From Ottawa Fringe Festival 2016


By Matthew Stella

As the name suggests Jesus Christ Private Investigator tells the story of Jesus of Nazareth, back for a third stint in the mortal world, this time as a redeemer of justice for the Miami PD. The performance by GRIMprov, a local improv troupe, takes an easily parodied genre (’80s cop show), a pile of silly hats (Santa, yacht captain, fedora), a bare bones stage, and a overworked sound technician trying to match the correct music to the ever-changing plot and strings together an hour of awkward moments, perfect for anyone who wants to cringe for an entire performance.

Full review here:

From Ottawa Fringe Festival 2014

On Stage Ottawa

By Matthew Champ

“Every year at Ottawa Fringe I make sure to check out Grimprov at least once. This Ottawa-based improv troupe has a number of different improvisational themed shows in their repertoire and they never disappoint. They greatest thing about their Fringe run is that every show is a different show, so if you only wanted to go to Fringe to see Grimprov’s No Second Chances you could do that and be thoroughly entertained each and every night.”

Full review here:

From The Cheap Seats

By Brianna McFarlane

“You got to hand it to these guys: GRIMprov knows their improv. This company has been bestowing their improvised comedy shows on the Ottawa Fringe Festival since I started coming to this event here in the capital city. In fact, I can’t remember an Ottawa Fringe without GRIMprov. This year they’re back with a set of shows they’ve entitled No Second Chances. Each show is a different style of long-form improv where the audience is given some control over the direction of the piece. My night in particular was The Cop-Out where the grittiness of the cop drama is determined by shouts of “more gritty” or “less gritty” from the crowd. This is a particularly fun show to be a part of and one of my personal favourites.”

Full Review here:

APT 613

by Devan Marr

“Another solid show by Ottawa locals, GRIMprov. A four man improv troupe, GRIMprov mixes audience participation with high energy (sometimes slapstick) comedy. It’s difficult to write a review for this year’s production, No Second Chances, because there really are no second chances to see the show. In addition to being an improv show, the group is performing a different scenario each night. The night I went it was the “Cop Out”, a semi improvised cop drama that became more gritty, or less gritty, depending on what the audience demanded. If I learned anything from that episode, it’s that we’re all a little twisted inside. Things got dark. Really dark.”

Full Review Here :

From TROIS 2014

On Stage Ottawa

“Last, but certainly not least, GRIMprov presented Start Start Energy Officers, their improvised Power Rangers parody. I was pleasantly surprised by the involvement of puppets, which I was definitely not expecting. Although some scenes worked better than others, they kept the laughs coming and looked like they were having a blast on stage. What we ended up with was A Very Special Episode around the topic of spontaneous public masturbation. Of course, since this is improv, that’s not always what it’s going to be about. I’d recommend suggesting something dirty, though – the GRIMprov boys love it.”

Full Review here:

From the Fresh Meat DIY Theatre Festival 2013

From the Cheap Seats 

By Brianna McFarlane

“The first company I had the pleasure of seeing was GrimProv, who also doubled as this weekend’s masters of ceremonies. Made up of Joel Garrow, Mike Kosowan, Drew McFayden and featuring slick musical accompaniment by DJ Helicase (aka Austin Vair), these guys are seriously impressive at their improv. I was lucky enough to catch the Friday and Saturday night shows and, honestly, I couldn’t tell you which one was my favourite. Both skits, Everyday Hero and the Cop-out, had me in stitches and I couldn’t believe how spot on DJ Halicase’s soundtrack was throughout each show. Moreover, these guys are quick thinkers, creative and hilarious actors, and look like they are having the time of their lives on stage. I look forward to seeing this company again soon!”

Full Review here:

The Ottawa Fringe Festival (2013) From:

Production Ottawa

“The first key to having a great improv show is to have a great improv team and GrimProv is by far one of the funniest improv teams I have ever had the chance of seeing. I have seen GrimProv before for their Requiem for a Dreamprov show and I have never had such a great time at an improv show before… Well, last night I got to see their James Bondprov and let’s just say that GrimProv keeps getting better. They brought in special guest Al Connors from Crush Improv to play the evil villain. The rest of the cast then took suggestions from the audience about their own character traits and then we got to name the show.

Our show was James Bond in Magic Fuzzy. It was brilliantly funny and witty. It’s so hard to judge an improv show, as each and everyone will be different and so rather than judge the show you have to judge the performers and three regulars are phenomenal. They know each other’s strengths and weaknesses so well that if one drops a beat, another picks it up within milliseconds to keep the laughs coming.

This show was gut-wrenchingly funny and if I could go and see every single show they do I would, in a heartbeat. I am definitely planning on seeing at least one more show of theirs throughout the Fringe run. If you don’t get out and see GrimProv than you are missing out on a phenomenal Fringe show and your experience will not be as good as it could be.”

Full Review here:

Apartment 613

By Èva Morin

“For its Fringe premiere, improvisational comedic troupe GRIMprov presented BONDprov, creating a personalized James Bond production based off the audience’s suggestions. The result made for hilarious, sometimes nonsensical, plots and developments, and the roaring applause and laughter from the audience left no doubts about the show’s success.

The troupe’s members — Joel Garrow, Mike Kosowan, and Drew McFadyen — all bring different styles and approaches to the characters and situations they make up along the way. While there were some word fumbles and a lack of fluidity in certain scenes from their first performance this year, the actors were always able to keep the audience captivated. The fourth member of GRIMprov, DJ Helicase (aka Austin Vair), served as maestro for the accompanying music during and between scenes, never missing a beat in choosing songs that complement the action.

