Whose Line Is It Anyway performer Colin Mochrie and master hypnotist Asad Mecci's HYPROV: Improv Under Hypnosis will make its New York City premiere August 12. The 12-week limited engagement will play the Daryl Roth Theatre through October 30, with opening night set for August 22.
The 100-minute show is directed by Stan Zimmerman (Gilmore Girls) with creative consulting by Tony winner Bob Martin (The Prom), and combines hypnosis and improv. The experience begins with Mecci inviting 20 volunteers on stage to be hypnotized, and those most receptive will improvise the show with Mochrie.
The show was co-created by Mochrie and Mecci, along with Mochrie’s manager, Jeff Andrews, in 2016 at Toronto's Second City. The work went on to run at Just for Laughs Montreal and the Edinburgh Fringe before setting out on a 50-city tour.
"When a person is hypnotized, they no longer reflect on their behavior," says Mecci. "Hypnosis removes the filters and walls they’ve built up and allows them to be open to saying yes and being imaginative. That’s why they can do remarkable things on stage. You never know which hypnotized volunteer is going to become the next star of the show."
"Personally, it’s the scariest thing I’ve ever done as a performer," adds Mochrie. "I look at the volunteers’ blank stares and wonder if it’s going to be a very long night, but Asad has never let us down. Adding hypnosis to improv really allows people to let their guards down and have fun in a scene. It’s exhilarating and fascinating to watch."
The creative team includes Jo Winiarski as scenic designer, Jeff Croiter as lighting designer, and music direction by John Hilsen. The work is executive produced by Cody Lassen and produced by Sarah Power, Oui BeLeaf, Jörn Weisbrodt, Brad Blume, Marc Stern Family, M.J. Power International Inc., Lorena Shiff, Drew Descourouez, Matteo Golini; in association with Nancy Donohue, Kors Le Pere Theatricals, The Mecci Family, Joan Tosoni, and Becky Whittle.
Visit HYPROV.com for tickets and more information.