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Quick Wits Salt Lake City

Spotlight On: Quick Wits Salt Lake City
by Jesse Parent

If you take your improv comedy religiously, you've come to the right place.

Set up in yet another old movie theater, Quick Wits, the Salt Lake City chapter, is back to weekly shows. After signing the lease earlier in the week, remodeling started on Wednesday at 8PM in the space shared by a church and soon to be shared by Stage Right Productions. You could still smell the sawdust in the air when the shows started Friday, and poor Rececca (Becca) Larson screamed out, "Slivers! Slivers!" as her supposedly dead body was dragged across stage during murder mystery. On stage, it was obvious who had been working past midnight to get the venue ready in the past three days.

Not that anyone in the audience seemed to mind!

The theater setup of the new home for the oldest name in Utah Improv reminds you of their Clearfield venus as well. Of course, with the exception of the sound up near the stage and pews instead of movie theater seats. Everything flowed really well at the 10PM performance I attended on opening night, Friday. Even the lighting that was controlled from a breaker box!

Trying out their new camoflauge uniforms that were gifts of appreciation for their charity work with the armed forces, the Dim Wits (Paul Weinberger, Troy Taylor, and Rebecca Larson) lined up against the Half Wits (Mike, Bob Bedore, and Ben Brinton) with some help from the floating Nit Wit, Andrew Jensen. Jon Hamilton emceed and kept the show flowing.

You could still smell the sawdust in the air when the shows started Friday

The audience was a decent size, considering the amount of advertising that was done for the new place. But having a co-owner named Laura Bedore who has a top ranked morning radio show helped spread the word. The audience that showed up were hungry for Quick Wits improv, including the recently formed Drew Keddington fan club.

Starting off with a solid game of Scenes Not Seen, the Dim Wits took control to go into a challenging game of Murder Mystery. Killing someone with an exclamation point is not as easy to convey using pantomime and gibberish as you would think, even with Andrew Jensen gibberish (in mock yelling without moving your lips while waving your arms: "What are you doing?!?"). The Half Wits took back control with Accents, conquering Gollum and Guatemalan with seeming ease.

With the very successful opening night, many of the members of the early audience were given a special treat: they got to see the second show for free! This was a great surprise and well appreciated by anyone who had to pay because they didn't know the person at the door extremely well (*cough*).

Quick Wits will be working even more on their new theater in the coming weeks, looking to establish their new home as their own. There are plans for new seating, more work on the stage, and even free improv classes (including one that would be for more advanced students looking for a structured class).

So check out their new digs next to Cottonwood Mall in Holladay, at the old Carmike Theater next to JC Penny. And remember: be nice to the lady taking tickets. You might just get some of that Karma back!

Quick Wits Salt Lake City plays every Friday and Saturday at 7:30PM and 10PM at the old Carmike Theater on Highland Drive (next to Cottonwood Mall). Tickets are $8 at the door.

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