Improv Your Mind

Four-day festival promises on-the-spot comedy. Plus: Monster Squad and Zoe Scofield, and Seattle Chamber Players.

The 4th Annual Seattle Festival of Improvisational Theater

Catch four days of ad-libbed, on-the-spot, inventive excitement at this year's improv festival, returning to the Historical University Theater and Market Place Theater. Sponsored by Wing-It Productions and others, fifteen groups from around the country will perform ten evening shows and offer a day of workshops for aspiring comedians. Seven of the troupes scheduled to perform are based locally, including Improsia, Stimulus, Seattle goga, the Scramble, Project-B Movie, and Reality World. Acclaimed Chicago pair BASSPROV, winners of the Nichols and May Award for Comedy Duo of the Year and Chicago's Best Comedy Group, will grace the stages for two nights. Pick up a single show pass or roll VIP style all four nights. Either way, you're guaranteed to get a good laugh—intentional or not. The Historic University Theater, 5510 University Way N.E.; Market Theater, 1428 Post Alley. $15-$45. See www.seattleimprov.com for full schedule. Wed. Feb. 15-Sat. Feb. 18 only. KELLIE HWANG

Monster Squad and Zoe Scofield

Some dancing you like because you understand it, or it's a great example of a style you value, or its kinesthetic sweep pulls you along, but some things you love because they are so strange. Zoe Scofield's i am nothing without you, in last year's Northwest New Works Festival, was an open door to a mysterious world that seemed to shift ballet conventions to a wild and feral place, as if Giselle really was performed in a graveyard at midnight, by characters who were something other than human. Her new work on this split bill, there ain't no easy way out, is supposed to be about "the human impulses to create or destroy," and it may very well be so, but I'll go just to see what she does next. On the Boards, 100 W. Roy St., 206-217-9888, www.ontheboards.org. $12-$18. 8 p.m. Thurs. Feb. 16-Sat. Feb. 18. SANDRA KURTZ

Seattle Chamber Players

Yo-Yo Ma's "Silk Road Project" has brought the visceral, exuberantly colorful music of Central Asia to mainstream attention, but the Chamber Players and several visiting musicians are digging even deeper into this region's folk and "classical" music (and the cross-pollination thereof) in a packed three-day festival. Three concerts anchor the lineup for "Icebreaker III: The Caucasus," devoted to music from Georgia and Persia (8 p.m. Friday), Azerbaijan and Turkey (8 p.m. Saturday), and Armenia and Iran (7 p.m. Sunday), surrounded by panel discussions and smaller recitals. Composer Franghiz Ali-Zadeh (pictured) is probably the most familiar name in the festival, for her previous SCP appearances and her recent CD with the Kronos Quartet. Benaroya Recital Hall, Third Avenue and Union Street, 206-286-5052, www.seattlechamberplayers.org. Evening concerts $12-$20. GAVIN BORCHERT

 
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