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BATS Improv Wins "Best Comedy Troupe" - SF Weekly

Release date: 5/28/2008

Latest award is BATS' 13th honor among Bay Area media and readers' picks

Source: The SF Weekly 2008 Best of San Francisco Reader's Poll

Previous Years' Awards:


Best Theater Company — July 25, 2007
That troupe of irreverent tricksters BATS Improv has entered its second decade of interactive fun with no signs of slowing down. If screaming things from your seat, watching people make fools of themselves, and laughing until your guts hurt sounds like a great time to you - and it does to our readers - haul ass to see these perennial Bests. Fort Mason Center, Bldg. B, Marina at Laguna, SF. (415) 474-8935, www.improv.org


Best First Date Spot — July 25, 2007
Ah, the dreaded first date. There are worse things than sharing a laugh, right? Which is where BATS Improv comes in. The humor and audience involvement will help break the ice. Taking note of your date's sense-of-humor level will tell you a lot. And even if the date turns out to be a dud, BATS' hilarious theater-sports performances will entertain you. Fort Mason Center, bldg. B, Marina at Laguna, SF. (415) 474-8935, www.improv.org
7x7 Magazine: Most Spontaneous Date Night — September 11, 2006
Shout suggestions, get up and participate, invent song titles and watch as BATS’ performers devise entire musical plots around them. Movies don’t let you interact. Dinners can force too much interaction. But improv theater provides just the right balance. Everything Bay Area Theatresports puts on stage is improvised on the spot. Shout suggestions, get up and participate, vote on your favorites, invent song titles and watch as BATS’ talented performers devise entire musical plots around them. Or simply sit there and be entertained.

SF Bay Guardian: Best Theater Company — July 26, 2006
Interactive, inventive, and laugh-out-loud funny, BATS Improv, a San Francisco staple for 20 years, once again snags the Best Theater Company award. If you aspire to do more than shout things from your seat at its performances — which the company encourages — you can take a class from BATS and hone your raucous spontaneity into improv gold. Fort Mason Center, Bldg. B, Marina at Laguna, SF. www.improv.org


SF Bay Guardian: Best First Date Spot — July 26, 2006
The players of BATS Improv are here to entertain you, amaze you, and inspire you and your potential new squeeze to take risks, participate, and enjoy the ice-breaking unexpected of their performances.Fort Mason Center, Bldg. B, Marina at Laguna, SF. www.improv.org

SF Weekly: Best Improv Group — May 11, 2005
Chicago has Second City, L.A. has the Groundlings, and San Francisco has BATS. BATS has been making Bay Area audiences laugh by making it up, à la Whose Line Is It Anyway?, for almost 20 years. From high-energy "Theatresports," featuring two competing improv teams, to hilarious play-length improvised performances told in a potpourri of genres (musical, Shakespeare, sci-fi, western), the troupe never scripts a thing, making the audience the star of every show. BATS also offers special events and eclectic series, such as the Improv Long-Form Festival this month. A recent two-weekend soap opera spoof, Emotional Hospital, directed by core member John Remak and based entirely on audience suggestions, was an absolute scream. The group is in residence at the newly renovated Bayfront Theater in Fort Mason, which also houses one of the largest schools of improv in the country. Shows take place every Friday and Saturday, and student performances are on Sunday.

SF Bay Guardian: Best Comedy Troupe — July 28, 2004
There's no medicine like laughter and nothing quite as impressive, theatrically speaking, as improvisation. BATS Improv hands you both on a silver platter. Since 1986, BATS has provided both a training ground and a center for improv performance. The company specializes in full-length storytelling and can be seen performing several times a week. Bayfront Theater, Fort Mason Center, Bldg. B, Marina at Laguna, San Francisco. (415) 474-8935. www.improv.org.

SF Bay Guardian: Best Improv Company — June 30, 2003
Unlike most improvisation warm-ups and comedy sketches, works by Bay Area Theatresports are full-length plays created entirely on the fly. And kudos to the players and producers for keeping live theater based in financial reality with ticket prices in $12-to-$15 range. (415) 474-8935.

San Francisco Magazine: The Best Place to Meet If You're Looking For...: — February 2003
...A Thespian Experience. If your love life is a one-person show, you can stage a comeback at BATS Improv. General manager John Kovacevich calls BATS courses "the great hidden love connection." Classes are 16 students max, with an even number of men and women. In the six-class beginner series, "people learn to be relaxed, take risks, and be themselves. It's a great environment to get to know someone," Kovacevich says. "Everyone in my class hooked up," adds one student. "We would all get together beforehand for a drink and then go act our asses off!" Classes are at Fort Mason Center in San Francisco. The series costs $220. Call (415) 474-6776 or go to www.improv.org.

SF Bay Guardian: Best Improv Company — August 6, 2001
BATS, a.k.a. Bay Area Theatresports, a.k.a. the Bay Area's best improv group for the fourth year in a row, according to our readers, represents spontaneous hilarity at its finest. Not many performers can, on request, make you laugh until you're in pain as they depict, say, an 11th-century knight impaling your brother on Martha's Vineyard for having raped you, but these intrepid improvisers are up to the task. And for those envious of their superpowers, BATS conducts improv workshops to boot.

SF Bay Guardian: Best Improv Company — August 5, 2000
For the third year in a row, local audiences continue to choose the spirited Bay Area Theatresports as their destination for improvised theatre. A series of shows, including improvised musicals, take place throughout the summer, and ongoing improv workshops are also offered. Bayfront Theater, Fort Mason Center, Bldg. B, Marina at Laguna, S.F. (415) 474-8935.

SF Bay Guardian: Best Improv Company — August 3, 1999
Improv is a decidedly hit-and-miss affair, but Bay Area Theatresports just keeps on swinging - and audiences keep on laughing. You want "Improv-vised Shakespeare"? "That Time on the Month Again" (all female improv, of course)? BATS delivers, Bay Front Theatre, Fort Mason Bldg. B. Marina at Laguna, S.F. (415) 474-8935.

SF Bay Guardian: Best Improv Company — July 29, 1998
Turning improv into a competitive sport, Bay Area Theatresports performances at Fort Mason pit groups of students of the Keith Johnstone method of improv against one another with hilarious results. Audience members won't be embarrassed for the performers even when they have an off night, because it's all done in a spirit of good fun, with loads of zany antics. The improvers look like they're having such a good time, you might be tempted to take a class or two yourself.