Moses, who originated the egg-
guzzling role of Gaston in Broadway’s “Beauty and the Beast,” can portray what Smith described as Hill’s “wonderfully strong ego . . . so he’s able to pull in all these different communities to his way of thinking.”
The production, to be directed by Smith, also stars the previously announced Kate Baldwin as Marian the librarian. Five D.C. area youths who were selected at an all-day casting call at Arena will be in the show as well: Ian Berlin, Heidi Kaplan, Jamie Goodson, Colin James Cech and Mia Goodman.
Smackdown at Improv Theater
Because bracketology is the best –ology of all the –ologies (think we can all agree it’s better than, say, bio), Washington Improv Theater presents its sixth annual Fighting Improv Smackdown Tournament, an elimination-style bracketed competition to rival the little-known March Madness.
Fifty-eight teams of three people each compete all month to earn the title of reigning improv champions.
“I think there’s a puppet,” corrected Maggie Dempsey, FIST’s volunteer tournament commissioner. “So 173 people, and a puppet.”
Rounds are held every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night through April 7. Teams get 12 minutes to perform — the time increases to 15 minutes for later rounds — in whatever style and format they choose. Audience members vote by ballot to determine which teams progress to the next match. The results will be tweeted live, and a radio show will be posted on Facebook and Twitter each Tuesday throughout the tournament.
Since its inception in 2006, FIST “has increased by a pretty serious factor each year,” said Dempsey. This year boasts a 10-team increase from last year. “I really think improv itself has found a bigger scene in D.C. More and more people are finding out about it, [and] more and more people are coming to shows and taking classes.”
In the past, seeding has been done by experience. This year, the brackets were filled at random. “To have new people play new people and old people play old people wasn’t enhancing the competition,” Dempsey explained. Improv veterans had a harder time filling the audience (the novelty for friends to attend had long since worn off), and half the excited rookie teams were doomed to be knocked out early in the tournament.
“You’ll find people who have been doing improv for 20 years and people who have been doing it for less than 20 days,” Dempsey said. “The spirit of it is all about people trying something new and inviting their friends to see them do something crazy that they’ve never done before.”
Through April 7, Source, 1835 14th St. NW, washingtonimprovtheater.com, 202-204-7770.