Home"Scrubs'" The Blanks Appear Live In San Jose

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If you’re like me, and you’re a regular viewer of the ABC comedy, “Scrubs,” then you’ve probably noted with some interest whenever the nebbishy hospital counsel, Ted, turns up with his band – sort of a barbershop quartet on MDMA.  You may have even thought (as I have), “Wow, those guys are pretty good… I wonder if they actually perform outside of this TV show?”

Wonder no more, acappellaficionados.  Ted (known in real life as Sam Lloyd) and his band (Philip McNiven, George Miserlis, and Paul F. Perry) are known collectively as “The Blanks,” and if you are in the Bay Area – or if you can get there – you’ll get a chance to see them perform live at the San Jose Improv Theatre (62 S. Second Street, San Jose) on September 26.

A cappella at a comedy club?  Sure, why not?  Jim Smith, manager of the Improv, is an a cappella fan from way back in the day, having spent some time in his youth growing up in New York City bothering people by standing on street corners and singing harmonies until 3 in the morning.  Smith has attempted retirement several times – unsuccessfully – and took up the role of “head blame taker” at the Improv in 2004.  He’s attended most of the A Cappella Summit concerts and has been a regular attendee at the Harmony Sweepstakes.  Bringing The Blanks to the Improv was his idea, and he hopes that a successful comedy a cappella show will demonstrate to his higher-ups that booking more a cappella acts is a good idea.

The Blanks, it would seem, form the perfect bridge between comedy and a cappella.  Their humor is whimsical, occasionally corny, sometimes existential, full of excruciating puns… with a little bittersweet philosophy mixed in for additional flavor.  If their performances on “Scrubs” are any indication, they’re also fine musicians who won’t disappoint discriminating fans of vocal harmony.

A historic venue in its own right, the Improv was built in 1904 and is the oldest theatre in San Jose.  Over time, it has provided a stage for vaudeville, silent films, stock companies, and other performers, including Harry Houdini.  Declared a historical landmark in April 1990, the theatre was heavily renovated due to damages it sustained in the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, then leased to the Improv chain.  It’s the largest of all the Improv clubs, seating 450 people.  Besides many top comedians, the club offers live jazz concerts as well.

The Blanks will offer two shows on September 26 at the Improv – “all ages” at 6pm, 21 and over at 8pm.  For further information, please contact the San Jose Improv at 408/280-7475, or at www.symfonee.com/Improv/sanjose/home/


About the author:
Melinda L. Thomas was a piano performance major at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and at San Francisco State University.  She has been singing all her life as well, and has performed with the San Francisco Symphony Chorus, Conservatory Opera Theatre, Sacred and Profane Chamber Chorus, and was a founding member of Voci women's chamber chorus.  She has also been a music director for many theatrical productions, including Godspell, Grease, Pippin, West Side Story, and Dracula: The Musical?  These days, she sings with an early music a cappella quintet called Harmonium.