Weekend of Culture Part 2: Dad’s Garage

I had a fantastic weekend filled with several cultural events. Friday night I saw The Smashing Pumpkins at Chastain Park Amphitheater, on Saturday night I saw an improv performance of “Theater Sports” at Dad’s Garage, and on Sunday afternoon I caught the final day of the “Frida & Diego” exhibit at The High Museum of Art. This article is Part 2 of a trilogy about those events.

Dad’s Garage is one of those local spots that every Atlanta resident should visit at least once. It’s an improv comedy theater, and it operates at a very high level. All the performers are talented, quick witted, and exceptionally hilarious.

My first visit to Main Stage of the Garage was approximately five years ago. I went to see a show called Samarai Davis Jr. and Dim Sum’s Super Mega Happy Fun Time Improv Show. It was a competitive improv show where two teams battle each other with improvised sketches, and the losing team is forced to face an outrageous punishment that usually involves something embarrassing or something wet.

Now, just about everyone has seen an episode of Whose Line is it Anyway? with Drew Carey and Co., and truthfully, the performers at Dad’s Garage are nearly as talented and just as entertaining. And even though there was a five year gap between my visits I recognized a couple of actors from my first visit. It was comforting to realize how dedicated to their craft this troupe is even though they probably aren’t getting paid all that much.

The show I saw this weekend was simply called Theater Sports, and like the parody of a Japanese game show I witnessed years ago this show also involved two teams competing against each other in a battle of improvised wit. This time, however, there weren’t any crazy punishments, other than the “Scum Box” which is placed over the head of a performer who says something vulgar for the sake of vulgarity.

The action takes place on a sparse stage with hardly any props, other than a chair which at one point doubled as an evil tree stump that sucks people into an abyss. The actors wear their street clothes, and the atmosphere is very laid back. Most of the audience seemed to be made up of regulars who already knew the format of the show, joined in on the countdown before every new scene, and shouted out scenarios to the actors to improvise.

At the end of the show the host announced that the building Dad’s Garage is located in has been sold and that the theater is looking for a new permanent home. Starting at the end of July performances will temporarily be held at a nearby location. After learning about this change of venue, I was very glad that I was able to see one last performance at the original location before it closes, and I hope that where ever Dad’s Garage ends up will have the same effortless charm and stripped down atmosphere. Given the level of talent and dedication the performers have for their craft, I’m confident that it will.

-For Part 1 of my Weekend of Culture series click here.

-For Part 3 of my Weekend of Culture series click here.

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