A comedy infusion

By M. Scott Morris/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – There’s no guarantee that Morgan Freeman will attend the West of Shake Rag improv troupe’s next performance.
In fact, it’s probably best to assume he will not be there.
“The show is called ‘The Shake Rag Redemption,’ based on that prison movie he was in,” said Casey Dillard, troupe member.
An invitation has been extended to Freeman, who played Red in “The Shawshank Redemption,” and he’ll be allowed to bring a guest, free of charge.
You, on the other hand, will be required to pay full price for your entertainment. The comedy will start at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Lyric Theatre. Tickets are $10, and a cash bar will open at 6:30 p.m.
Profits from the night will help send the troupe members to the big city of Chicago, where they’ll attend workshops and perform during the Chicago Improv Festival, April 19-25.
The trip will give them a chance to hone their improvisational skills. Saturday’s show will be pre-honing, and the Shake Rag members admitted they have some weaknesses:
– “Too much sexiness.”
– “Overabundance of hilarity.”
– “Exhaustive use of Converse shoes.”
– “Aversion to granite tabletops.”
– “And we love puppies.”
The Tupelo performance will feature some scripted material, which probably will have something to do with the show’s title and Freeman’s invitation. But the bulk will be improvisational games, where group members respond to suggestions from the crowd.
“If you want to see Tiger Woods and Sandra Bullock talking in Haiti, you can do it,” said Chris Counts, group member. “You just have to suggest those ideas.”
Expect the comedy to stick to a PG level, though they tread into R-rated territory when performing at Vanelli’s on the first and third Tuesdays of the month.
According to Counts, the show at the Lyric will be “better than the prom,” and it will be all things to all people: “Depending on your political beliefs, we had everything or nothing to do with the health care bill.”

Contact M. Scott Morris at (662) 678-1589 or scott.morris@djournal.com.

April 3
TUPELO – Tupelo Community Theatre’s improv group, West of Shake Rag, will present “The Shake Rag Redemption” at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 3 at the Lyric Theatre. Tickets are $10. (662) 844-1935.

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