Colin Mochrie and Asad Mecci are bringing their sold-out show, “HYPROV: Improv Under Hypnosis” to Owensboro’s RiverPark Center at 8 p.m. Feb. 7.
Mochrie, improv star of the TV show “Whose Line is it Anyway?,” is a comedic improvisation legend, according to master hypnotist Mecci, who said this act is a dream come true where he gets a “front-row seat” while watching Mochrie perform his craft.
“That’s what’s amazing about Colin,” Mecci said. “He really is a comedic savant. It’s unbelievable to see him perform and how, when I think a joke is dying, he is able to resurrect it and take it to the next level.”
Twenty random volunteers from the audience will be put under hypnosis by Mecci until they are under his master skill, and the number is whittled down to four or five volunteers based on how well they respond to hypnosis.
Mochrie is backstage while Mecci is attempting to hypnotize the volunteers, and he said that he is watching to see if he can figure out who will be chosen. Some are faking, some are wanting it so badly that they can’t relax, and Mochrie has “about an 80 percent success rate” at guessing who Mecci will select.
All the while, Mochrie is trying to be as relaxed as he can be because he said he really is “just a pawn” in the show.
“It really is good for me because hypnotism makes pure improvisations,” Mochrie said. “The two main rules of improvisation are to listen and to accept people’s ideas.”
Mochrie said this show is different from any other show because many who come don’t believe in improvisation or in hypnotism and the two show creators must prove that both art forms are valid.
“There is seriously no preparation,” Mecci said. “We are a comedic high wire act. We have never met the volunteers and every night is different.”
Mochrie said trust between the two is important since it is all they have on the stage. He said when he is working with the other improv actors on “Whose Line is it Anyway?,” the other comedians have the same improv vocabulary and he can sit back and let them take the character, but here, he has to build instant trust with the audience, volunteer and Mecci.
Mecci has played Owensboro as a solo performer with his show, “Hypnohype,” and he said the audience was phenomenal. Mecci also works as a consultant in the area of stress management with athletes and corporations.
The show began in 2016 where it played to sold-out audiences in Montreal at the Just for Laughs festival before the two took it to London and Edinburgh.
The two are currently on a 55-city tour across the United States and Canada and have sold out a number of those shows, according to Mecci.