Last night’s Improvised Shakespeare Company show in New York had a special guest: Patrick Stewart. He’d never improvised with the group before—wherein a handful of guys creates a spontaneous play in the style of William Shakespeare—and I have a feeling he had absolutely no idea what he was getting into, nor did he really mind. He threw himself into the beautiful experiment with open arms, open-mouth kisses, and full-on crotch grabs. It was surreal to see him up there on stage, and not just because he’s got a good 30 years on everyone else and for most of the show played a variation of his brilliantly pervy “Patrick Stewart” from Extras.
Improvised Shakespeare Company has always been one of my favorites for their unabashed embrace of their admittedly esoteric concept. But moreso than ISC’s ability to snag the eye of someone as famous and gallant as Patrick Stewart (and their ability to work as many Spin Doctors lyrics as possible into a show titled, “Two Princes And The Doctor Of Spin”), I was impressed with the group’s mastery of taking on this outside force of nature. Because as novel as it was to see Patrick Stewart, there was a show to do, and it was touch-and-go for a while.