It’s always a close match between the visiting New Jersey Turnpikes and the Philadelphia Fightin’ Amish. Each team may rack up quite a few fouls but in the end, the audience will let you know who wins.
It’s just another Saturday all-star matchup at ComedySportz Philadelphia, the city’s longest-running comedy show. And this year, they are celebrating two decades of competitive and improvisational comedy.
The comedians aren’t athletes but each Saturday night, two improv teams at ComedySportz go head to head in an arena-like atmosphere, complete with referees and points, a la “Whose Line is it Anyway?” There’s even an announcer who keeps the spectators aware of the score.
On July 27, past ComedySportz performers will return to the stage with some current players for a special 20th anniversary show. The day before that, the improv comedians will share hilarious tales of the last 20 years in the ComedySportz Story Slam.
“You’re going to see a lot of people who maybe you’ve never seen before or you haven’t seen in a long time,” says Don Montrey, executive director of ComedySportz Philadelphia.
Scott Greer and Jen Childs, former members of professional theater company 1812 Productions, are slated to perform.“That will be fun and exciting,” Montrey adds.
The company has more than 30 members who rotate Saturday night performances at the Adrienne at 2030 Sansom St.
“We’ve had such staying power because we appeal to a very broad audience,” says Montrey, who’s been wtih the company for 11 years. “We’re mainstream and we can certainly be edgy. We’ve had shows where there’s 12-year-old boys on one side, 65-year-olds on the other, and a bachelorette party in the middle of them. And they all have a great time.”
And the players aren’t the only ones in on the action; the audience gets involved, too.
“It can be anything from just applauding if we want to get an audience response on who played a better game, or audience volunteers,” Montrey says. “It’s always a great time.”
ComedySportz Presents: Tongue & Groove
Friday, June 28, 8 p.m.
Saturday, June 29, 5 p.m.
PlayGround at the Adrienne
ComedySportz 20th Anniversary Show
Saturday, July 27, 7 and 10 p.m.
World Cafe Live
3025 Walnut St.