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Rufus Wainwright Composes Score for HYPROV: Improv Under Hypnosis Starring Colin Mochrie and Asad Mecci

Rufus Wainwright Composes Score for HYPROV: Improv Under Hypnosis Starring Colin Mochrie and Asad Mecci

The New York City premiere of  HYPROV will begin Friday, August 12 at the Daryl Roth Theatre.

Rufus Wainwright has created an original score for HYPROV: Improv Under Hypnosis starring Improv and Comedy Legend Colin Mochrie ("Whose Line Is It Anyway?") and Hypnotist Extraordinaire Asad Mecci.

The New York City premiere of HYPROV will begin this Friday, August 12 and is directed by Stan Zimmerman ("Golden Girls," "Gilmore Girls"). Tony Award winner Bob Martin (The Prom, The Drowsy Chaperone) serves as creative consultant. The 12-week limited engagement will play the Daryl Roth Theatre (101 East 15th Street at Union Square East) August 12 through October 30, with opening night set for Monday, August 22 at 7:00 pm. Tickets are available at www.hyprov.com

The New York-born, Montreal-raised singer-songwriter has released ten studio albums to date, three DVDs, and three live albums including the Grammy-nominated Rufus Does Judy at Carnegie Hall. He has collaborated with artists such as Elton John, Burt Bachrach, Robert Wilson, David Byrne, Boy George, Joni Mitchell, Pet Shop Boys, Heart, Robbie Williams, Jessye Norman, Billy Joel, Paul Simon, Sting, and producer Mark Ronson, among many others. He has written two operas, numerous songs for movies and TV, and is currently working on his first musical. His latest GRAMMY® and JUNO-nominated album, Unfollow the Rules, finds Wainwright at the peak of his powers, entering artistic maturity with passion, honesty, and a new-found fearlessness.

As previously announced, the 100-minute live show combines hypnosis and improv - two art forms that have mystified and entertained fans, skeptics and everyone in between worldwide - for a totally unique comedy experience that The Times of London declared "a celebration of the human imagination."

The evening begins with Mecci welcoming 20 volunteers on stage to be hypnotized. The four or five most receptive to hypnosis then join Mochrie to improvise the rest of the show, while fully under hypnosis. In the hands of two experts, and solely crafted from the volunteers' uninhibited, unconscious minds, each show is an entirely original and completely unforgettable theatrical experience.

"When a person is hypnotized, they no longer reflect on their behavior," notes Mecci. "Hypnosis removes the filters and walls they've built up and allows them to be open to saying yes and being imaginative. That's why they can do remarkable things on stage. You never know which hypnotized volunteer is going to become the next star of the show. It's what makes the show so much fun - ordinary people doing extraordinary things!"

"Personally, it's the scariest thing I've ever done as a performer," explains Mochrie. "I look at the volunteers' blank stares and wonder if it's going to be a very long night, but Asad has never let us down. Adding hypnosis to improv really allows people to let their guards down and have fun in a scene. It's exhilarating and fascinating to watch. Every show is different."

Director Stan Zimmerman commented, "As a writer and director, I find improv terrifying. Watching Asad successfully erase fear in the volunteers every night with such consistently impressive and hilarious results still leaves me speechless. It's a huge honor to help bring these two very different forms of entertainment together into a new hybrid form of comedy. You'll not only laugh your head off, but you'll come away with a new appreciation of what's possible when you access the secret talents hidden behind your fear of judgment."

