Q&A: Comedian Colin Mochrie Talks The Second City Guide to the Symphony
ORCHESTRAS AND IMPROV PERFORMERS collide with The Second City Guide to the Symphony. The world-famous sketch comedy group Second City is responsible for the careers of Stephen Colbert, Tina Fey, and Colin Mochrie, who hosts the touring show's Charlotte appearance this weekend. The program is an improv show built around the experience of going to see the symphony. We talked to the Whose Line Is It Anyway? star about the show and what it’s like to share the stage with the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra.
Andy Smith: How did you get involved in this specific project, combining your experience with Second City and symphonies?
Colin Mochrie: I started with Second City in 1989, and once you’re part of the family, it’s like being in the mafia. You never really get away with it. And they tried this concept out in Chicago first, and then I jumped aboard. We recently did it at the Kennedy Center, and now we’re coming to Charlotte with it.
AS: Were you a fan of going to see orchestras before this opportunity?
CM: (Laughs.) I would love to say that I sit at home and listen to Bach all the time. But unfortunately, no. I’ve gotten a love for the symphony out of this project, though. And I have to tell you, standing in front of a symphony is one of the greatest feelings ever. I have no musical talent whatsoever; I never have. So doing this, standing in front of a symphony and looking out to the audience is a dream come true.
AS: Going to the symphony has lots of quirks, and you parody being both an attendee and a performer in this show. Is there something about this kind of concert that’s just ripe for improv?
CM: The best part about that is the symphony itself. We’ve worked with a few symphonies now, and the members have a great sense of humor about themselves. Several of them are involved in the skits, and it’s great to see them in there.
AS: I imagine fans of Whose Line Is It Anyway? and the symphony both fill the audience. What is it like to perform to that crossover?
CM: It’s wonderful. There’s really something for everyone. With any of the arts, you just have to give them a chance. I never thought I’d love the symphony as much as I do now. All I had to do was give it a shot.
See a video of the experience below, and grab tickets for Saturday’s show at Belk Theater here.