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Comedy troupe recreates your first date, awkwardly

Rather than taking your valentine to the traditional romantic dinner and a movie, “Love in The Time of Comedy” offers the chance mix it up and laugh with your partner at a long-form style improv show centered around awkward first dates. The show will be performed at MadLab on North Third Street through Sunday.  

Full Frontal Nudity, a local sketch comedy group, is putting together a new kind of love story with the performance. A group of eight actors gather information from two couples in the audience and act out how they met, with a twist decided on by the audience.

“Like any form of improv comedy, it’s all completely made up on the spot,” said Nikki Smith, an FFN actor. “We don’t rehearse any of it ahead of time.”

After the group acts out the first couple’s relationship, there is a short film about other couples and their relationships. The actors then perform the second couple’s relationship.

“Odds are what we do is not at all how their relationship went, but that’s what makes it so funny,” Smith said.

Every show is different, as every couple met a different way. Some of the actors play pets or inanimate objects. It all depends on the couple’s story.

“We never know what we’re going to get, so we have to be ready for anything,” Smith said. “We’re really at the mercy of our audience.”

Since 2006, FFN has done many long-form formats: love-related formats, a detective format and a science fiction format, said Josh Kessler, an FFN actor.

The cast of FFN has also improvised several types of scenes, from dramatic scenes, to doing an entire play backwards with the last scene first, Kessler said.

“We like experimenting with different formats because it gives our audience a fresh take on improv with each show in our season,” he said.

Although nothing is rehearsed for the show, the actors have known each other for several years and are aware of each other’s preferences, Smith said.

“Since we’ve been working together for so long, we all have a knack for knowing each others’ strengths and weaknesses and have a lot of trust,” Smith said. “Trust is by far the most important part of improv acting.”

Kessler said improv was his first love.

“It’s the essence of performing without a net,” he said. “There’s no script to rely on, or stage directions to get back to if things start to go off course, but because of that freedom, there’s no greater high than hitting one out of the park.”

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