Today I’ll be kicking off a new department, Must See. These posts will feature shows that I personally recommend that you do not miss. While I will always recommend you seeing the awesomeness of my own shows, these are rather the shows that you’ll be likely to find me in the audience next to you pining for the comedy magic that’s about to happen. So without further ado, my first recommendation…
THIS SATURDAY NIGHT AT THE SHUBIN
Once a month PHIT puts together a week of shows at the Shubin Theatre. Most are consistently pretty good, but sometimes the stars align and a lineup comes into existence that will knock the socks off your feet and then proceed to knit you new socks spun with laughter, attitude and tangible awesomeness. This Saturday is one of those nights.
First up is the 8PM show. I can’t even adequately express how damn excited I am for this pairing.
– First off is CUBED, consisting of local improvisers Dan Stabb (DCT North, Troika, my old former PHIT classmate) and Mark Bringhurst (Makeout Clinic, DCT, PHIT Instructor). The duo debuted only a few short months ago, but are already garnering amazing praise. They tackle premise based situation improv (think Bassprov, Code Duello, BWP) as a pair of cubicle dwellers sharing a 4×5 walled partition. The audience provides the name of their company and corporate memos that the two use for inspiration. I guarantee cube farming has seldom been so much fun.
– Next up is DR FANTASTIC, visiting from WIT in DC. Dr Fantastic is, well, aptly named and nothing short of exactly that. The group features Michael Bass, Topher Bellavia, David Johnson, Tyler Korba, Zhubin Parang, Rory Scovel and Molly Woods. These folks are fast, they’re crazy and they’re damn funny. Consistently. I’ve seen them three times and been blown away each time. They aren’t afraid of anything and thrive on breaking convention… but every step of the way they do it together… a seamless group mind that sets the bar about 50 f**king feet in the sky. I’m not going to say any more about what they do so as I think you’ll be the better for not having a clue, but let me just say that they could be in the headlining block of my festival in heartbeat based on what I’ve seen before.
When those two sets are done you’ve got exactly enough time to scoop your gray matter off the Shubin walls, change your shorts and buy a ticket for the 10PM show (or if you’re smart, get an advanced ticket).
The late block kicks off with a set from BARK WHARF. I can’t actually speak for this three-person ensemble as I’ve never seen them perform as a group, but I can most certainly speak for these three people: Matt Klinman, Ali King and Jesse Paulsen. I’ve been around these fine folks in many a workshop and they’re a joy. They are also all alums of Haverford, which if you haven’t put 2 and 2 together yet, churns out batshit crazy good improvisers like it’s their job (Alexis Simpson, Scott Sheppard, the list goes on and on…).
Rounding out the evening is MEG & ROB. This much lauded sketch duo (Meg Favreau and Rob Baniewicz) has been on a quest of world domination, having recently played at Chicago Snubfest and will be touching down at the Shubin right before heading back out to play the Minnesota Fringe Festival. As much as we can see them pretty consistently at Die Actor Die, Bedtime Stories and a rare Troika appearance, their shows always seem to feel fleeting for some reason. It’s a rare treat for me to feel like that watching sketch, so I plan to take advantage of this and take in some fun times from the creators of Reviving the Lecture Circuit, Love Over the Phone and Dan Henkle, Relationship Expert.