Sitting in the Ziegfeld Theater on a Friday night, patrons are likely to be rolling with laughter. Jan. 30 marks the end of the Ziegfeld’s annual Comedy Month.

The Ziegfeld Theater performs Princess Bride : As You Wish on Jan. 22, 2016 (Devin Pugh / The Signpost)
The Ziegfeld Theater performs Princess Bride: As You Wish on Jan. 22. (Devin Pugh / The Signpost)

Over the last couple weekends, the Ziegfeld—located in Ogden—has performed a series of shows that intertwined improv comedy with well-known films. Actors are given a list of major plot points to follow, but they have free reign on how the story unfolds.

On  Jan. 22, the actors turned the cult classic “The Princess Bride” into a musical comedy about a drug-obsessed pirate focused on saving his airhead lover. Because the comedy shows are family-friendly, the improvised content turned into a public service announcement encouraging kids to steer clear of drugs.

One couple that recently moved to Utah paused after the show to discuss the performance. Bob and Rachel Sandstrom have been to a few of the Ziegfeld’s productions so far and have yet to be disappointed.

“Even though I didn’t know the movie, it was really still very enjoyable. In fact, it made me want to go see [‘The Princess Bride’],” said Rachel Sandstrom.

Though the Ziegfeld Theater puts on a variety of productions, Comedy Month is a favorite among the “Ziggies,” as the actors are affectionately known by owners Caleb and Morgan Parry.

“January is a slow month for theater and it’s a slow month for a lot of things, and we said, well, why don’t we do what we’re good at and what people like to see. Let’s condense a bunch of comedy into one month,” said Caleb Parry.“We just want people to be here enjoying the Zig, enjoying what we’ve made, enjoying what it is and that’s what brought about Comedy Month.”

Eb Madson, the director of the Loft and Off The Wall Improv—two entities within the Ziegfeld—expressed a similar sentiment.“These comedy months are a little more special, just because we tackle things that are a little bit more fun,” he said.

Even after Comedy Month comes to a close this weekend, the Ziegfeld will continue to bring tears of laugher to its audience members. According to Caleb Parry, the Ziegfeld is not just an amazing place to go on a Friday or Saturday night, but it also brings positivity and life back into the community.

“This little piece of Ogden is something again. It’s a place where people can go and see amazing entertainment and have a good time,” said Caleb Parry. “Improv is a blast and it’s always different. It’s always different. So come!”

Comedy Month’s final productions will show this weekend, starting with “Star Wars: The Spoilers Awaken” on Jan. 29 and ending with “Improv Against Humanity” on Jan. 30.

Once Comedy Month concludes, the Ziegfeld will return to its regular schedule, which can be found on their website. Off The Wall Improv will continue to perform at its regular time, every Friday at 10:30 p.m.

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