Elaine May / Mike Nichols / Mike Nichols & Elaine May

In Retrospect

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Chicago is a town known for its improv, and, in the beginning, back in the 1950s, there was the Playwrights Theatre Club, which gave rise to a crop of talent and troupes like the Second City. Original members Mike Nichols and Elaine May after honing their talents with the Playwrights Theatre went on to superb careers, May on Broadway and Nichols in Hollywood where he directed such classic films as The Graduate and Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf. Dubbed "the world's fastest humans" for their whip-smart, lightning-fast lines, Nichols and May are funny, but they are stunning when you realize their sketches were unscripted. Entirely improvised, this collection of 12 of their best efforts showcases their superb timing and ability to develop character depth. Alternating straight and set-up roles, they take the audience in one direction and then suddenly change directions with amusing results. Able to assume accents and characters like a second skin, Nichols and May are the real thing, amusing, acerbic, and clever, and this album is a thing of comedic history.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 8:13
2 7:52
3 9:06
4 6:33
5 3:34
6 1:42
7 3:43
8 5:11
9 4:41
10 5:31
11 5:02
12 4:30
blue highlight denotes track pick