March 4 at 8:30 pm, Hello Dali, presented “Top o’ the Dali to Ya,” an improv comedy show to the Eastern community.
With limited seating in order to follow social distancing guidelines, the show was held in the Doudna Lecture Hall. The improv comedy group also provided an online format for viewing the show: a livestream of the performance via Facebook Live on their EIU Hello Dali Facebook page.
The comedy show featured performances by Eastern students using nicknames such as “Da Beez,” “Lightnin’ Bolton,” and “Shimmy-Shimmy.”
The Hello Dali performers did multiple separate show segments, or games, putting the performers in different plots and making them play interesting characters.
One game, for example, had two characters complete the mundane task of doing the laundry for who the characters called The Commissioner. Another game had two characters play out a scene doing whatever random stage directions were yelled at them by their fellow improvisers.
During these games, the improvisers took suggestions from the audience or drew from some particular source of inspiration to get started.
The improvisers asked the audience questions like “what substance are they covered in?” or “what’s the worst place to find yourself at 3 am in the morning?”
The audience members seemed to enjoy themselves at the improv show, with many of the improv group’s jokes receiving lots of laughs from the crowd.
Kaitlyn Ostick, freshman public health student, was one of Hello Dali’s audience members. Ostick has attended a couple of Hello Dali’s comedy shows prior to this one and has been doing so in support of her friends.
“I thought it went good,” she said. “My favorite part was when they played ‘Freeze.’”
During “Freeze,” two improvisers would play out a scene while the others stood quietly in the back. When one of the improvisers in the back clapped, the two in the front would have to freeze mid-scene.
The improviser who clapped would then walk up to the frozen performers and tap one of them on the shoulder, sending them to the back of the stage and taking their spot in the scene. Every time someone new jumped into the scene, the two performers would have to create a brand new plot based on the position they were in.
Paige Thing, freshman political science student, attended the improv show with Ostick. Like Ostick, she too came to the show to support her friends who are part of the improv group.
“I thought [the show] was really funny. I think it was one of the funniest ones that they’ve had this year,” Thing said.
She said she liked the musical portion of the improv show, where the performers had to perform a scene as if they were in a musical, because she likes watching them burst into song mid-performance.
The audience also had a couple of members of Hello Dali who were not performing that day.
Because of social distancing regulations, there is a limit on the number of performers that can be on stage at a time. To follow the guidelines, Hello Dali decided to split the improv group into two separate groups with different performance and rehearsal days.
Some of the improvisers were not performing that day but did have rehearsal around the time of the show. When rehearsal ended, they decided to pop into the lecture hall to watch the last half of their friends’ performance.
One such audience member was Bridget Spillman, a senior history education student, attended the show.
“It’s fun being in it, but I also love watching it and supporting my friends,” Spillman said.
Spillman thought the show went great, especially considering all the challenges that come with performing improv.
“I know it’s rough getting a really, really good show, and from what I saw, it was really amazing,” she said. “It’s really dependent on the audience interaction, and from what I saw, the audience was participating a lot, which helps a great deal.”
Abby Moore, sophomore communications disorders and sciences student, is also a Hello Dali improviser who decided to attend the show. She thought “the show went really well” and thought “everyone was pretty funny.”
“[This show] was probably our best one this semester,” Moore said.
Hello Dali holds shows every Thursday at 8:30 p.m., with the next one being on Thursday, March 11. The shows are typically held in the Doudna Lecture Hall.
Kyara Morales-Rodriguez can be reached at knmorale[email protected]