Comedy improvisation group in Detroit Lakes on Thursday
Though the legendary improvisational comedy troupe known as Chicago City Limits actually hails from New York City, at least one of its members also has ties to the Twin Cities.
Greg Triggs, who has been with CCL for the past three years, got his start in comedy with the Dudley Riggs Brave New Workshop in Minneapolis.
"Like any good student with a BFA (bachelor of fine arts degree) in theater, you kind of start to wonder what you're going to do with it after you graduate," Triggs said in a Monday telephone interview.
In assessing his abilities as a performer, Triggs said his sense of humor seemed to be his greatest strength.
"So I started going to open mic nights (at comedy clubs)," he said. But while he did get laughs, he found standup comedy to be somewhat less than satisfying as a performer.
Triggs' search for artistic fulfillment led him to take some classes at the Brave New Workshop, and eventually, he was invited to be a part of the company.
Improv comedy "just felt like the right fit" for Triggs."
I love that it's not all from my point of view," Triggs said, attempting to explain the appeal of comedy improvisation. "When you're all throwing ideas into a pot and exploring their potential ... that's very exciting."
After working with the Brave New Workshop for about five years, Triggs was approached by some people from Disney in Orlando, Fla., and ended up moving to Orlando, where he worked as a member of the Who, What and Warehouse Players ensemble at Disney's Comedy Warehouse for over 9,000 shows.
Six years ago, however, Triggs left Orlando behind to realize a lifelong dream of living in New York City. But there was a romantic element to the move as well.
"I fell in love with someone who was living in New York," he explained.
Before joining Chicago City Limits three years ago, Triggs said, he had decided to pursue some opportunities that took him away from the world of comedy improv for a while.
"I wanted to see what life felt like without it (improv)," he said. "I missed it."
Having met and befriended some of the members of CCL several years ago when they were touring the country, Triggs asked them to let him know when they might next be holding auditions.
As it happened, on the day he called, CCL was just finishing up a new round of auditions.
"They invited me to the final callback ... later that night, I was cast," he said.
Once again, Triggs had found a perfect career fit for himself.
"I absolutely love touring," he said. "It's taken me all over North America. I get to go to some places where I've lived before and see old friends, and explore new places ... every community is different. It's an adventure."
Triggs' latest comedy adventure will take him to Detroit Lakes, where he and his fellow CCL cast members are planning a one-night-only performance at the Historic Holmes Theatre this Thursday, Jan. 8, at 7:30 p.m.
CCL will be presenting its new show, "My Space Or Yours," which is described as "a dot comedy without a computer." It's an interactive show, in which ideas are plucked from the minds of audience members and transformed into anything from a mini-musical to a game show.
Because CCL crafts many scenes on the spot, based on suggestions from each night's show, no two performances are alike.
"Every show is completely different ... the audience helps to create it," Triggs said. "We hope people have a great time."
Tickets for Chicago City Limits are $25 for adults and $12.50 for students, and are available at the Historic Holmes Theatre Box Office, by phone at 218-844-SHOW (7469) or online at www.dlccc.org.