We were not at all sure what to expect as we walked in the small door from the street in the city of Orlando.
We were at SAK Comedy Lab for their Thursday night Throwdown show. After collecting our tickets from the friendly lady at the desk by the door we made our way upstairs.
Upstairs is a concessions stand selling snacks and drinks which you can take in with you. After buying these, we entered the theatre and were told we could sit anywhere we liked.
Before the show started, there were various adverts on the screen for other shows and information about the show being loud with lights and to talk to them if you have sensitivities.
The show began with the host throwing sweets into the audience and choosing judges who would score the individual acts from their seats. She also explained how they ask for subjects for the acts in the show and introduced the actors.
There were a lot of regular and local visitors which told me it was likely to be a good show. Some of the shows at Sak Comedy Lab are more adult but the Thursday night Throwdown is rated PG 13 and as the whole show is improvised, they have a scum box which is used as punishment for anyone saying something inappropriate.
The show we watched had a very talented keyboard player who provided music throughout the show to the improvised work of the actors.
The show was designed like a competition between the 7 actors, all female in this instance. During the 1st half of the show, the actors competed for points awarded by audience judges.
Then for the second half of the show it was narrowed down to 4 actors, eventually knocking everyone out of the competition until there was a winner.
The first act was an improvised blues song using words from audience suggestions. This was an impressive improvised entire song with all six singing about the suggested words.
Next came the “categories game”, category were taken from audience suggestions and the actors had to list words to do with the chosen category when they were pointed to.
Then it was time for the first judged game. Each act was scored by the “judges” in the audience giving points. There were three actors involved and they had to perform an improvised scene to do with a word suggested by the audience.
Following this was a “Tag team song” where the actors had to sing and then tag the next person to carry on with the song. The subject chosen by the audience was laundry and the song type was a love song, so the actors proceed to sing an absolutely hilarious love song about laundry.
Next was an act called “stunt doubles” involving four of the actors. The audience chose the subject of a social security office and two players are the workers the other two the stunt doubles who switched places to do slow motion “stunts” during the sketch.
The acts were so well done that at times it was hard to tell that they were improvised. The actors were naturally funny and the humour was kept clean and family friendly throughout the show.
The next act in the show was called “A line from the floor”. Some of the actors left the room and audience members were asked for lines from films. These were written on pieces of paper and spread throughout the stage. The actors had to come back in and improvise a scene, frequently picking up the papers and having to say the lines as part of their scene.
The following act was a sketch performed by four of the actors. During the sketch the keyboard would start playing randomly and the actors had to break into song as part of the sketch.
There was one more act before a short interval to get more drinks (coke products were $1 to refill), visit the restrooms and take selfies at the selfie booth.
The first act after the break was a “Serious scene” The actors had to improvise a scene about a dog being run over and if any of them made the audience laugh they were swapped out with another actor. The actors struggled to be serious and this was a very funny scene to watch. Some of them only managed half a sentence before having to sit out.
The act which came next involved chairs as props. The actors had to move the chairs around until someone shouted freeze and then use the chairs in what ever position they were in to perform a scene. One chair became a peg leg and the scene developed to be about pirates. The other chair was a crate being carried on the ship.
Following this, two actors did a “one voice expert” challenge. The subject was computer programming and both actors had to pretend to be the same person, talking at the same time. Considering this was improvised it was really impressive and clever.
The final act was a QVC play. Two actors left the room whilst the audience gave suggestions of products they would sell.
When they came back in there were three actors on each side who were miming clues as to what they were selling and the participants had to act like they were on QVC and work out what they were selling as they described it by watching he charades. The items being sold were a Quizzical porcupine and a Suspicious lighthouse! This was a really funny act to watch.
Then the evenings winner was announced. It happened to be the winner, Chelsea’s birthday so everyone sang happy birthday to her and an audience member.
We had a great evening at SAK Comedy Lab. We really enjoyed the show and all of us, even the children, were laughing out loud at times.
We were guests of SAK Comedy Lab for this show and would like to thank them for such a fun and hilarious evening. All opinions expressed are our own.
Taking an autistic child to SAK Comedy Lab to watch a show?
Your child’s age and level of understanding of jokes would affect how much they enjoy the experience.
There is a need to sit and watch the show.
There is audience participation for judging and making subject suggestions. There is no need to join in with this.
The theatre is upstairs. The main door downstairs is onto a pavement next to a road. There are car parks nearby but you can’t park outside.
The show involved some flashing lights, music and sound and at times was loud so ear defenders may be necessary. There was a notice at the beginning of the show to tell staff if you have sensitivities to noise etc. so they could accomodate your needs.
My son was quite overwhelmed afterwards, I wouldn’t plan anything else stimulating for after. We were going to go to a restaurant for food but decided on take out instead for this reason.
SAK Comedy Lab is located in central Orlando at 29 S Orange Ave. They have various shows throughout the week. Some are aimed at adults and some are more family friendly. They also hold comedy classes and their actors travel to events to do shows.
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