The Comic Strippers perform at the Port Theatre on May 24. (Photo courtesy the Comic Strippers)

Comic Strippers comedy troupe returns to Nanaimo’s Port Theatre

Show combines improvisational games and sketches with male stripper parody

Every time the Comic Strippers step on stage, something different happens.

The Vancouver-based improvisational comedy troupe/faux male stripper ensemble is back in Nanaimo and on May 24 they’ll bring their ad-libbed act to the Port Theatre.

Member Ken Lawson said they’ve got some new songs, dances and games, and that about 90 per cent of the show is fabricated on the spot.

“It’s just always different, which makes it really interesting for us, too. Literally every show feels like an adventure for us,” he said. “I look my buddies in the eye backstage, look at how ridiculous we look, we hear the introduction, the lights start and the audience starts screaming, hundreds and hundreds of people, and then we just go out there and we become these characters.”

Lawson said he and his fellow performers, who keep the stripping to above the waist, pride themselves in their message of body positivity.

“We play these characters that are just super positive and they’re doing improv to get respect,” Lawson said. “Which in itself is sort of an inside joke for us because it’s like, ‘What? Really? That’s what you chose to do to get respect? Improv comedy?’”

Lawson said that while most people might think that performing off the cuff half in the buff is terrifying, he finds it to be “weirdly relaxing.”

“I know that sounds insane, taking your shirt off and going in front of like 500 people and not knowing what you’re going to do, but it forces you to be so present,” he said. “You just get so caught up in it. You just play this character and your whole job is to be the conductor of joy … so that’s a pretty great job.”

WHAT’S ON … The Comic Strippers perform at the Port Theatre, 125 Front St., on Friday, May 24 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $42, $37 each for groups of six or more.

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