Full Review:

The Saint

By Chris Jaworski

“I will admit, I am a Bond fan, and this show was well-suited to my tastes. My favourite thing about the show was that it wasn’t completely made up on the spot. The members of GRIMprov understood that for a good story they needed a structure to work with. Using James Bond as a starting ground probably isn’t hard to build up a story from, considering how formulaic most Bond flicks are. But you could see the amount of work that went into building up this structure to work with in an improv show. They used the Bond formula to give the show a bit of bones with which to flesh it out with audience suggestions and improvised comedy. Of course there were moments that were almost certainly scripted, if not simply thought out before, like a scene in which Kosowan and McFadyen play two henchmen who are down on their luck and form a nice friendship, only to be interrupted by Bond (played by Garrow), who parachutes in and promptly breaks both their necks. Hey, he’s got a license to kill. Don’t be hating.

One thing I was very impressed with goes along with this structure. A lot of importance I think was focused on the development of Bond’s gadgets, which were almost all taken from suggestions from the audience. Throughout the show, Bond remembers to use all of these gadgets to get himself out of sticky situations as well as using one in the final confrontation with the villain, just when the audience forgot he had one left.”

Full Review Here.

The Charlebois Post

By Jim Murchison

“Last night the improv was based on the film Requiem for a Dream. I had not seen the film and really knew nothing about it, but the cast did and that was all that was important. It was dark and funny and stood on its own. There really isn’t much to say that would ruin anything for the next person as the next grimprov will be based on something entirely different from this one.

This is the best play I have ever seen that explores addiction to bacon, bagels and the 90’s toy called the YakBak. Now I know it will never be performed again and I don’t believe there are other plays out there with the same theme. The point is that Grimprov has the improvisational chops to let you have some fun and see something completely different whatever it might be.”

Full Review

Audience Review

“I went to go see the Friday performance of James Bond. I wasn’t certain what to expect, because I find that improv in general tends to be hit and miss. But this was fantastic. I spent the entire hour laughing! The jokes were spot on, and there was never a dull moment in the acting. The DJ was such a nice touch… really added to the atmosphere and made the moments that much more poignant.

My advice… if you get a chance, definitely GO! These guys are awesome, and I am certainly going to check out more of their shows this week.”

by Sarah


From the Judges of the Ottawa Theatre Challenge 2013:

“To be so good, they must be sleeping together”

From the Fresh Meat Festival. 2012

“Secondly, our evening’s hosts, Grimpov Theatre, took the stage to present their interpretation of how the movie Requiem for a Dream could have played out with any strange sort of addiction. For our show, our trio were addicted to sharpening pencils, cleaning with Swiffers and starting funeral homes. The 20 minute vignette was hilarious from start to finish and if it were longer it would have been worth the $15 cover alone. The trio play off of each other so well, and are quick on their feet, creating laughter and entertainment throughout the entire course of their show. Each night the guys are doing a different movie themed show, all with audience suggestions of course.”

– Production Ottawa.

Full Fresh Meat Review here:

Fresh Meat  #2

“Next up were GRIMprov, with a long-form improvisation based loosely on Requiem for a Dream.  It’s difficult enough to keep an improv piece going for seven minutes, let alone twenty, with only three performers and three suggestions, but to their credit GRIMprov manage to keep the energy of their performance increasing, remaining entertaining right until the end.  They have a different theme planned—if improv can, indeed, be planned—for each of the three nights of Fresh Meat.”

– Apartment 613

Full Review here:

Fresh Meat and the Puppets!

“Without a beat, we segued into the penultimate show of the evening, from the night’s hosts GRIMPROV (aka Mike Kosowan, Joel Garrow and Drew McFadyen).  I’d arrived on a very special night indeed, featuring the troupe’s legendary technique of Puppet-Prov.  And if you like improv, well, you ain’t seen nothin’ til you’ve seen it done with puppets.  And if you DO see GRIMprov’s puppet improv, and you’re sitting in the front row..?  Bring an umbrella.

The lads put on a splendid bit of ‘prov, with their trusty puppet assistants and musical accompaniment from the ever excellent DJ Helicase.  Plug time: GRIMprov have a regular gig at the Imperial Tavern on Bank Street, first and last wednesday of every month.  So if you missed Fresh Meat, you can at least catch THIS act again anytime you want.”

– Visitorium

Full review here:

Comiccon 2011!

“The convention even hosted the very first Action Figure Improv show. Introduced by a local improv company, GRIMprov was a hilarious delight and incredible for both takes, receiving very positive reaction from fans, looking like it will be featured at future conventions. ”

Full review here:

Ottawa Fringe Festival Late Night Cabaret 2011

“If you’re from Ottawa you probably know these guys, Mike Kosowan, Joel Garrow and Drew McFadyen (Jordan Moffat was nowhere in sight). They are a talented group that performs all over the city. This particular piece had them playing cats and dogs and lions, all attempting to protect a chain smoking apple farmers apples. What more could one ask for? The highlight of this particular show though was DJ HELICASE. His intuition with the tunes was right on. When the guys quickly changed pace or direction, he was right on their coat tails keeping the music in step. As a duo, Grimprov and Helicase are unbeatable. ”

– Visitorium, by Kiersten Hanly

Full review here:

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