REVIEW ‌ Horatio Sanz and the Kings of Improv 

Sanz and his Kings provide a nonstop, graceful train wreck of improv

First things first: Horatio Sanz is not nearly as large in person as he looks on TV. Second: Jerry Minor, the one comedian who was named as coming to town with Sanz, wasn’t there. But the good news is that Sanz brought some very funny folks over from the Upright Citizens Brigade (namely, Bobby Moynihan and Eugene Cordero), plus a tall, hilarious man they kept calling “Balls,” and these seven merry pranksters provided the audience with 40 straight minutes of a wide variety of improv skits packed with jokes that kept the audience engaged.

The audience suggested a couple of themes, whale-watching and sex on the beach, neither of which were ever really used in the skits, although one of the comedians began the show with a story about his touring high school theatre troupe going “deer spotting” with a man in the middle of nowhere in the Midwest. From there, it was all free association and plenty of references to balls, small penises (penii?), Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and deer.

The trick with these jokers was bringing everything back together in a fashion that seemed natural, and they were really quite good at it. The Easter Bunny (played by “Balls”) popped into skits at just the right time, busting in on a hilarious one that centered around a hitman who was in trouble with the big boss for giving “Swedish massages” to the guys he was supposed to be kill. The group wrapped the whole shebang up with a longish skit about a guy who was joking around and letting his balls drive a car, which led to the balls being interrogated, put on trial (“just put your balls on the Bible”), sent to jail, and eventually released back into society. Sanz wrapped up the show by stepping out just after the balls had been killed and announcing: “Boys, they say if it snows in South Carolina, somebody’s balls are getting cremated.” A fitting, local ending to a rollicking 40 minutes of improv.

HORATIO SANZ AND THE KINGS OF IMPROV • Piccolo Spoleto’s Piccolo Fringe at the American Theater • $17 • May 27, 29 at 9 p.m. • 1 hour • American Theater, 446 King St. • 554-6060


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