Ex-minister joins Sun Lakes ImproVables’ laugh riots - SanTan Sun News SanTan Sun News

Ex-minister joins Sun Lakes ImproVables’ laugh riots

September 2nd, 2022 SanTan Sun News
Ex-minister joins Sun Lakes ImproVables’ laugh riots

By Kate King Turner
Guest Writer

You probably remember seeing Lew Crawford in one of his recent roles as Croc Chaser in Murder Mystery Dinner Theater’s “Dealt a Deadly Hand” or Uncle Aubrey in “The Last Round-up of the Guacamole Queens.” 

Or maybe you caught him clowning around as one of the ImproVables in one of their sold-out shows. If you did see Lew, you spent a good deal of the time laughing – and that suits this 84-year-old just fine. 

“I’ll continue to act with SLCT as long as my memory holds out and I can make people laugh,” said Lew when asked if he’ll continue to audition for shows. 

Lew was born in Chicago but raised in a northwest suburb until he left for Purdue University. He began his academic career with an eye on engineering but changed his majors to history and philosophy when he began feeling the call to ministry – and also found he really didn’t like calculus. 

After college, he attended North Park Theological Seminary and was ordained in 1964. He spent 40 years total in the ministry, relocating from Ohio to the Phoenix area in 1989. 

There, he met his wife of 24 years while serving as a hospice chaplain. Sharron was there for a close friend and neighbor, who passed away the day after Lew met Sharron. They became friends and wed six months later. 

In February 2020, the couple moved to Sun Lakes. Of course, everything was shuttered due to COVID. 

But in 2021, they attended “Old Fashion Radio Hour” and Lew’s love for performing was rekindled. 

You see for 20 years, Lew had been active in Clown Ministry. Yep, that’s right clown ministry. he was one of 15 in a group that acted out the messages in worship services. 

He was called Froggy the Clown and wore a button that read “Kiss Me, I Might Be a Prince.” He was the sad, silent clown in the manner of Emmett Kelly. 

So when he saw the SLCT show, he knew he had to audition for “Dealt a Deadly Hand.” He got the part, and the rest, as they say, is history. 

When he attended the Improv Workshop and then was invited by Phyllis Novy to join the ImproVables, it was a no-brainer for Lew.

 “I love starting off the week with two hours of laughter,” he said. 

He believes strongly in the “Laughter and the Power of Play” philosophy that he learned while attending a workshop so titled. There, he heard both Steve Allan and Steve’s son, a doctor, speak about the healing power of laughter. 

Performing with the ImproVables gives Lew the opportunity to make people laugh, and he loves that. When asked what’s next, Lew says he hopes to participate in SLCT’s Children’s Theatre. 

Interestingly enough, in both of his roles so far with SLCT Lew has been cast as a hard-drinking character. 

Ironically, Lew has never tasted alcohol in his life. But he sure can convince you that he has, can’t he? 

If you haven’t had the pleasure of seeing Lew in a show, stay tuned. You’re sure to see him on stage again soon. He’s that good. 

The ImproVables are providing laughs again, by the way.

After great success with two sold-out shows in the fall of 2021, The ImproVables, Sun Lakes own comedy improv troupe, will perform at Sun Lakes Country Club Sept. 28. The evening will include both dinner and a show, in a nightclub-style atmosphere. 

Tickets are $25 per person. Doors open at 5 p.m., dinner is served at 5:30 p.m. and the show begins at 6:30 p.m. The dinner menu includes a chili-and-potato bar, salad and brownies for dessert

The ImproVables shows are always new and fun as they perform skits and scenes based on suggestions from the audience, and off the top of their heads. Nor scripts and no rehearsals! If you like to laugh, be sure to get your tickets before they sell out!

Ticket sales begin on Sept. 6. Tickets can be purchased at the Administrative Service desk at SLCC, or online at ticketsource.us/slhoa1.