Coldtowne's Lock-In: One room. Five hours. Twenty-one shows.
One room. Five hours. Twenty-one shows. It sounds crazy, but this weekend, Coldtowne Theater’s making it happen at their second annual lock-in (officially titled “Lock-In II: The Quickening”).
From 7 p.m. til after midnight, improv and sketch teams (many of which will only exist for this one, glorious night) will take the stage for 15-minute slots. But don’t expect to see your favorite Coldtowne groups — sets at the Lock-In are more conceptual, from the self-explanatory “The Floor Is Lava” to “COZBEES,” where everyone onstage plays the role of a sweater-clad, crime-fighting Cos.
The Lock-In takes inspiration from the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre’s annual Del Close Marathon, celebrating its 14th anniversary this June. The festival brings shows to several NYC stages for 72+ straight hours, presenting acclaimed improv teams from across the country alongside notoriously insane late night acts (there are echoes of Wicked Fuckin’ Queeyah — who play the most stereotypical Bostonians of all time — in Coldtowne’s similarly-accented The Dolores Claibornes, for example; Cool Dog Comedy promises meta-lols, a la The Straight Men, with their absurdity-free set).
It’s not all zany premises and inside-baseball-style comedy commentary; the Lock-In features an appearance from sketch team Hot Property, plus a one woman show / going away party for theater all-star Katie Sicking. The full line-up is below.
Five people in colorful sweaters doing their best Bill Cosby imitation solving a murder. It’s like the Cosby Mysteries if the Cosby Mysteries were an episode of CSI: Miami.
7:15 Sir Thomas More’s Improvised Utopia
In Sir Thomas More’s Utopia, nothing bad happens… Ever! No conflicts, no disasters, no desires unfulfilled. Can improv without conflict be funny? Sir Thomas More’s reputation is on the line.
7:30 Explosive Troupe Breakdown
We’ve all seen troupes headed for disaster, right? What if a troupe had a total breakdown on stage while performing? Would it be funny? Tragic? Hilarious? Find out! Talk about meta: this show is improvisers playing improvisers improvising a show.
7:45 The Floor is Lava
The players cannot touch the floor or they die. They can move on chairs or paper plates, or they can ride on each other.
8:00 Improvised Pawn Stars
Based on History’s hit series Pawn Stars, these veteran improvisers will discover the true value the various items that have been abandoned in the ColdTowne Theater Green Room.
8:15 Hallelujah! Improvised Church
An improvised church service where all of the scenes take place between congregation members in their pews, in confessionals or through “readings.”
8:30 White Trash Pool Party
White trash in a kiddy pool complete with some seriously awful/amazing hair and pool wear.
8:45 BAD BOYS: MANPILE
Caligula is an improv exercise that forces everyone to climb all over each other. In this show, Bad Boys will start by going through a round of Caligula while the audience counts down from 10. When they reach 0, the show will start from whatever configuration they end up in. The person in the booth can call for a new round of Caligula at anytime, and the countdown will resume from 5 and a new scene will begin.
Improv from working jannies.
9:15 SUPER BREAD PRESENTS: Time Traveling Alternate Realities
Have you ever wondered what could have been? This improv show explores time travel and alternate realities.
9:30 FOUR GUYS
Many improvisers have certain characters in their back pocket that rarely make appearances during actual shows, because of their downright stupidity. The “four guys” team wants to bring those characters to life all at once. Four guys features an old southern man, an angry grizzled man, a nice guy, and an eccentric man/child. For the first time the audience will see these guys on stage all at once.
9:45 Gang Bang presents Read My Lips
The audience writes down a phrase than one player lips to another player who hasn’t seen the phrase. They lip reader interprets what was said and that becomes the first line of the scene, the other player either has to get the first player to say the real phrase or they have to find a place to insert it themselves to make the last line of the scene.
10:00 KATIE SICKING ONE WOMAN SHOW
Austin comedy mega star Katie Sicking tries to do a terrible one woman show but is constantly interrupted by a stream of guests as they each do an individual bit to say goodbye to her. (This will be her last night in Austin! For Real!)
10:15 The Larry
Larry is a member of the 1%. Four of his best friends will talk about him. This will be funny.
10:30 The Dolores Claibornes
Originally hailing from New England, these improvisers take the stage with only one rule: they are only allowed to speak in thick New England accents for the entirety of the show.
10:45 Improvised Improv
A series of short improv troupes improvising new shows based on the show that just happened. It’s like a dog chasing its own tail except that the tail really belongs to another dog who is chasing that first dog’s tail (or is it?).
11:00 Herman’s Head
Based on the cheesy, amazing, long-forgotten early-90s television show Herman’s Head. A split-screen format that portrays the “real world” of Herman on one half of the stage, and the warring-Greek chorus psyche of Herman’s head on the other half. Herman’s psyche is composed of four parts–Angel, Animal, Wimp, Genius–that vie for control of his actions.
11:15 Cool Dog Comedy
Cool Dog Comedy are master improvisers. In a break from Lock-In tradition, they will be performing a completely straight improv set.
11:30 BBW Mermaids
A La Ronde as mermaids on land. Their Legs will be taped up so all movement is as awkward and hilarious as possible
11:45 HOT PROPERTY presents: Lock In, The Sketch Show
Hot Property takes the suggestions from all the previous shows and incorporates them into 15 minutes of brand new sketch comedy written throughout the night.
12:00 First United Methodist of Plano’s Youth Group Improv
A longform improv montage from a high school youth group, with their improv coach – the youth pastor.
The Lock-In II: The Quickening takes place Saturday, April 14 at Coldtowne Theatre. Seating begins at 6:45 p.m., and the show starts promptly at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are available at the door only.