It was an all-local, low-dough roster of improvisors at Theatre 99 on Wednesday as part of the 2012 Charleston Comedy Festival's opening night. Big crowds packed into the theater for a double-shot of Laugh for a Lincoln sets (admission was only five bucks at the door). Theater co-owners Brandy Sullivan and Greg Tavares (both of the Have Nots!) clocked in several performances through the night.
The theater showed off a colorful new backdrop on the stage designed by local artists Mike Christensen and Stefanie Christensen. They paint all of the sets for Theatre 99 from season to season.
Tavares and his teammates in Human Fireworks — Tommy Hutchins, Andy Livengood, Betsy Harper, and Brian DeCosta — started the early show with a long-form improv performance. Tavares and Sullivan followed with their character-driven, two-person improv show Full Love Throttle.
Sullivan and her Mary Kay Has a Posse colleague Jessica Mickey's new Little Miss Codependent opened the second show at 9:30 p.m. The seven-piece Neckprov team followed with a raucous set of short-form improv. Sound man Sean Sullivan's ridiculous opening prayer touched on some strong redneck clichés, which set the tone for Wild Man (Tavares), Carlene (Sullivan), Skeeter (R.W. Smith), Jackson (George Younts), Dody (Brian DeCosta), Chevron (Jason Groce), and Ray-Ray (David Roach) to strut their stuff. Their dynamic set was filled with hick lingo, hillbilly goofiness, and stereotypical white trash antics. Some of the most animated scenes seemed autobiographic. The crowd loved it.
Theatre 99 presents two more Laugh for a Lincoln events on Thurs. Jan. 19 with performances from Moral Fixation, a T99 Jam team, Cats Hugging Cats, and 3 Men and a Little Lady.