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Often mistaken for an offshoot of standup comedy, the national improv scene is always looking for its own way to shine, and this year’s Denver Improv Festival will try to shatter the standup myth with an array of local and national creative talent. “Improv is really theatrical; you’ll get a suggestion from the audience, and you’ll create a wonderful story or some very rich scenes just based on that one suggestion,” says Denver Improv Festival board member and performer Natalie Kilkenny. “But it takes more than what people think is just being funny.”

This year’s edition of the festival features key national players like renowned African-American Chicago troupe 3Peat; Jet & Holly: The Women of Reckoning from Los Angeles; and local groups Gay vs. Straight, Cult Following and more. Along with these off-the-cuff but expertly executed theatrical comedy shows, the headliners will offer workshops to share their expertise about things like “Finding the Funny Without Trying” and “Finding Your Improv Voice.”

The Denver Improv Festival kicks off tonight at 7 p.m. at Bovine Metropolis Theater, 1527 Champa Street, and runs through Sunday; some festival events also occur at Voodoo Comedy Playhouse, 1260 22nd Street. Admission for improv shows starts at $10, and tickets for workshops are $50 each; ticket purchases and workshop registration in advance are highly recommended; visit denverimprovfestival.com.
Oct. 23-26, 2014

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