Last Ham Standing Brings Improv Comedy to Leesburg
Improv comedy troupe Last Ham Standing played to a packed house at Tally Ho Theatre during First Friday
It was a boisterous crowd at Tally Ho Theatre on Friday night, as patrons packed into the cinema not to see a movie, but to see some live comedy. They were all there to see Last Ham Standing, an improv comedy troupe founded by Tally Ho owner Dave Wright.
The games played during the performance are similar to those one sees on the television show, 'Who's Line is it Anyway?', and featured guessing games like "Party Quirks," as well as more physical and character-based games. The one thing that all of the games have in common though, is that they require a lot of audience participation.
Both kids and adults yelled out movie names, adjectives, or whatever host Dave Wright needed to get a sketch going. One lucky audience member even got to go onstage and participate in one of the games, showing off his break dancing moves. The crowd cheered for him, and after he left the stage, he could be seen high-fiving all of his friends.
Dave Wright started Last Ham Standing about eight years ago. The troupe has a rotating cast, but two of the permanent members are his business partners at Tally Ho, Steve Heaton and David Sly. When they took over the movie theater about three years ago, Wright thought it was important to draw on his and his partners' performance backgrounds and add a little more to the Tally Ho experience.
"This was something we could do to separate ourselves," Wright said, "because obviously with the big multiplexes, there are certain things they have that we don't have the ability to do. So we offer more options for families and kids."
Playing every First Friday, Last Ham Standing has become a comedy destination for many area families, and there were people up front that had been to every show for the past twelve months. Because it's improv, Last Ham never has the same show twice.
"I don't even think we've scratched the surface of the number of games we can play," Wright said. "You just try to find the best ones that work with the personalities you have that night."
Last Ham Standing is a family-oriented show, so the performers are careful to keep the jokes PG. "It's about riding the line," member Julie Garner said. "About making innuendo as opposed to blatantly saying it."
Steve Heaton likes the games that test him. "I like the physical games," he said. "But the games that I really like are the ones that put a huge challenge on me creatively; how am I going to come up with something?"
You can see what Last Ham Standing comes up with every month on First Friday at Tally Ho. They will also be playing three shows on New Year's Eve, for First Night Leesburg. For more information avisit www.tallyholeesburg.com