In hosting everything from traditional theater to improv comedy, she said the Hippodrome aims to appeal to all Gainesville audiences. 

“We want to be a location where everyone can find something unique that they’re interested in seeing,” Natour said. 

The “Hipp at Home” series, an ongoing sequence of virtual shows created to account for the COVID-19 pandemic, has been going on for a year, and though Natour said turnout has lessened with the virtual format, she said a dedicated core of fans has kept the events running.

Sophia Young, a 21-year-old UF musical theater senior, said the series is an important part of maintaining community morale. As an actor and former employee of the Hippodrome, Young said the theater has provided a sense of escape during the pandemic. 

As one of the only professional theaters in Central Florida, the Hippodrome has played a critical role in keeping the arts alive amid COVID closures, according to Young. These performances, she said, are the reprieve many are turning to during this time. 

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“Right now, we need that more than ever,” she said.

Contact Heather Bushman at hbushman@alligator.org. Follow her on Twitter @hgrizzl.

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