Local improv group to play the Covey Center

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By Megan Adams

They are prepared with costumes and fully made sets, and have hosted sold-out shows. The only thing their performances lack is a script.

The local improv group Thrillionaires has established itself in the five years since it formed in 2006. They will once again take the stage at the Covey Center in Provo, for an eight-month season, performing on the fourth Friday of every month from September through April.

Thrillionaires combines improvisation and theater to create what their website describes as “One of the most unique forms of entertainment you’ll ever see.”

For each performance, the troupe comes prepared with a theme, then performs the show around suggestions from the audience. They have never used a script, resulting in a different experience for each show. According to their website, previous themes have included a soap opera, after-school special and a musical comedy featuring puppets.

Danae Friel, a publicist for the Covey Center, has seen Thrillionaires perform many times during their previous season at the Covey Center, and said she is always impressed with their talent and range of comedy, as well as their loyal following consisting of all ages.

“The Thrillionaires were really popular when they were here before,” Friel said. “They are just a really talented group, and their performances are a lot of fun.”

Each show lasts about an hour and a half, and is composed of two acts: the first is a play, and after the intermission is a musical, all improvised. Members of the troupe speak to audience members before it begins, and through their ideas, the plot is created.

Jake Suazo has been a part of Thrillionaires since its creation. He said it was formed when his group of friends, who all studied theater and were part of various comedy groups such as Comedy Sportz and Divine Comedy, decided to merge. Suazo said the show always goes well as long as the audience participates.

Suazo said Thrillionaires encourages attendees to see what the theme is before attending. They want the audience to bring props for them to use, or come in costume to be a part of the show. Even if audience members are not dressed according to the theme, they can still be pulled onstage to be a part of the show.

Thrillionaires’ audience is usually composed of people from all ages. Their content is appropriate for younger children, but entertaining and funny enough for college students to enjoy.

Jacqueline Clark, 19, is an open major from Orem. She said she enjoys watching the Thrillionaires’ shows, specifically the musical aspects of it.

“Everytime you see improv, it can either go really bad or really well, and the few times I’ve gone, it’s gone really well,” Clark said. “If you’re looking for a cheap comedy show, that isn’t just BYU students being kind of weird, it’s great.”

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