DC Improv hosts virtual open-mic night

WTOP's Jason Fraley previews DC Improv's Zoom Open-Mic Night (Part 1)

Do you miss live entertainment? Need a laugh during our stressful current events?

The D.C. Improv is hosting a virtual Zoom Open-Mic Night on Thursday at 7:30 p.m.

“This is our first virtual open-mic night,” said Chris White, director of creative marketing. “Other places have done open-mic nights; we’ve been doing other online programming, but this is the first time we’ve done a free admission virtual open-mic at the Improv.”

The show will feature eight to 10 performers each performing five minute sets.

“[It’s] comedians we love and respect who want to get practice in, who want to perform in front of an audience to stay sharp for when live entertainment returns,” White said.

The entire event will run about an hour, from 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

“We like to keep our online shows about 60 minutes,” White said. “Anybody who’s been sitting in front of a computer on a Zoom call for too long, that’s about the sweet spot.”

Admission is free, so just sign up on the guest list. The venue will then send you the login info 30 minutes before the show, which will be run as a standard Zoom “meeting.”

“We want only the comedians to have their mics on, but if anyone wants to have their camera on, we can actually see them reacting and physically laughing,” White said. “If we can see people enjoying themselves … the comedians know the jokes are working.”

Between the aftermath of the 2020 election and the COVID-19 pandemic, we could all use a little levity right now.

“People need some stress relief,” White said. “People are stuck at home, there’s not a lot of options in the District to go out and see live entertainment or see other people, so it’s nice to feel like you’re part of something bigger than what’s happening in your living room. … Take your mind off what’s going on in the world right now, laugh and let it go.”

The physical location is closed on Connecticut Avenue Northwest, near Dupont Circle.

“We have not been open for live entertainment since March 15, 2020,” White said. “We’ve been doing virtual shows, we’ve also had a chance to partner with some other venues outside of the District, like one out in Leesburg called the Tally-Ho. … We’ve also had a good partnership over the fall with Broccoli City to do drive-in shows at the RFK campus.”

The lineup is already set for Thursday, but there will be another open-mic night on Jan. 27, so if you think you’ve got what it takes, email info@dcimprov.com.

“It’s live entertainment,” White said. “It’s not just something you’re watching on Netflix. It’s something happening in the moment that will never happen again, so it has that special edge.”

WTOP's Jason Fraley previews DC Improv's Zoom Open-Mic Night (Part 2)

Jason Fraley

Hailed by The Washington Post for “his savantlike ability to name every Best Picture winner in history," Jason Fraley began at WTOP as Morning Drive Writer in 2008, film critic in 2011 and Entertainment Editor in 2014, providing daily arts coverage on-air and online.

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