One big challenge awaits in the upcoming improv comedy show at Willow Leaves of Hope.
Laughter will come, as best as actor Pete Law figures. He’s just hoping it’s the audience who gets tickled at his sidekick Cori Brod.
“My only problem will be trying not to laugh at her on stage because she really is so funny,” Law said.
The comic pair of Hope residents will rely on audience interaction for ideas and inspiration at “The Cori and Pete Show” at 7 p.m. April 13 at Willow Leaves of Hope, 326 Jackson St. in Hope. Law has trained in comedy at Chicago’s famed The Second City, and Brod took classes with Indianapolis’ ComedySportz group.
“The key to good improv is in the cooperation and teamwork (with others),” Brod said. “It’s about you supporting your partner. It’s not about you being the star.”
Law and Brod last worked together with spontaneous comedy during a December variety show at Willow Leaves.
“We’ve got some good chemistry,” Law said.
Brod, who has done some stand-up work, prefers improv with a group.
“I like the spontaneity of it,” Brod said. “You don’t have to prepare it. And the fact that the audience actively participates makes it even more interesting.”
Last year, the 44-year-old Law, a former veteran elementary school teacher, spent a few weeks taking classes from working TV and film actors in Los Angeles at the Stella Adler Studio of Acting. He was surrounded by people in their 20s from all over the word — Brazil, Australia, Mexico and elsewhere — nursing big dreams, just as he was. With one difference.
“I think I was the oldest guy in the building,” he said.
He will return to Los Angeles in July for more classes, aiming to find work in TV or film, preferably in comedy.
“You really have to learn to be in the moment,” he said of comic acting. “With this (show), we just want the audience to laugh and have fun.”
Both performers emphasize that they aim to keep the show imaginative without allowing proceedings to veer to blue material. Law cannot imagine doing or saying anything on the local stage that his dear, late mother might find morally offensive.
“If anyone used foul language, she would stop and point to heaven,” Law said.
Besides, Law has been taught that when an overzealous audience member shouts out a naughty word during improv, he can respond with a line such as “OK — I just heard the word ‘toaster,’” he said.
Ideally, Broad wishes the window for such comedy would expand locally.
“I would love it,” she said, “if we had a community of people here to help grow that.”
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What: "The Cori and Pete Show," featuring 90 minutes of improv comedy with local actors Pete Law and Cori Brod of Actors Studio of Hope
When: 7 p.m. April 13
Where: Willow Leaves of Hope, 326 Jackson St. in Hope
Concessions: Iced coffee, flavored teas and soft drinks available
Tickets: $10, available at 812-546-0640.