The Return of Dada

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Cleveland's resurrected improv-comedy troupe, Something Dada, chose a fitting theme song for last week's inaugural performance in its new digs. As the house lights dimmed, the audience heard the strains of "Movin' On Up" from the '70s sitcom, The Jeffersons. Like George and Weezie, the 10-member cast has relocated to the East Side. The comics are now holed up in the Wooltex section of the Tower Press Building at the corner of Superior Avenue and East 19th Street. The move comes a year after they were forced out of their underground theater, Cabaret Dada, on West 6th Street, where they fell behind in the rent after thieves broke into their safe and ran off with $2,000. And 12 years of dealing with chronic plumbing leaks and noise from the nearby bars didn't help matters. In their Tower Press debut, the cast revived many of their onstage games, like "World's Worst," in which audience members bark out different professions. The comedians take on the roles of the most incompetent workers in the list of suggested occupations. Take Russel Stich's portrayal of a pot-smoking pilot: "Hey, everybody, I'm high," he bellows to the audience. "You know when you're high when your mouth is too dry." Opening night filled up three-quarters of the 96-seat theater. The company will continue to perform every Friday and Saturday night. And Stich doesn't regret the comeback. "It's hard to see something like this fall to the wayside and just die off," he says. "We're not getting rich from this by any stretch. But it's something that's unique to Cleveland." — Cris Glaser
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