Introducing the laughing stock of the Kittay House
Betty Gumanow, 83, strode toward the edge of the crowd and lunged forward, pretending to thrust a spear into a shark.
“It’s my favorite,” she told tenants perched on lawn chairs in the courtyard of the Kittay House independent senior living community on Webb Ave. “I love shark wrestling.”
Steve Van Ooteghem, 36, and Jonathan Goldberg, 41, of Cherub Improv, egged Ms. Gumanow on by pretending to bring “Grandma her favorite hook and spear gun” and shouting, “Go get him grandma.”
Laughter erupted among the more than 30 Kittay House tenants gathered near the eight-person improv workshop panel Sunday. The Cherub Improv performances have drawn big crowds at Kittay House since the non-profit performance troupe began simultaneously devising and acting out comedy routines for the seniors three years ago. Cherub, which gives free improv shows in homeless shelters, hospitals and retirement communities across the tri-state area, began offering workshops at the Kittay House last year. Since then, Kittay House tenants have begun watching the four-senior-and-four-Cherub-performer workshop panel winging it through skits, jokes, and word games once a month.
Mr. Goldberg, a Cherub Improv co-founder, welcomed the crowd to its first garden-side show Sunday, saying, “We’re also all very good looking, so you should not be afraid to move forward.” As landscaping sounds interrupted his explanation of the first exercise, Mr. Goldberg assured the audience, “I paid that guy money to mow during our show just in case it wasn’t funny.”
Once the courtyard quieted down, the improv panel launched into its opening free association exercise. Panelists lined up and took turns shouting out the first word that popped in their minds after listening to the previous word. The initial “apple” shot up and down the panel and wound up as “divorced.”
KeywordsSarina Trangle, Betty Gumanow, Kittay House, Steve Van Ooteghem, Cherub Improv, Jonathan Goldberg, Rozanne Zweig, Mollie Nogue.