Windy City Antics

When improv hotshot and Bovine Metropolis player Justin Franzen began the weekly J&K Fun Hour (with Kerstin Caldwell) at the Mercury Cafe more than a month ago, his goal was to give Denver an independent long-form evening in a bar setting similar to what he had in the back room of Ginger’s Ale House in Chicago, “which was just about improvisers getting together and jerking around and having a good time.” To make it work, he’s been using performers from New York, Chicago and the like because they understand long form in a cabaret environment, and because “they understand the energy it takes and know they can’t just get on stage and slow-play.”

Few know this better than Joe Phillips, Anthony Oberdeck and Jack Farrel, the guys behind Beautiful Horses. Having honed their craft at Chicago theaters such as iO, Annoyance and the Second City, their special Denver appearance — as Syringes and Sunshine, with Franzen — is sure to keep the rowdy crowd at tonight’s Fun Hour feeling mighty randy. “Expect the unexpected,” advises Franzen about tonight’s show, which also features Maude (Bovine players Paul Cross and Sarah Kirwin) and Third Curd (Chris Woolf and Mark Shonsey). “We just get up there and horse around and get after each other.”

Originally slated to end its run this evening, the J&K Fun Hour will now “continue indefinitely,” says Franzen. Shows begin every Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. at the Mercury Cafe, 2199 California Street; admission is $5. Call 303-803-8894 for more.
Wed., Feb. 24, 2010

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