If laughter is best medicine, downtown Chandler improvisational comedy club fills prescription

JC Carlson, Mandy Case and David Specht delight the audience with their improvisational comedy at the Downtown Chandler improvMANIA. – Photos courtesy of improvMANIA

By Meghann Sepulveda, Special for wranglernews.com

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They say that laughter is the best medicine. And after the last two years, we could all use a little laughter in our lives.

Enter improvMANIA, a comedy club in downtown Chandler.

Its team of yuksters will have you entertained, engaged and smiling for days from your visit to the club, which is just a couple of rim shots away from West Chandler and South Tempe. Get ready for endless belly laughs in family-friendly and adult shows, along with open-mic nights for aspiring comedians.

Dave and Colleen Specht are the heart and soul of improvMANIA. The couple, who met while performing standup in Scottsdale, saw an opportunity to bring comedy closer to their home in Chandler to a hungry market in the under-served Southeast Valley.

“We first began performing at local coffee shops and bars in the area,” Dave Specht said. “In 2014, we opened improvMANIA.”

The Spechts have had great success during their eight years in downtown Chandler, even when the pandemic hit and they were forced to close. That didn’t stop them from making people laugh.

Jared Campbell entrtains the ImprovMANIA audience.

“We offered weekly virtual variety comedy shows so people could tune in from home,” he said.

After going dark for seven months, improvMANIA returned.

The business now is getting ready for its next exciting adventure: a permanent home.

“We recently purchased a 100-year-old historic building across the street from our current location,” he said. “We’re currently renovating it and plan to move to that space in the fall.”

Unlike a traditional stand-up comedy show, improv utilizes the audience to develop content. So, if you think you can hide in the back, think again. During the show, the comedians walk around and ask about your age, where you met your spouse and what you dressed up as for Halloween. They use your answers to develop hilarious songs, tell silly stories and play amusing games.

“It’s very unusual,” Specht said. “Most people are taught to sit quietly and watch a show. We encourage audience participation.”

The team consists of about 15 comedians – including Dave and Colleen – who regularly perform. They are extremely creative and never seem to stumble, able to come up with funny content within a few seconds.

“We pay close attention to detail,” he said. “We have to be quick thinking and in the moment.”

Since the audience is constantly changing, you’ll always see something new.

Dylan White loosens the crowd with laughter at ImprovMANIA.

Improv shows featuring unfiltered content for adult audiences only are offered at 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights.

On Saturdays at 7 p.m., you can bring the kids for a fun family night out with family-appropriate acts.

Ticket prices start at $12 for kids and $15 for adults. Beer and wine as well as light snacks like popcorn and candy are available to purchase.

Thursdays at 7 p.m. are open-mic nights, where amateurs can take their shot onstage.

A variety of improv and comedy classes are offered every-other month for $199 and are available for those who want to learn how to perform jokes in a safe, fun and supportive environment.

The team also offers their humor at corporate events for team-building workshops and entertainment.

Learn more and purchase tickets at improvMANIA.net.

 

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