"Do not let the advertising fool you," advises Odd Lot head honcho Chris Soucy about the blurro-obscurro, flesh-toned cheesecake photo on the poster for Friday's midnight show, After Hours. "We are not naked!"
That, of course, is probably a good thing.
But with After Hours the Odd Lot — Muse Arts Warehouse's 3-year-old resident improvisational comedy troupe — intends to cross a line. The group's semi-regular Monday night performances, during which they take suggestions from the audience, are family-friendly.
"We discourage people from suggesting things that might be inappropriate, and we keep the language as clean as possible," Soucy says. "We usually say we're PG."
However, he adds, "We've gotten a lot of people who are aching to see us do something blue. They want to see what we would do if we let that aspect of the comedy in. So we're going to perform no holds barred."
There'll be two Odd Lot shows on the 6th. The first one, at 9 p.m., is suitable for all ages.
Friday Night Funny = Good clean fun.
After Hours = Naughtiness.
Soucy and co-founders Justin Kent and Lynita Spivey, theater geeks all, have been riffing on the fly since 2008. They started as the Literary Improv League, taking classics like Moby Dick and A Christmas Carol and turning the stories upside down by improvising wacky dialogue.
Soucy's sister is JinHi Soucy Rand, who opened Muse — then called Indigo Arts — in early 2010. She gave the fledgling group, newly dubbed the Odd Lot, Monday nights to wing things as they saw fit. Then as now, many in the ensemble's devoted audience were also part of the Savannah theater community.
"People who do theater don't get to see a lot of theater, so Monday was a good night to do it," Soucy explains. "Plus, it left us open to be able to do plays and stuff like that."
The 2013 troupe includes Soucy, Kent and Spivey, plus Gabe Reynolds, Megan Jones, Andy Hernandez, Thomas Houston, Marshall Frey, John Wesley Turner and Melissa Natalie.
The Odd Lot also performs scripted Dead in the Water Riverboat Mysteries; savannahmurdermysteries.com.
Everything else is off the proverbial cuff. "It's great fun," Soucy says. "We might have a meeting or two, but otherwise there's no time commitment. It's just the performance nights."
Along with talent and the ability to know when to play, and when to pass the ball, improv takes instincts. The idea is to keep the audience engaged, wherever your team goes.
That's one reason you don't hear about a lot of "blue" improv. "It's more of a challenge to remain clean and to provide a level of humor that all ages can enjoy and appreciate," according to Soucy.
"People don't realize that just swearing is not comedy. Yeah, there's a kneejerk reaction to laugh, but trying to stay witty and ahead, and trying to keep a scene and a character going, that's really the goal of any good improvisation. If you don't have any content to back up your language, what are you doing? You're just swearing. And it makes the scene dull. That's really one of the main reasons we've stayed away from blue comedy."
• Thrilled that there'll be a 2013 Stattsfest, to help out everybody's bud Jason Statts — paralyzed by a bullet in a random and senseless act of violence in 2008. From 2 to 8 p.m. on Oct. 13, Muse Arts Warehouse will throb with fun stuff like cornholery and a bounce house, plus (the real kicker) live music from KidSyc@Brandywine, the Train Wrecks, Basik Lee, Damon & the Shitkickers etc. Live painting demo by Troy Wandzel and, as they say, lots more! For $10 tickets, see friendsofstatts.com.
The Odd Lot will perform twice on Friday, Sept. 6. For the late show, you'll want to leave the kids at home.