This Friday, it's ok to laugh at Cincinnati's mayor.
Cincinnati Mayor Aftab Pureval is slated to be the special guest for Improv Cincinnati's "Veracity" show on June 10. In the show's format, Pureval will deliver a 30-minute monologue featuring personal anecdotes, and Improv Cincinnati's team then will develop extemporaneous comedic scenes around those stories.
The mayor isn't sweating the stage life, Pureval tells CityBeat through spokesman Jack Willingham.
"No, I’m not nervous. I’m famously very funny. I’ve also noticed, since becoming mayor, that people laugh at my jokes even more than usual," Pureval says.
Pureval had previously performed in a similar type of show, says both Willingham and Colin Thornton, artistic director at Improv Cincinnati.
"He was excited by the opportunity to participate again and engage with talented local performers. Opportunities like Friday’s are an important part of how he views his role, because they provide unique forums for open community engagement, without walls or formality," Willingham says.
Thornton adds that performers will be just as surprised as audience members at what comes out of Pureval's mouth.
"The cast never knows what stories the monologist will tell. Sometimes the monologist will ask the audience for a suggestion to inspire an extemporaneous true story," Thornton tells CityBeat.
Thornton says that Improv Cincinnati asked for the mayor to be a storytelling guest after Assistant City Manager Sheryl Long reached out about hiring Improv Cincinnati to train city directors in improv, which helps develop leadership skills like public speaking, collaboration and creativity. He notes that there's a chance Vice Mayor Jan-Michele Lemon Kearney may participate, as well.
"It was a win-win! " Thornton says.
"We do three amazing comedy shows every week at Improv Cincinnati. We want new audiences to see our amazingly talented performers, and to walk away from our show with lifted spirits and smiles on their faces," Thornton says. "The takeaway is nothing more than a fun time with lots of laughs."
The all-ages show starts at 8 p.m. June 10 at Clifton Comedy Theater, 404 Ludlow Ave. Tickets are $15.