Opening Night: Search Engine

Improv, Opening Night Tuesday January 17, 2012, 1:56pm - by Magnet Theater

Take five of NYC's sharpest improvisers, add a dash of YouTube, and stir well with the nimble fingers of a trusty Research Assistant in the tech booth: you get Search Engine, the newest innovative improv cocktail to hit the stage at the Magnet Theater. With improvisers hailing from 4Track, Mother, and Hello Laser, Search Engine promises to deliver knowledge that you didn't even know you had to know.

Alan Fessenden, Jesse Falcon, Matt Evans, Alex Marino

Search Engine started the night off right with an impressive choreographed entrance. With the audience suggestion of "Stonehenge," the improvisers discussed their knowledge and experience (or lack thereof) of the prehistoric monument. Audience participation during the discussion was encouraged. Did you know that there is a stone circle monument in Armenia, called Karahunj?

The Research Assistant, in the form of Carl Olson, was an integral part of the show. Armed with the power of Google, Carl located National Geographic videos that informed the improv scenes that followed. He also interspersed factoids and articles throughout the show, inspired by the scenes. For example, he found this Guardian article from 2009 about how Michael Jackson's brother was planning to build a luxury resort on a former slave port in Nigeria (??!).

The strength and experience of the improvisers were apparent throughout the show. Edits were swift and confident, patterns were recognized and repeated, and no detail was left unexamined. A Stonehenge portal leads curious tourists right back to the buffet of their B&B. A line of kings is plagued with knee injuries, treatable only with leeches delivered by a silently perfunctory slave. A laborer blows a kiss to his severed toes, which are mounted on the wall.
Come Into The Portal.

Come check out Search Engine and get smarter! Fridays at 8:30pm, Magnet Theater.

-Catherine Wing

Photo credit: Lisa Flanagan