SidViscous! is a long-form improvisation group that performs in New York City. They were a house team at The PIT, and all their members have trained at that theater. SidViscous! has performed the Harold, the monoscene, and the deconstruction, among other improv long forms.
SidViscous! was originally assembled by the PIT's ensemble committee on January 28, 2007. Following that, they performed regularly as part of the theater's Super Free Wednesday lineup. Their first show took place on Feb. 7, 2007. SidViscous! still performs as an independent group in the New York City area and beyond.
Phil Wells holds the distinction of having never been absent from a single SV! performance.
The group's name is formally written as SidViscous! (one word, culminating in an exclamation point), or SV! for short; although it is occasionally represented (erroneously) as two words or lacking punctuation.
The name was voted into existence unanimously by team members following four hours of otherwise fruitless brainstorming, and was loosely derived from a line of dialogue in a scene from their first rehearsal together.
They were nearly named "Pizza and the Gang," and occasionally still refer to themselves as such, informally.
Coaches who have worked with SidViscous! include Matt Donnelly, Kimmy Gatewood, Ptolemy Slocum, Kurt Braunohler, Mark Grenier, Rebekka Johnson, Kevin Scott, Jay Rhoderick, Scott Eckert, Nate Starkey, and Pat Shay.
Other Group Overlap
- Desiree Nash and Keith Huang perform as Crosby, Huang & Nash.
- J Hobart B and Phil Wells perform as Phil & I.
- J Hobart B was a member of Conflikt of Interest.
- James Rich was a member of Aztec Bacon and the sketch group Classy.
- Desiree Nash was a member of Frank.
- Kevin Gottlieb was a member of Bandolero, Reply-All and Stanley.
- Phil Wells and Mandy Schmieder perform sketch in Finger.
- J Hobart B performs sketch with Hobart & Michael.
SidViscous! has exhibited an enthusiasm for occasionally putting together one-off performances constructed around a central concept or "gimmick." They include:
- Rocky Horror - For Halloween 2007, the group dressed in a "team costume" as the cast of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and performed against a constant soundtrack of haunted house sound effects.
- SidViscous! ON ICE! - The team's signature gimmick, this format is a highly physical montage-based form which places the entire group on roller skates for the duration of the performance. It was developed with the help of Kevin Scott and Jay Rhoderick, and unveiled on January 2nd, 2008 at The PIT. It was then revived at the same venue on June 25th before taking it to the Providence Improv Festival for two performances.
- The Marathon Show - As a surprise for Desiree Nash, who was about to run in a Team In Training marathon to benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, the rest of the team opened the October 15, 2008 show by stripping down to running shorts, sweatbands and race numbers to the theme from "Chariots of Fire." Perhaps not surprisingly, the theme of races and running pervaded the piece. There was also a tray onstage holding cups of water, which the cast would splash on their own and each other's faces throughout the show, and some team members secretly applied "bloody nipple stains" to their shirts at key points in the set as well.
- Funny Bones - For Halloween 2008, SV! performed in glow-in-the-dark skeleton costumes and skull makeup and flooded the stage with blacklight so that only the glowing bones could be seen. This show is notable also for being part of Matt Donnelly's last improv show in New York.
SidViscous! has performed at the following improv and comedy festivals:
- The Mid-Atlantic Comedy Smorgasbord 2007 (Frederick, MD)
- Providence Improv Festival 2008 (Providence, RI)
- Baltimore Improv Festival 2008 (Baltimore, MD)
- The PIT SketchProv Fest 2008 (New York, NY)
- Philadelphia Improv Festival 2008 (Philadelphia, PA)
SidViscous! is scheduled to perform at the Charleston Comedy Festival in January 2009.