Thursday, December 3, 2020

"Family Dinner" streaming live on YouTube every Saturday from Huge Theater

Everyone's favorite improvised holiday* show returns this year! But instead of parodying that awkward in-person holiday dinner with family and/or friends, this year Family Dinner is parodying that awkward holiday zoom call with family and/or friends - what could be more perfect for 2020?! A new dinner is streaming on Huge Theater's YouTube page for the next three Saturdays at 8pm. I watched it last Saturday night (bonus: if you're a morning person like me you can watch it in bed and not have to worry about staying up past your bedtime) and it's just as hilariously awkward as always. The show is free to watch, no need for tickets or reservations, but if you watch it please do consider donating $10 or $15 or more to support these artists through this extended intermission.

Family Dinner was created by Molly Ritchie almost twenty years ago, and this is the 9th year of collaboration with Huge. Molly directs the show and assigns audience-suggested secrets (go to their Facebook page to make a suggestion) to each of the local improvisors in the rotating cast, who can choose if and how they want to include this secret. The first episode, which premiered last weekend and still available to view, featured Casey Haeg, Katy Kessler, MJ Marsh, Mike Fotis, Sam Baker Harris, and Tom Winner. The familial relationships for this dinner included a mother and father to three adult children and one son-in-law, but expect different configurations in future dinners. Sibling rivalries, martial tension, and surprises all come up in the 40-minute show. Just like your typical family zoom gathering, but just a little more bizarre and a lot funnier. And they actually do eat during the show, which is kind of my favorite part of the live show.

I look forward to attending Family Dinner at Huge every year, and I'm so glad they found a way to do it this year in a way that is just so perfect for this strange time we're living through. And I'm excited that I can easily watch every week (without having to fight traffic and parking in Uptown) and see all of these talented casts. Even more than most years, Family Dinner is a bright spot in the dark winter.

the Nov. 28 Zoom Family Dinner (Katy Kessler, Sam Baker Harris,
Tom Winner, Mike Fotis, MJ Marsh, Casey Haeg)

the Dec. 5 Zoom Family Dinner (Casey Haeg, Sam Baker Harris,
MJ Marsh, Tom Winner, Rita Boersma, and Vann Daley)

*Click here to read about all of the virtual holiday shows I've seen.