Bill Chott has made a pretty nice career for himself by just making stuff up. He tells ridiculous stories, finds himself ensnared in bizarre situations and then talks his way out of it -- that's what improv comics do. Trained by the pros at Chicago's famed Second City, Chott has parlayed his comic chops into film roles (The Ringer), tv roles (It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia) and educational roles -- he started The Improv Trick, after all. The Improv Trick is Chott's St. Louis-based school where actors and comics learn how to perform the art of improv. Tonight at the Stable, Chott and students present the Stagematch, an improvised battle of wits between teams of comics. The audience shouts out ideas, the teams perform spontaneous scenarios based on the suggestion, and the audience declares a winner. Someone's going home with a trophy, and somebody else is going home with lumps from a folding metal chair (folding metal chair battle not guaranteed to occur; please don't hit people with folding metal chairs, uless they really deserve it). All funds raised go towards scholarships for local improv students, so it's sort of a self-fulfilling prophecy: The greater the number of people who attend, the greater the number of improv comics created.
Wed., June 3, 10 p.m.-midnight, 2009