Rare Bird Show

City Paper
City Paper Agenda Picks: Philly Improv Festival Review
citypaper.net, November 7th, 2007
By: Aly Semigran

Agenda Picks
Just Do It
Philadelphia Improv Festival
Thu.-Sat., Nov. 8-10, 7 p.m., $10, Mum Puppettheater, 115 Arch St., 215-925-7286, phif.org

One minute you could be watching a bank heist led by a pack of Crayola-wielding preschoolers, the next a chimp could be climbing Everest. Now in its third year, the Philadelphia Improv Festival is facilitating a weekend of wacky scenarios with both local and national troupes.

According to participating Philly improvers, the fest is crucial to the development of the local comedy scene. Rare Bird Show -- a trio of three quick-on-their-feet comedians -- met in 2003 and have been jabbing at the city's funny bone ever since. Member Matt Holme says the event "puts Philadelphia on the comedy map." Rick Horner of Zombie Shark, another local act, feels that the festival is unique because it's about celebrating improv as opposed to competing. "We're all here to make a better comedic community in Philadelphia. It's a huge commitment from a small group of people to keep this genre of comedy going strong in the city," he says. "Philly is one of the big kids on the comedy playground now."