Colin Mochrie


Scottish-born Colin Mochrie is one of the most prolific improvisers on both sides of the pond today. He found his first line of work as a member of the Vancouver TheatreSports League where he met fellow improviser Ryan Stiles. He toured with The Second City comedy troupe until he auditioned for a brand new British TV show, "Whose Line Is It, Anyway?" After failing in his first attempt to get on the show, Mochrie spent eight years as a regular until it ended in 1998. He then joined the US version on ABC, appearing in every episode, and continues with the current revival on the CW Network, now in its ninth season having played 18 seasons in total and currently airing in over 100 countries. Mochrie has toured the world with fellow Whoser Brad Sherwood for the past 20 years, appears in the Second City Guide to Symphonies in front of orchestras all over North America and recently wrote his first collection of short stories, Not Quite the Classics, available on Amazon. This year, Colin was crowned the Last One Laughing on Netflix' series of the same name.

Asad Mecci


Asad Mecci's jaw dropping comedy hypnosis performances have captivated audiences worldwide. Over his 20+ year career on stage, he has performed in front of millions of people live and millions more through mass media. Some of his stage credits include Just for Laughs Montreal and London, The Second City Toronto and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. You may have seen his talents on Entertainment Tonight, MTV, HGTV, and BBC and in publications such as the New York Times, Huffington post and the Chicago Tribune. In 2015, Asad co-created HYPROV: Improv Under Hypnosis with International Comedy Icon Colin Mochrie from "Whose Line is it, Anyway"? When not performing on stage, Asad works with major corporations as an expert consultant in the areas of motivation, advanced communication and stress management. He also coaches Olympic athletes in the area of mental strength and peak performance.

Stan Zimmerman


Stan Zimmerman's long career covers multiple mediums (TV, film and theatre). He's been nominated for two WGA Awards for Best Comedy Episodic Writing on the classic TV series - "The Golden Girls" and "Roseanne." Stan's also written and produced on "Gilmore Girls," co-created the Lifetime sitcom, "Rita Rocks" and wrote on both "Brady Bunch" movies. Stan has a BFA-Drama from NYU/Circle-in-the-Square and has directed such LA productions as the LatinX The Diary of Anne Frank, Entertaining Mr. Sloane, A Tuna Christmas, Gemini and his original plays -- Meet & Greet, Knife to the Heart and Have a Good One. TRW Plays recently published and licensed three of Stan's work -- Yes, Virginia; Silver Foxes and his suicide notes play, right before i go.

HYPROV (pronounced hip-rawv) was co-created by Mochrie and Mecci along with Mochrie's longtime manager, Jeff Andrews, in 2016 at Toronto's Second City. After working it out on stage, they took the show on the road to Just for Laughs London, Just for Laughs Montreal and the Edinburgh Fringe where it was received with rave reviews in 2016 and 2017. The duo set out on a 50-city tour in 2019 and has, to date, performed over 100 shows across the U.S. and Canada. Hyprov is based on a production originally created and produced by Colin Mochrie, Asad Mecci and Jeff Andrews.

Joining creative consultant Bob Martin on the creative team are Jo Winiarski (scenic design), Jeff Croiter (lighting design), Walter Trarbach (sound design) and music director John Hilsen.

HYPROV: Improv Under Hypnosis is executive produced by Cody Lassen and produced by Sarah Power, Chaz Naor, Oui BeLeaf (NHR), Jörn Weisbrodt, Joan Tosoni, M.J. Power International Inc, Salah Bachir, Brad Blume, Matteo Golini, Esther Kim, Lorena Zvi Shiff, Marc Stern Family, Toufik Sarwa, The Descourouez Group, MKFD; in association with Bilo Investments LLC, Nancy Donohue, Kors Le Pere Theatricals, David Lipowicz, The Mecci Family, Zorbas Whittle Inc.

HYPROV: Improv Under Hypnosis will play August 12-October 30, 2022 at the Daryl Roth Theatre (101 East 15th Street at Union Square East) with performances Wednesdays through Sundays at 7:00 pm with an additional show on Saturdays at 10:00 pm. The show runs 100 minutes and is recommended for ages 12+.

Tickets start at $55 and are available at www.hyprov.com or by calling (212) 239-6200. For groups of 10 or more please call 866-302-0995 or email info@broadwayinbound.com.

 

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