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March 18, 2013

Go Comedy! presents ‘best of’ show through end of March

By Jeremy Selweski
C & G Staff Writer

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Go Comedy! presents ‘best of’ show through end of March
From left, Matt Naas, Joey Dombrowski and Jeremy St. Martin sing a song about Jobbie Nooner during a performance of “The Best of Go Comedy!” March 15.

FERNDALE — Many times, when an artist releases a “greatest hits” collection, it signifies that they’ve run out of ideas and are content to simply coast on their back catalog, but that’s not the case for the Go Comedy! Improv Theater.

Although the theater recently decided to pay tribute to some of its funniest moments by putting together its first-ever “best of” show, the men and women behind the humor are feeling stronger than ever. Co-owner Pj Jacokes said he is ready to provide the Ferndale community with many more years of top-notch entertainment and uproarious laughter.

“This November will be five years in business for us, and we’ve created at least 42 original shows since we first opened,” he noted. “We’re very proud of that, but people should really think of this new show as ‘The Best of Go Comedy! Vol. 1,’ because we don’t plan on stopping anytime soon. We’ve still got a lot of gas left in the tank.”

“The Best of Go Comedy!” is a 90-minute presentation of 15 to 20 of the theater’s most beloved and hilarious sketches. The show is directed by co-owner Chris DiAngelo and features a six-member cast that includes Joey Dombrowski, Michelle Giorlando, Suzie Jacokes, Matt Naas, Jeremy St. Martin and Alison Tomak. Performances will be held at 8 p.m. on Friday evenings through March 29, and tickets are $15 each.

According to Jacokes, selecting the material for the show was a collaborative process that involved input from a variety of sources. The owners chose some of their own personal favorite sketches, reached out to directors of previous shows and sought suggestions from Go Comedy! fans on Facebook. Jacokes believes that the resulting collection, while tackling a wide range of styles and topics, still works well as a unified show.

“Since a lot of what we do is sketch-based revue type of stuff anyway, this show fits together a lot like our other shows,” he said. “It’s as random a collection of ideas as everything else we do, but I think that’s one of our strengths, and audiences have responded really well to it so far.”

DiAngelo pointed out that, like most Go Comedy! shows, “The Best of Go Comedy!” features a cast that strategically combines talented newcomers with seasoned veterans.

“We chose what scenes we wanted to do first, then cast the actors afterwards,” he said. “I feel like this is a really good mix of people who have been around for a while and some fresh faces, too. It was cool because the newer people had never seen a lot of these scenes before, so they could bring their own unique perspective to them.”

Jacokes was initially worried that certain sketches would fall short simply because they do not feature the same actors who originally performed them. However, his fears were quelled once he saw how well rehearsals with the “Best of” cast were coming together.

“We’ve had some people in the past who I felt really owned a particular character,” Jacokes explained. “Frankly, I didn’t think that these other actors would be able to pull it off, but they exceeded my expectations. Watching them rise to the occasion has just been awesome; they’ve been able to take on these really meaty roles in an impressive way.”

While Jacokes and DiAngelo did not want to give away too much about the content of the show, they were excited that a handful of their nearest and dearest sketches made it into the final production. Jacokes cited a scene from one of the theater’s early shows, “Silent Too,” as well as one from the raunchy crowd favorite, “The Audacity of Hump.” DiAngelo mentioned a scene from one of the theater’s annual holiday shows involving toy company employees pitching off-the-wall ideas, in addition to one featuring a barber shop quartet singing about Jobbie Nooner.

“This show came together even better than I had originally hoped,” he said. “We worked hard to select the moments that really rang true for us and captured our attention. We wanted to bring back some of our greatest moments from the past for our longtime fans, who will hopefully bring along some friends to check out the show.”

The Go Comedy! Improv Theater is located at 261 E. Nine Mile Road in downtown Ferndale. Call (248) 327-0575 or visit www.gocomedy.net to purchase tickets for “The Best of Go Comedy!”

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Jeremy Selweski at jSelweski@candgnews.com or at (586)218-5004.