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Issue Date: April 2006 Issue


Comedy and the City


Kim Schneider

Coventry is now Cleveland’s comedy central.
Improv group Ground Floor Theater, which moved into this longtime bastion of hippy-dippy vibes in January, mixes two parts comedy with one part Cleveland for skits that poke fun at everyone from our city’s leaders (“Mayor Jackson is our new city prez, but we can’t understand a word he says”) to our sports teams (World Series + Super Bowl + NBA Championship = apocalypse).

Residing on the second floor (yeah, they know it’s ironic) of the renovated Centrum Theater, Ground Floor provides several forms of comedy. On every last Thursday of the month, for instance, B-Movie Meltdown shows the worst and weirdest B-movies around. On Wednesdays, you can catch the Cleveland Comedy Challenge, a friendly competition between local stand-ups. But Fridays are the best, with Sketch and Improv night: We almost had beer shooting through our noses.

Everyday Cleveland gripes provide plenty of fodder, but it’s too bad some skits tread into the realm of clich√©. Example: A woman is forced to ride RTA after her car breaks down, only to be harassed by a wannabe thug. “I think he was from Parma,” she tells her friend.
Some of their non-Cleveland skits had us chuckling, including the Seinfeldian funeral where a mourner looks into the casket only to discover his “lucky Nordstrom Essential Blazer” on his dead buddy. The skit ends in antics you’d expect from George Costanza.

The physical comedy by cast member Joshua Logan is astonishing. The scene of a haunted house gives Logan the perfect opportunity to bend his body and his humor as ghosts wreak havoc. And all six cast members give us the best laugh we’ve had in Cleveland in a long time. And that’s no joke.

Ground Floor Theater, 2781 Euclid Heights Blvd., Cleveland Heights, (216) 323-4677, www.groundfloortheater.com


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