“where the Harold was invented!”
The iO theater both has performances of, and teaches improvisational comedy. It was founded in the 1980s by Del Close and Charna Halpern. iO concentrates on "long-form" improvisational structures. The iO's signature piece is the "Harold".
Charna Halpern and Del Close are both responsible for making comedy what it is today. The invention and perfection of the improv form known as the "harold" happened at this theater. I highly suggest reading up on Del Close (part founder) who was the comedic mentor to almost all the great comedic stars of the last 25 years.
The Improvised Shakespeare Company is absolutely hilarious and a must-see! We didn't need to book advance, we bought tickets right when we got there. The staff was very friendly, food and drinks were well priced, and it was lively!
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