Friday, Aug 1, 2014 06:27 pm est

Comedy troupe North Coast impresses at People’s Improv

Posted on February 26, 2014 | by Dylan Jarrett

via Facebook.com

For many college students, especially those living in New York City, attending a comedy show is like a rite of passage. It is easy to know someone in an improv group, which leads to a constant flood of invitations to comedy shows on Facebook.

However, comedy performances are often hit or miss. While it is fun to perform improv, watching it can be risky. On the rare occasion that a group nails their show, the audience is rewarded with a solid night of hilarity.

Comedy troupe North Coast had one such show over the weekend. A group that specializes in long-form freestyle improv rap, North Coast has been performing in New York for two years. Six members joined by a beatboxer participated in their latest show at the People’s Improv Theater.

The PIT has a distinctly cool vibe. In the front room is a bar with mood lighting where audiences can hang out before the show. There are two theaters in the building, one on the main floor and one in the basement. On Saturday night North Coast performed in the Underground theater.

Fellow improv group Gadget, which also focuses on long-form improv, opened for North Coast.  Rather than creating short, disconnected scenes (think “Whose Line Is It Anyway?”), the Gadget performers constructed an elaborately-woven narrative consisting of scenes that all related back to the main plot of a circus, a renaissance fair and a particularly cunning elephant.

The audience was receptive from the start, cheering on the performers in between bursts of laughter.

North Coast then took the stage. They explained their routine — an improvised “hip-hopera,” a freestyle-rap story — and asked for a one-word suggestion from the audience.

When someone suggested “circumference,” audience members surely doubted the groups ability to riff on the given subject. But North Coast did not disappoint, immediately jumping into a math class setting.

Whether they were rapping about the teacher’s wife leaving him or mathematical formulas, the rhymes never failed to impress — just try asking anyone what rhymes with Pythagorean theorem.

North Coast’s ability to maintain running gags throughout the entire show was equally amazing, lending the performance a sense of continuity that is so often missing in improv shows.

The members of the group clearly know one another well. The individual performers build upon each other’s jokes seamlessly, often shouting things in unison. The show also maintained the feeling of slapdash high energy and intensity that makes improv so much fun to watch.

Best of all, each North Coast show is different, so returning for next month’s performance will provide comedy fans with a whole new set of laughs and a guaranteed great time.

North Coast performs at the People’s Improv Theater, 123 E. 24th St., on the last Saturday of every month.

A version of this article appeared in the Feb. 26 print edition. Dylan Jarrett is books/theater editor. Email her at djarrett@nyunews.com.

Comments

CLOSE [x]
CLOSE [x]
CLOSE [x]
profile portrait
Felipe De La Hoz

Multimedia Editor | Felipe De La Hoz is a Colombian national studying journalism at the College of Arts and Sciences. Having been born in Colombia and raised in the United States, Mexico and Brazil, Felipe is a trilingual travel aficionado and enjoys working in varied and difficult environments. Apart from his photography, Felipe enjoys investigative reporting and interviews, interviewing the likes of Colombian ex-M-19 guerrilla fighters and controversial politician Jimmy McMillan. He has covered everything from governmental conferences to full-blown riots, as well as portraiture shoots and dining photography. Having worked under Brazilian photojournalists for Reuters and AFP, Felipe hopes to one day work on demanding journalistic projects and contribute to the global news cycle.

AS
Ann Schmidt

News Editor | Ann is a liberal studies sophomore who lived in Florence during her freshman year. She plans on double-majoring in journalism and political science and is always busy. She is constantly making lists and she loves to laugh.

 

DY
Daniel Yeom

Daniel started at the Features desk of WSN last Spring, writing restaurant reviews whilst indulging on free food and consequently getting fat. Last Fall, he was the dining editor, and he this semester he is senior editor. Daniel is in Gallatin (living the dream) studying Food & Travel Narratives, incorporating aspects of Food Studies, Journalism, and Media, Culture, and Communication. He loves food more than life itself.

Hannah Luu

Deputy Multimedia Editor | Hannah Luu is a ridiculously great Deputy Multimedia Editor. She is a sophomore from Northern California. If you think Northern California means San Francisco you might need to closely examine a map. She is passionate about NPR and being half Asian.

CLOSE [x]
  • How to join:

    The Washington Square News holds open weekly budget meetings at its office located at 838 Broadway every Sunday. All are welcome to attend, no matter your background in journalism, writing, or reporting. Specific times for meetings by desk are listed below. If you wish to talk to an editor before you attend, feel free to check out the Staff page.

    NEWS FEATURES MULTIMEDIA SPORTS ARTS OPINION
    5 P.M. 6 P.M. 6 P.M. 6:30 P.M. 6:30 P.M. 7 P.M.

    Applying for an editor position: Applications for editor positions during the fall or spring semesters are available twice each academic year and can be found here when posted. Applications for the Fall 2012 semester are closed, but check back for Spring 2013. Those who wish to apply are urged to publish pieces in the newspaper and contact current editors for shadowing.

    History of the Washington Square News:

    The Washington Square News is the official daily student newspaper of New York University and serves the NYU, Greenwich Village, and East Village communities. Founded as an independent newspaper in 1973, the WSN allows its undergraduate writers and photographers to cover campus and city news and continues to grow its strong body of award-winning journalists and photographers.

  • The WSN has a circulation of about 60,000 and can be found in over a hundred purple bins distributed throughout campus. It is published Monday through Thursday during the fall and spring semesters and online on Friday, with additional special issues published in the summer. The newspaper recently revamped its website during the Fall 2012 semester.

    Like few campus newspapers in the country, the paper is editorially and financially independent from the university and is solely responsible for selling advertisements to fund its production. The WSN, including its senior staff, is run solely by current undergraduate students and the business-division is largely student-operated as well.

    A Board of Directors comprised of alumni, NYU professors and working news media professionals serves as advisors to the paper. Board members have no control in the WSN's editorial policy or newsroom operations. Alumni of the newspaper are established and leading journalists in such news organizations as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, NBC news, ABC news, Fox News, and USA Today.

    Next