Review: Needs Improvment Show


Happy holidays! Needs Improvment members (from left to right) juniors Clara Levrero, Damini Gopal, Emma Grinspoon, Lexi Matuson and Ceci Cipullo leave the audience chuckling.

Vera Targoff, Staff Writer

The Robert-Dubbs Auditorium speakers played songs by Bruce Springsteen, U2 and Coldplay as students and parents made their way inside, excitedly chattering about the performance to come. The first few rows were filled with students, and parents and family members spread out throughout the auditorium. Regardless of age or relationship with the actors, everybody seemed excited to get a good laugh out of the improv troupe about to take the stage.

Needs Improvment’s spring performance was filled with unexpected twists and turns and, most importantly, laughs during Friday night’s show.

The group came out wearing Christmas sweaters and apparel, acting as excited children ready for a Yuletide tale. Someone dressed as Santa Claus came out, and the actors playing children all were ecstatic to see him. Then, another Santa came out, and then another, and then another, until there were 5 Santa Clauses all on stage. When asked what they wanted for Christmas, the children responded: “All we Needs Improvment!”

The first scene was one that got a lot of laughs out of the audience. Senior Alexander Blanton was assigned to play God, which meant he could stop a scene and redirect it whenever he pleased. The story went from a dog becoming mayor to a protein shop reunion to an unexpected slam poetry competition, each plot twist provoking lots of laughs from the audience. The story ended with junior Mitchell Schroeder, playing a student who was terrible at slam poetry, falling in love with his French rhyming coach, played by junior Clara Levrero.

Another hilarious scene was one called “Sports Center” where Schroeder was a sports commentator that analyzed a scene that the audience chose: a promposal. The scene consisted of Blanton playing a terrified boy asking senior Gracie Western to prom. He ended up spelling “prom” wrong on the pizza box, and Schroeder “paused”, “rewinded” and “slow-mo’d” Blanton puffing his inhaler out of nervousness. Schroeder’s classic sportscaster voice and analytical comments made the already funny scene even more enjoyable. The scene ended with Blanton’s father actually taking Western to prom, after it was revealed that Blanton was a half-elf and Western was a ghost.

Another funny scene was one about a “Baby Clam Club,” in which junior Damini Gopal was a professional photographer taking a portrait of the club that consisted of 4 enthusiastic clam-lovers. After three of the club members had introduced themselves, junior Romy Meehan introduced herself as a character named Philip, and revealed that Philip was secretly a clam. Meehan voiced Philip’s plan to take over the Baby Clam Club, and raged in a funny accent about how the humans would feel if they were eaten by clams every day. Overall, Meehan’s monologue was truly hilarious and was enjoyed by everyone in the audience.

The final scene was a musical, and the cast had to improvise the entire thing. The topic picked by the audience was a boy named Jimmy Nickel looking for a peanut. Jimmy, played by Levrero, eventually found his peanut on Jimmy Carter’s Peanut Farm. Jimmy Carter was played by Schroeder, and it was revealed that he was trying to get rid of all of the peanuts in the world except for the ones on his farm. With a group of friends, Levrero managed to save the world from a peanut famine, all while breaking out in song. It ended with a synchronized dance number from the entire cast.

Overall, the Needs Improvment spring performance was a funny and lighthearted show that had audience members laughing throughout the entire thing. All proceeds went to Rosie’s Place, a homeless shelter for women in Boston.