Our History

Opening Night: The Improvised Musical! began in 1998 on the stage of the Improv Olympic, West - the west coast branch of the venerable Improv Olympic in Chicago. Under the leadership of performer/director Shulie Cowen, the first generation of ON included performers Wayman Barnes, Bill Chott, Dave Cox, Derek Miller, Vicki Tarbis & Norm Thoeming with accompaniment by Dave Adler & Henry Iglesias. Since then, the group has enjoyed the talents of several regular cast members and countless guest performers.

From  left to right:  Bill Chott, Dave Cox, Shulie Cowen, Derek Miller, Paul Vaillencourt, Norm Thoeming

The First Generation to stop dancing long enough to pose for a group photo -

From left to right: Bill Chott, Dave Cox, Shulie Cowen, Derek Miller, Paul Vallencourt & Norm Thoeming.


Left to Right:  Derek Miller, Norm Thoeming, Hilary Rowe, Shane Nickerson & Shulie Cowen

The Second Generation, left to right:

Derek Miller, Norm Thoeming, Hilary Rowe, Shane Nickerson & Shulie Cowen


Left to Right:  Jamie Denbo, Derek Miller, Michael Pollock, Andrew Melton, Shulie Cowen, Hilary Rowe, Norm Thoeming

The Third Generation, left to right:

Jamie Denbo, Derek Miller, Michael Pollock, Andrew Melton, Shulie Cowen, Hilary Rowe & Norm Thoeming.


Left to Right: Hilary Rowe, Derek Miller, Joshua Funk, Norm Thoeming, Shulie Cowen, Andrew Melton, Michael Pollock

The Fourth Generation, left to right:

Hilary Rowe, Derek Miller, Joshua Funk, Norm Thoeming, Shulie Cowen, Andrew Melton & Michael Pollock.


Left to Right: Derek Miller, Norm Thoeming, Shulie Cowen, Michael Pollock, Matt Jones, Hilary Rowe

The Current Generation, left to right:

Derek Miller, Norm Thoeming, Shulie Cowen, Michael Pollock, Matt Jones & Hilary Rowe.

Guest Performers

This is by no means an exhaustive list of friends who have played with us, but - the following have all appeared in Opening Night shows!

Michael Berson, Jen Carroll, Dan Castellaneta, Brian Chenowith, Stephanie Courtney, Sean Cowhig, Jeff Drake, Ronit Feinglass, Mary Pat Ferrell, Lisa Fredrickson, Nyima Funk, Andy Goldblatt, Jonathan Green, Laura Hall, Eric Hunnicut, Keegan Michael-Key, Sami Klein, Bill Larkin, Kerri-Anne Lavin, Kimberly Lewis, Bill Lippencot, Frank Maciel, Mark McConville, Joel McCrary, Dan O'Connor, Scott Palmason, Jason Pardo, Nicole Parker, Cory Rouse, Ann Ryerson, Denny Siegel, Alan Simpson, Jack Voorhies, Ron West, Gary Anthony Williams & Matt Young. Just to name a few.