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Friday, Oct. 14, 2011

Prepare to laugh your booty off with the Pirates


By MONICA TANDUNG
Staff writer

Ahoy! Are ye ready for a fun night with some pirates? Don't worry, these pirates are less interested in ransoms and more interested in hijacking some laughs.

Pirates of Tokyo Bay, a local comedy troupe, will be performing a bilingual improvisational show this weekend with their Kansai sister group, the Pirates of the Dotombori, as guests. Both crews lay claim to being Japan's only bilingual comedy troupes and both were founded by American Mike Staffa.

Pirates of the Dotombori was created in 2005. They were well-received by local media, with the Kansai Scene calling them "fast, unplanned and unpredictable." The pirates come from a variety of countries, which gives their comedy an interesting twist.

When Staffa moved to Tokyo in 2010, he formed Pirates of Tokyo Bay. The troupe debuted at the Tokyo Improv Festival and has represented Japan at improv events in Beijing and Hawaii.

Even though the crew trains and practices, the shows are completely improvised. They also take ideas from people in the crowd during the performance, so expect some audience participation when you go.

One way the Pirates encourage the crowd to get involved is by splitting themselves into teams and getting the audience to vote on which team is funnier. Winners get rewarded at the end of the show. Does that mean the losers walk the plank?

Pirates of Tokyo Bay and Pirates of the Dotombori play What The Dickens pub in Ebisu, Tokyo, on Oct. 16 at 7 p.m. Admission costs ¥1,500 (includes a free drink). For more information, visit www.piratesoftokyobay.com.


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