First Amendment Redux

On Sunday, August 11, at 7 P.M., former members of the First Amendment improv troupe, will reunite under the auspices of Tom Soter. In the early 1980s, when New York improv was young, there were two main troupes in the city: First Amendment and Chicago City Limits. CCL is still around, but First Amendment lives on only on its web page and in the spirit of its still active improvisers. Here, then, is a rare chance to see some of the improv elite, live on stage. Here's a look at the participants, culled from previously printed stories:

Joe Mulligan: “It’s fun when improv takes off on its own, when you reach that magic moment when it all just takes off, when you take that lumbering big old Wright Brothers plane down the road, and it just takes off. It’s wonderful when it achieves its own reality and sense of purpose. You can’t plan those moments. They just happen.”

Joe Perce: “I’ve spent over 26 years doing improvisational comedy, with such groups as The First Amendment, Chicago City Limits, Comedy Mind Spill, Comedy Olympics and producing and directing my own comedy troop, Assorted Nuts.” (Joe was voted the BEST "Improvisational Comic of the Year" by BACKSTAGE.)

Nancy Lombardo: “My mom had an outrageous sense of humor. There was the time she passed off a chicken as a turkey on Thanksgiving. We didn’t have a lot money growing up, but we didn’t know we didn’t have a lot of money because my mother hid it well. On Thanksgiving, she had me convinced that when turkeys are small, they’re tastier turkeys. I never knew it was a chicken.”  

Bill McLaughlin: “I was a founding member, writer, workshop director, and performer 
with Chicago City Limits (in Chicago and New York City) from 1977-1982, and was also a resident
company performer and workshop director for New York’s First Amendment Improv Company for seven 
years” (alumni include Bruce Willis, Kathy Kinney, and Bill’s former student, John Leguizamo).

Linda Hill: “I was born in Kansas on the Santa Fe Trail and had no running water until the house burned when I was 10. I went  from truck stop waitress to local KS Society Editor to a San Francisco actress and stand up comic with several TV and movie credits under my belt. But there's nothing I love more than improvisation!”

Chris Grabenstein: (from a story about Chris) “When former improvisational comedian and screenwriter turned award-winning mystery author Chris Grabenstein writes a kid's book, he delivers page-turning plot twists, pitch-perfect dialogue, and one-liners that pepper the text like exploding firecrackers. Riley Mack and the Other Known Troublemakers, the first book in a hilarious new action-adventure series, is a classic crime caper, a funny, fast-paced mystery/comedy with lovable characters, non-stop action and a barnful of dogs.”

Tom Carrozza: “There are more and more improvisers every day and the jam is the best place to stay connected, to meet people, and to stay sharp. Improv is one of those things you’re doing anyway in day-to-day life, so getting good at it is a great challenge. Improv is like lightning.”