Based on an audience suggestion, the Improvised Shakespeare Company performs an entirely new, made-up-on-the-spot play in the style of Shakespeare. Yes, much of it does rhyme, and yes, it's hilarious, and while there are contemporary references thrown in, it's not just a spoof — the group takes the form seriously, and there's often a bit of poignancy mixed in. Blaine Swen, who has a Ph.D. in philosophy from Loyola University, Chicago, founded the group and serves as its director, and while it's technically based in Chicago, where it gets huge crowds at multiple weekly shows, it's expanded to include enough members to keep it going in multiple places. The group frequently makes stops in L.A. at Largo, and a handful of its main performers are now here, including Thomas Middleditch, the lead in HBO's Silicon Valley.
Credit: Ari Scott