John Szablewski Reviews

Theatre Review: ‘Whose Live Anyway?’ at The Center For The Arts

I have been a fan of the television show, “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” since I was in fourth grade. I love the comedy, the humor, the goofy games, and the stars. When I was little the show starred Ryan Stiles, Wayne Brady, Colin Mochrie, and Greg Proops. As the years went on, new cast members would come and go. In 2016 I had the opportunity to see Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood perform at the University at Buffalo, and I got to meet them. When I saw that the other guys from the show were going to be coming to Buffalo, I knew I had to see them. I got to the theatre. The show began. Greg Proops walked out. He’s welcoming the crowd, and announces that Ryan Stiles had something come up and that he would not be here. Well, as one of the audience members said “Ryan’s not here, I’m going home.” I did not go home, but his replacement was well worth it.

. . .a tour de force of foolishness. . .

“Whose Live Anyway?” is a 90-minute improvisational extravaganza where performers Gregg Proops, Joel Murray, Jeff B. Davis and Ryan Stiles’ replacement, Dave Foley (he played Flick in “A Bug’s Life”) perform your favorite “Whose Line” games and take your suggestions to make a night that you are not likely to forget. Accompanied by Bob Derkach on piano, this show is a tour de force of foolishness, and it tickles your funny bone so much that you will find yourself unable to breath in-between the laughs.

The guys take turns playing games, such as Freeze, where they took turns creating an improvised scene and when they yell freeze, they have to tag one of the others out, and change the scene. Poor Dave Foley, who was asked to plank during this game, and had to hold it the entire time, because no one wanted to tag him out.

The four brought the house down during their performance of “Greatest Hits” where Foley and Murray were late night infomercial hosts selling a 400 song set of tunes honoring “those who used to be train engineers.” They would set the scene with a genre of music and Proops and Davis would sing the improvised songs that would be found in the collection. German Cabaret and jazz were just two of the genres chosen, and the silliness just ensued.

The audience was not safe either. A few lucky individuals where called up on stage to contribute to the night’s comedy. “Sound Effects” was played, were two audience members were each given a microphone, and they were in charge of making the sound effects for Foley and Murray as they performed. The great part is that the sound effects left a lot to be desired, but the scene kept on moving on!

Another game occurred where a couple was called up on stage and they were asked about the first time they met at their first date. The guys then recreated the couple’s first date as an improvisation game. They took many artistic liberties of course, but it was all enjoyable.

Overall, this show’s review means very little, because every night the show is completely different. If you are looking to have the greatest laugh of your life, you need to go see this show. Maybe you’ll be lucky and Ryan will be there, but Mr. Foley, did a fantastic job!

Running Time: 90 minutes.

“Whose Live Anyway?” was performed for one night only on September 10, 2018 at The Center for the Arts. For more information on the show, click here. For more information on upcoming shows at The Center for the Arts, click here.