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City High, West High battle for boots and comedy bragging rights

The Battle for the Boots trophy sits on the stage in the Little Theater at Iowa City High School in Iowa City on Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019. Iowa City High and Iowa City West will face off in an Improv Comedy Match on January 17 in the Battle for the Boots. Proceeds will benefit the North Liberty Community Pantry and will provide winter boots for families in need. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)
The Battle for the Boots trophy sits on the stage in the Little Theater at Iowa City High School in Iowa City on Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019. Iowa City High and Iowa City West will face off in an Improv Comedy Match on January 17 in the Battle for the Boots. Proceeds will benefit the North Liberty Community Pantry and will provide winter boots for families in need. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)
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IOWA CITY — City High and West High “Battle for the Boot” on the football field, and they also battle for a “boots” trophy on the comedy stage.

The two schools are participating in what is being called a sports comedy fundraiser to benefit the North Liberty Food Pantry. Each schools’ improvisation team plan to square off in a “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” format.

 

“It is really a fun show,” said Virginia Muturi, 17, a City High senior. “The audience really interacts a lot. It’s not really serious. It’s comedic. Everyone is involved in it to make the whole show go well.”

The Battle For The Boots!: Improv Comedy Match to benefit the North Liberty Community Pantry is scheduled for 7 to 8 p.m. on Thursday at Opstad Auditorium in City High, 1900 Morningside Dr. Admission is $5, which will go to buy boots for Johnson County families, or attendees instead may donate a pair of gently used boots.

People also can donate at the pantry’s website, NorthLibertyCommunityPantry.org by clicking “donate now.”

Muturi, who also is involved in basketball, theater and speech, said they’ve been practicing improv on Monday mornings and Thursday afternoons to prepare.

“It is hard to come up with things on the spot, so we practice things so we know something say when we are on the spot,” she said.

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Troy Peters, City High’s drama director, is organizing the event for the third time. Lauren Darby at City High and Katy Nahra and Christina Carlson at West High also have been helping students practice their improve skills.

“We decided to try to get the fundraiser between the two high schools and really to have some fun together,” Peters said. “It really isn’t such a rivalry — we bill it as such — but really it is about having fun between the two high schools,” he said.

The event is presented as a mock athletic endeavor, Peters said.

“We found out the North Liberty Pantry was looking for winter boots for families,” Peters said. “We thought this would be a perfect idea that would help them. It would be a win-win.”

 

Wayne Neuzil — a veteran at performing at University of Iowa events and others — is scheduled to sing the national anthem. Iowa City Council member Mazahir Salih has been tabbed as a celebrity guest. Points are awarded for the various improvisation games.

A trophy with two boots has been designed for the winner. The trophy actually splits in two so both schools can claim bragging rights, Peters said.

“It’s a little bit rigged,” he joked. “The whole event is really intended to be tongue in cheek and a good time for a good cause.”

City High has a “ComedySportz” improv club, which is affiliated with the national “ComedySportz” organization for adults.

Call (319) 688-1040 for more information.

WHAT: Battle For The Boots!: Improv Comedy Match
WHERE: Opstad Auditorium, City High School, 1900 Morningside Dr., Iowa City
WHEN: 7 to 8 p.m.
COST: $5 or a donation of gently used boots

l Comments: (319) 398-8310; brian.morelli@thegazette.com

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