- Chicago group Pimprov have funny going on before they even open their mouths
Thurs. @ 7:30, Fri. and Sat. @ 8:30, American Theater
About four years ago, Marz Timms was taking a shower and thought up the idea for Pimprov. Skipping the obvious question of what he was doing thinking of pimps in the shower, the idea bloomed to put four actors on the stage pimped out and in character to do improvisation.
"I wanted to add more of a flair. More of a show feel to improv," Timms says. "Pimps doing improv is funny."
Pimprov provides improvisational comedy, but from the perspective of four unique pimps. It's like Lucille Ball doing improv as Lucy Ricardo, or Carroll O'Connor doing improv as Archie Bunker (though neither were pimps ... as far as we know).
"It's characters doing characters," Timms says.
Those characters have grown and evolved with the show.
"On the first night, we basically walked out on stage and made fun of each other's clothes," Timms says. "As we went along with the performances, the characters fleshed themselves out."
Here's a Pimprov character rundown:
Mack Strong has put his improv skills to use pimping hoes in Alabama. "He's the new guy on the block," Timms says. "He doesn't have the fancy clothes. He's pimping girls out of his suitcase."
Ho' Lease, known for the quality of his "product," not the quantity, is sexually ambiguous. "He likes guys," says Timms. "He likes girls. He pimps both."
Poochie, says Timms, who's a no-nonsense man of the street, can be summed up in two words: "Gorilla pimp."
Timms' own creation, Grand Finale, is a man who takes care of his ladies – health insurance, investments, the works. "He's a conservative pimp," Timms says. "An educated scholar."
Pimprov encourages the audience to dress up like pimps, and the gang often do an open casting call for prostitutes from the audience.
While it's all in good fun, the actors also take up a collection for women's shelters.
Long based in Chicago, Timms says that Pimprov has been approached by HBO and Comedy Central for projects and has appeared in a few independent films. Timms and envisions Pimprov morphing one day into more of a sketch/improv show. As for the Charleston shows, Timms says to expect the unexpected.
"We never know what we're going to do on stage," he says. –Greg Hambrick