“You can call me Tank”: A ComedySportz 4 Kidz Review

May 1 2012

ComedySportz 4 Kidz
1963 NW Kearney St
Portland, OR 97209
503-236-8888

When Margie Boule of ComedySportz 4 Kidz contacted me to ask whether my family might like tickets to see their family friendly improv show in Portland, Oregon, I jumped at the chance. This is right up our alley, I thought. Perfect for quality family time, I reasoned. And a fantastic chance to publicly embarrass my children, I determined. I was right on two counts, which, as you know if you’re a mother, isn’t bad, baby!

And so, two weeks ago, Greg and I bundled 2 very excited and 3 EXTREMELY SKEPTICAL kids in the van and off we went.

(Check out those expressions. Like I said; extremely skeptical. As in, not at all sure this is a good idea. As in, what has our mother done now? As in, SO MUCH FUN FOR ME! Hehe!)

Well, I will tell you what. The actors? They were fabulous. And not just for their acting chops, which were great, but especially for their ability to host whole families with different age ranges, abilities, comfort levels and, um, skepticism.

You guys, when I go places with my kids, I have to consider a lot of things. Special needs. Communication disorders. The ratio of potties to potential pee-ers and poopers. Whether my 5-year-old boy children might possibly enjoy the same activity as my 13-year-old girl child (and, in this case, her 16-year-old best friend). And, most importantly, the proximity of snacks… because all mamas know that snacks make everything better. (Psst… they have snacks.)

The actors greeted the audience before the show, mixing with the crowd, introducing themselves and setting the friendly tone that would pervade the rest of our experience. Throughout the show, they were gracious, encouraging and very intentionally inclusive; every child who wanted to participate was selected more than once to do so. And, much to my dismay and my shy kids’ delight, they were sensitive about the feelings of those who wished to only observe. (There went my dreams of public embarrassment. Alas, we cannot expect one show to be all things for all people.)

And somehow, in the middle of all of their sensitivity to the crowd, they produced magic…

painting wildly imaginative sketches from the fertile minds of the kids before them…

and letting us all drop delightfully down the rabbit hole to laugh and play together.

It was, in a word, joy. And, in another word, respite. And, in another word, RAD.

Because they did it. They engaged everyone at every level, and our laughter made us a community. Laughter does that. And so the people who can make me laugh and give me these moments with my family – moments when I’m relaxed enough to experience being together¬†and not just focused on managing behavior or the next task – own a piece of my heart.

And I learned two more things I shall carry for quite a while.

Thing #1: The next time someone asks me in front of a crowd for my name, I want to be just like the 3rd grade boy who, with the panache and self-confidence of a seasoned performer, grasped the microphone, lowered his voice and said, “You can call me Tank.”

Thing #2: The very best way to appear on stage is in shades with snow boots and an imaginary horse named Bunny.

Amirite? (FYI – her parents were SO LUCKY I didn’t stick her in my back pocket to take home. ADORABLE.)

I’d like to extend a great big thanks to Margie and the improv players at ComedySportz 4 Kidz. You truly did an incredible job creating a memorable and FUN family afternoon.

Watch for us! We’ll be back.

And you – if you’re looking for a fun, family-focused way to spend an afternoon in Portland, I highly recommend the one-Sunday-per-month ComedySportz 4 Kidz show. OR, if you just can’t wait ’til their next “4 Kidz” show, kids are welcome at ALL of their “fast-paced, hilarious and clean improv comedy” shows. If you’re looking for a special event, they’ll even come to you:

You can find all the details at:
ComedySportz 4 Kidz
1963 NW Kearney St
Portland, OR 97209
503-236-8888

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Most photos in this post are courtesy of Mike McConaughey.

Thanks, Mike!
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Aannddd… a disclosure: My family received 7 free tickets to attend this show… one for each of us! Woohoo! I did not promise a review in exchange for tickets, nor would I have written one (much less a GLOWING one) if it had sucked. Fortunately, it totally the opposite of sucked. Win/win!