News
Mochrie, Sherwood returning to Wabash

By Joseph Slacian

For those attending Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood’s eighth performance at the Honeywell Center’s Ford Theater, there’s no need to worry.

They promise the show, on Friday, Nov. 8, will be totally different than their first seven visits to the Center. That’s because, they proudly boast, no two shows are alike.

“We’re bringing audience members up, and we’re getting different suggestions and new suggestions every single night,”

Sherwood told The Paper of Wabash County in a recent telephone interview. “We’re asking for them in a myriad of ways so that we don’t get the same suggestion twice.

“What we’ve been doing for the last few years, is we have these generic cards that have weird ways of asking for all sorts of different things. We shuffle them up and have an audience member randomly pick one. So it’s like a one in 15 chance that we’ll be even asking the same question for the same game twice. And then, the way the card is worded that it’s so obtuse that it’s almost one in a hundred that you’re ever going to get the same suggestion from the audience. So, it’s literally one in a thousand, on any particular game, that we would ever get the same suggestion twice.”

While the performance is truly improvisational, the pair does have somewhat of a game plan.

“That is the only planning we do, Sherwood said. “On the night, we’ll write up the menu as it were. Here’s the running order. This is like the hitlist of songs we’re going to play. We might start with moving bodies, and then do these seven or eight games. That literally, writing out the set list for the night is the only plan that we have. Other than that, it’s all seat of the pants.

“And our show is getting more and more audience interactive. We have almost three quarters of the show we have actual living, breathing audience members on the stage with us. So, it really puts us through the paces, and keeps it ever from feeling like we’re doing something planned because we have all these wildcards on stage steering us in different directions.”

Mochrie, in a separate telephone interview with The Paper, said the pair will review previous setlists used at Honeywell to help ensure a new program.

“Also, we’re constantly trying to come up with new games, so we may insert something that was never tried before,” he continued. “Basically, we have the framework, we know what games we’re playing, and then that’s it. It’s up to the audience to give us suggestions. We have the audience on stage with us.

“It’s all made up chaos.”

Audience participation is vital to the performance, both agreed.

“They’re sort of a third member of our troupe, with the difference being these are all our ideas,” Mochrie said. “We have the audience on stage with us for about 80 percent of the games, so they’re always a major part of the games we have on stage. It’s our job to make sure they’re comfortable enough to do what they can to help us out.

“But, also, we don’t want them going absolutely insane.”

One game that will not be on the playlist, Mochrie told The Paper in a separate telephone interview, is the mouse trap game.

In that, he and Sherwood, blindfolded and barefoot, make their way across a stage filled with live mouse traps.

“We decided to put that one to rest for a while,” he said. “We have been doing it for 16 years, and, obviously, it was not one of our favorite games. It was an audience favorite, and we thought, ‘OK, we’ll do it for them.’”

“But now, we don’t care about the audience,” he continued, jokingly. “We care about ourselves. I’m 61. I can’t go jumping around on mousetraps.

“We may bring it back when I’m 70. At that point I may have no feeling in my legs. Who knows?”

As for their eight performances at Honeywell
“It’s truly one of our homes away from home,” Sherwood said. “We have a couple places. We’ve been to Milwaukee almost every year of our tour. And then, Red Bank, New Jersey, comes in in second place. Then Wabash, we’ve probably been there more than any other place except those other two.”

As for Mochrie, he said, “If you guys keep bringing us back, we have to come.”

Tickets are still available for the 7:30 p.m. performance. For more information, call the Honeywell Center box office, 260-563-1112, or visit honeywellcenter.org.
 

Posted on 2019 Nov 05