Review: iO Theater

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By Lauren Yard

So, I decided to go out to an improv show at the iO Theater last week and it was actually a pretty enjoyable time. My little sister was in town and she was into improv in high school so I figured what could go wrong with a show that only cost me about $10?

The iO Theater is a well-known school and performance venue within the improv community. It has served many famous comedians and actors as they developed their craft. The walls of the venue are filled with many famous faces of previous students at iO Theater and I figured with that amount of history and relevance in comedy, the night would prove to be entertaining.

The night started out kind of rough, the parking was just as much as the ticket and I still had to walk a couple blocks even with my spothero app. It was cold and the wind was pretty intense but I can’t really fault the theater for that.

Photo by Lauren Yard

After I arrived at the theater, I went up to the ticket window and realized that the email that was supposed to have my tickets in it didn’t have them attached. I was kind of worried about it but the staff was friendly and they were able to pull up my order and print hard copies of my tickets. It didn’t cost me anything but a couple extra minutes. Luckily, we arrived extra early because I have a tendency to get lost in the city because my GPS gets as intimidated by tall buildings as I do.

So, after we got our ticket situation figured out we went upstairs to where our theater was located. We noticed that the place has 2 bars- really good for lazy people and two sets of bathrooms. I will say though that it constantly feels like you are going the wrong way and/or trespassing as you try to navigate the twists and turns on the way to the bathroom. Especially when a bunch of people are giving you weird looks as you desperately try to find a place to pee.

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As we were directed to our seats in the small theater, one thing was abundantly clear. The chairs were set to pack us like sardines. It was close quarters for a full house and if you have extreme social anxiety plan to show up later in the evening because chances are you won’t be as cramped.

The wait staff was friendly, a bit too up close and personal for my tastes but I also understand they have to communicate quietly with audiences. I simply prefer not to smell what my waitress had to eat on her last break when she is addressing me.

Despite these minor issues the performance itself was extremely entertaining. The cast got involved with the audience on a few occasions and by the end of each performance there was a sensation that we (the audience) had inside jokes with the actors. Despite the high number of unscripted scenes, both groups were able to make the performance seem fairly seamless.

I found both groups performing in the slot to be hilarious. Some actors played as angry enormous bearded cats mauling their haters and some were “dirt bunnies” taking out their ATVs and remembering their grandmother’s mob like knitting group. I thoroughly enjoyed the show.

I will say though, if you are looking for an inexpensive evening, there are probably some alternative options that may better suit you. The food and drinks are not cheap and the tickets are around $10 a head and the parking was almost $9. I can honestly say I would  go again but when money is tight, it will not be my first choice unless I were to go alone. Going with two other people, I spent $39 before food and drinks which is not what I consider to be an inexpensive evening out.



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