Evening of the Improv

Whose Lineregulars up the ante on the road

sat 8/7

As regular cast members on ABC's Emmy-nominated Whose Line Is It Anyway?, Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood are at the top of their respective improvisational comedy games. Mochrie, a longtime comedian who appeared on the original British version of the popular show, seems so eerily adept at improvisation that it's often stunning to realize he's not reading from a script. Sherwood, for his part, shows such aplomb at spontaneous comedy that he regularly headlines in Las Vegas with Drew Carey and Ryan Stiles as a member of the Improv All-Stars. Yet the talented comics do not stand on these laurels alone. In An Evening With Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood, the two expand upon familiar improv games from the television show, calling attention to the range of their prowess and making things anything but easy for themselves.

In "Mousetrap/Alphabet," a blindfolded Mochrie and Sherwood walk barefoot across a stage littered with 100 live mousetraps while playing the alphabet game, where successive series of sentences uttered by the performers must begin with the next letter in the alphabet. Now, that'sgood comedy. Over the course of the evening, they engage in thirteen other such activities, including "Marriage," in which Mochrie and Sherwood act out a day in the life of a couple from the audience who carefully monitor their behavior for accuracy, and "Rap Song," in which, after a brief interview, Sherwood busts the hip-hop saga of a chosen participant.

The show starts at 8 p.m. tonight at the Temple Buell Theatre, 14th and Curtis streets; doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets, $35 to $45, can be purchased at 303-830-TIXS or www.ticketmaster.com. -- Adam Cayton-Holland

Dub Actually

Burning Spear unplugged

sat 8/7

Dub reggae, by nature, is steeped in deep echoes and obscured by a fog of ganja. Winston Rodney, aka Burning Spear, should know; as one of the prime exponents of the genre, he's released many classic albums since his self-titled 1973 debut that have explored the more spaced-out side of Jamaica's national music. Beneath all the reverberation, though, are songs of the highest caliber -- poignant, earthy compositions that touch on the spirit of positive protest and consciousness-raising celebration. The unguarded heart of Burning Spear's songs will be on display today, for free, at 1 p.m. at Tower Records, 2500 East First Avenue. Rodney will run through acoustic renditions of some of his most beloved tunes, stripped down and direct, accentuating reggae's often overlooked role as a vital form of folk music. The Grammy Award-winning legend will also appear tonight at the Gothic Theatre, but this rare unplugged performance at Tower is a chance to catch him up-close and intimate, with an autograph signing to follow his set. For information, call 303-377-5479. -- Jason Heller

 
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