Comedy & Improv

First annual Colorado Improv Festival

When: May 15-17 2009

"With the economy bogging us down, times are getting less enjoyable. F*ck that! Let's take that back!" That gentle suggestion describes the "F*ck It. Let's Have Some Fun!!" workshop at noon today, but it could apply to the whole Colorado Improv Festival at the Manitou Art Theatre (1367 Pecan St., themat.org) this weekend.

With help from the local RiP improv group, Jim Jackson and Co. have attracted 15 improv companies for the first-ever festival. It begins Friday, with a show at the MAT and a kickoff party at Nosh (121 S. Tejon St.). But today's the big day: We get a 7:30 p.m. "PG-16" show featuring the RiP, FORK Productions (Denver), Improv Shmimprov (Orange County, Calif.) and Fool Disclosure (Fort Collins), followed by an "R-rated," "Battle of the Sexes"-themed 10:30 show with Laughing Stock Development (Long Beach, Calif.), Dishwater Blondes (Denver) and Suburban Stage Munkys (Colorado Springs).

And then there are those workshops, which are geared toward the performance-minded, but are open to anyone who's interested. In addition to the "Fun" that Jon Jon Lannen's aggressively peddling at noon today, there's Brian McManus' 3 p.m. gathering to explore "The Time Between." (It has something to do with the time between scenes in long-form shows.)

Tickets for single shows cost $15 and workshops $25, but packages are available. Visit coloradoimprovfestival.com for more. — Kirk Woundy

Price: $15

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