WHO: Laura (Mom), Ian (Dad), Everett (7) & Ames (3)
WHAT: "Raccoon Log Ride" and "Gnu Tales" at Third Coast Comedy Club
WHEN: Second Saturday of each month at 10 a.m.
WHERE: Third Coast Comedy Club, 1310 Clinton Street, Suite 121, Nashville COST: $5 a family
INFO: Ages 5-12 with adults. Call 615-745-1009 or visit thirdcoastcomedy.club
Like many parents, I’m always looking for unique things to do with my kids. The children’s improv shows at Third Coast Comedy Club are just that — a hidden gem in Nashville. The monthly Saturday shows located in the Marathon Motor Works building last about an hour.
The fun starts with "Raccoon Log Ride," an adventure with song and dance and plenty of audience participation, and concludes with "Gnu Tales," a never-before-seen fairy tale created with ideas from the kids in the audience and acted out by the "Gnu Tales" cast.
We happened to attend the show on its one year anniversary and were able to talk to Third Coast Comedy Club’s co-owner Scott Field and his wife Gabrielle Saliba about the show’s inception. The shows have a true Nashville feel; "Raccoon Log Ride" was written based on paintings Scott and Gabrielle discovered by an artist at Tomato Art Fest, and, of course, music was weaved extensively into the performances.
Kids Get in on the Fun
Throughout the show, the kids are able to share their ideas, name characters, dance, sing, and even provide sound effects for the actors. There was plenty of giggling from children and adults alike. The cast included jokes and allusions for the adults in the room as well (thank you)!
Each show is different, in true improv fashion, and during this show we laughed with a singing taco, danced with a Polaroid camera, and provided the sound effects of a bubbling mud pond, among other things! My 7-year-old son, Everett, loved being able to participate in creating something new and funny. So often kids are required to sit still and remain quiet during shows, even ones intended for children.
"Raccoon Log Ride" and "Gnu Tales" really brought out the imaginative, silly side of the kids and embraced their fun-loving and energetic nature. Ames, my 3-year-old son, was a little nervous about being in the darkened room, but he warmed up quickly by sitting on the floor with the other kids in the intimate setting. Music played throughout the show and the noise level was manageable for more sensitive kiddos like Ames.
Even More to Explore
We recommend making a morning of your visit. Marathon Motor Works is a great building to explore as it was previously an automobile factory. It has been renovated into museum and mixed use space, with hallways full of old machinery among its stores and studios- a real treat for kids and adults alike who are interested in “things that go.”
The building is also situated right next to railroad tracks; we sat out on the loading dock after the show to watch the trains. It doesn’t hurt that Barista Parlor (famed Nashville coffee joint) and Bang Bang Candy Company (can you say artisan marshmallows?) have locations inside the Motor Works, as well!