Off the top has found a home at Sidecar
A comedy troupe’s chemistry and friendship are the keys to making people laugh.
That is what Nate Sears, the creative director for Off the Top, believes his group embodies. He credits the gelling of dynamic, diverse personalities to their successful comedy. Their show is in the style of the Drew Carrey TV program, "Who’s Line is it Anyway?"
"We’ve become good friends with huge mileage between us. A troupe needs to gel to have chemistry," Sears said. "We’re a group of people that are really good friends that love to laugh and play."
Sears is a professional actor and still does theater workshops and media film education for a Chicago children’s film festival. He has a talent agent in Salt Lake and sometimes can be seen in local commercials. While Sears is technically in charge of creating the show, he depends on members of the group for a thriving performance.
"One thing we really enjoy about our troupe is, we also very much approach it as a collaborate effort," Sears said. "We’ve created a fun space for us to hone our skills together. We’ve become a strong unified group, all in sink, all on the same wave length."
Because of certain development issues with the old venue for performing, Off the Top went silent after four years of performing.
"We were still doing corporate and private parties but we were without a home for about a year, all of the summer of 2005," Sears said.
Off the Top made a new home this summer. In June they took the stage at their new venue. They will now be performing every Tuesday night at The Sidecar. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. The show starts at 8:30 p.m. and tickets are $10.
Most of the actors have backgrounds in theatre and various aspects of showbiz, according to Sears.
"We’ve also got members in sales and real estate. We don’t all necessarily come from showbiz, but they are all very funny players that are very talented," Sears said.
Executive director of the troupe, Kim Page, also enjoys the association of her troupemates.
"I just love it. I got to tell you, it saves me millions on therapy bills," Page said laughing. "I can be a cantaloupe one minute and wrestle a caribou the next."
Off the Top entertains audiences by also including them in the show.
"It’s totally interactive. We get audiences to participate. We bring them up and they participate in small parts. It follows a basic structure of improv comedy. All shows are completely made up. Our material is material we get from the audience, it’s based on that. The comedy comes from zany roles and lands that are created during the show. It’s different every time."
The quick wit and decision making actors need in this type of show, helps create stronger actors.
"It sharpens and hones my skill on making choices," Page said. "As an actor, a lot of times making a choice is what helps you be successful. Any normal person could be reading a script. This kind of hones those skills. This is all fun and games and yet this helps the serious role."
The Sidecar has turned out to be a perfect home for the previously homeless troupe.
"The advantage is, it’s not as cold," Page said joking. "It’s a kickback fun place and locals love it. It’s a nonsmoking club, there’s great pizza and a full bar. There’s real leather couches, it’s comfortable. It’s like watching ‘Whose Line is it Anyway’ from your living room. Our performance is going to be different every week."
Sears feels lucky to be part of this unique group in Park City. For him, Off the Top offers a different flavor from the great music venues in town.
"From a directors’ point of view, the great thing for us is, we’re really the only game in town in doing any kind of comedy, regularly," Sears said. "We are based right here and we can do it every week. Our style of comedy is certainly unique to Park City."
Off the Top is always looking for new talent. They are currently looking for a keyboard player. The troupe performs every Tuesday night at The Sidecar at 8:30 p.m. For more information and for reservations, call 647-5678.
Most of the actors live in Park City. Here is a list of some of the regulars:
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In an intriguing sidebar to the overall Park City Planning Commission talks about a proposed project at Park City Mountain Resort, the developer recently mentioned a future Winter Olympics in the context of the project.