DÜOFEST is upon us!


Hey there duo fans! The wait is just about over… DÜOFEST kicks off this week, and boy oh boy are there some exciting pairings on board. The producers have put together quite an assortment, including local talent like Grimmacchio, Jessica Tandy, Matt&, BWP, Kristen & Amie Show, Suggestical and others, along with visitors the likes of Rachel & Dave, The Cascade, Trotsky & Hutch, Red Letters, Hodapp & Rothwell, Banana Breakup and a very exciting Messing w/ a Friend featuring Susan Messing joined by Christina Gausus. There will also be a number of special pairings that are either new, rarely seen, or assembled just for Düofest… like Jadico Fowler and Michael Loves Greg.

Full festival passes are already sold out, and rumor has it that day passes are quite limited at this point. You can find out more details about ticket options at the Düofest website. Now, let’s get to the lineup!!!

7:02 pm: Rosen & Milkshake + Grandma Hates Technology
8:02 pm: Upstate + Grimmacchio
9:02 pm: Mañez + Dave and Ethan
10:02 pm: Acid Bath + Hans Gruber

7:02 pm: BWP + Jadico Fowler
8:02 pm: Michael Loves Greg + Jessica Tandy
9:02 pm: The Nathan & Joe Show + Matt&
10:02 pm: Justin Bobby + Trotsky & Hutch
11:02 pm: Evan the Loyal + Listen, Kid!

6:02 pm: RuBin + OJ in a Sippy Cup
7:02 pm: Red Letters + Suggestical
8:02 pm: The Cascade + Rachel and Dave
9:02 pm: The Kristen & Amie Show + Trike
10:02 pm: Messing with a Friend (feat. Christina Gausus)
11:02 pm: We’re Matt Weir + Banana Breakup

6:02 pm: Hot and Modest + Kait and Andrew
7:02 pm: Sisser + Horner & Davis
8:02 pm: Manthorne & the Baron + Dictionary Soup
9:02 pm: Hodapp and Rothwell + Dangerous Fools

All shows are at the Shubin Theater, 407 Bainbridge St. Information about individual groups, tickets, planned excursions, parties and workshops can be found at http://www.duofest.com

It’s time to get PHIT


I hope you’ve all resolved to get your comedy on… and during the next two weeks, the PHILLY IMPROV THEATER has what it takes for you to be the Biggest Winner:

Wed, 1/26
8:00PM – The Bully Pulpit ($10)
9:30PM – Rant-O-Wheel ($10)

Thu, 1/27
8:00PM – Hey Everybody! ($10)
9:30PM – Cagematch: Grimacchio v. Hans Gruber ($10)
11:00PM – The Gross Show ($10)

Fri, 1/28
8:00PM – Women w/ Class + Kristen & Amie Show ($10)
9:30PM – Rosen & Milkshake + Angry People Building Things ($10)
11:00PM – Hopper Bros Happy Magic Fun-Time Show ($10)

Sat, 1/29
8:00PM – King Friday + Asteroid ($10)
9:30PM – Fletcher + Mayor Karen ($10)
11:00PM – PHIT Improv Jam (FREE)

Sun, 1/30
8:00PM – Comedy University: Improv Kerouac + Guests ($10)

Wed, 2/2
8:00PM – Guilty Pleasures ($10)
9:30PM – TV Party! ($10)

Thu, 2/3
8:00PM – Hey Everybody! ($10)
9:30PM – Cagematch: 1/27 Winner v. TBA ($10)

Fri, 2/4
8:00PM – Suggestical! + Rare Bird Show ($10)
9:30PM – Medic + BWP ($10)
11:00PM – Sketch Open Mic: Sketch Up or Shut Up (FREE)

Sat, 2/5
8:00PM – King Friday + Asteroid ($10)
9:30PM – Fletcher + Mayor Karen ($10)
11:00PM – Never Have I(mprov) Ever ($10)
12:00AM – PHIT Improv Jam (FREE)


All shows are at the Shubin Theatre, 407 Bainbridge St.

Tickets and additional information available at www.phillyimprovtheater.com

PHIT storms the Shubin with biggest lineup yet


Last night the PHILLY IMPROV THEATER launched their monthly run at the Shubin with a staged reading of When I Was, a new one-act play penned by house team member Michael Schwartz. The theater goes dark again tonight, right before PHIT starts ramping up into it’s largest run at the Shubin to date!

They’ll be tackling nearly thirty shows over the next two weeks, including performances by guests from NYC and Chicago, a workshop from former Philadelphian and PHIF founder Mike McFarland, as well as a special screening of the new TJ & Dave documentary. And it all resumes tomorrow night…

Wednesday, January 27th
8:00pm: The Bully Pulpit (w/ guest host Greg Maughan) – $5

Thursday, January 28th
8:00pm: Drexel Football Team + Rookie Card – $5
9:30pm: CAGEMATCH: The Ones Your Mothers Warned You About vs The Kristen & Amie Show – $5

Friday, January 29th
8:00pm: Activity Book + Everything Must Go – $10


9:30pm: Fletcher + The Imposters (NYC) – $10
11:00pm: Flying Leap! (An Improv Open Jam) – FREE

Saturday, January 30th
8:00pm: Activity Book + Dynasty (NYC) – $10
9:30pm: Fletcher + Everything Must Go – $10
11:00pm: Sketch Up or Shut Up (The Sketch Comedy Open Mic) – FREE

Sunday, January 31st

Mike McFarland

2:00pm: WORKSHOP – The Passion of the Mike taught by Mike McFarland (NYC) – $50
8:00pm: Screening: Trust Us This Is All Made Up (The TJ & Dave Documentary) – $5

Monday, February 1st
8:00pm: Hey Everybody! hosted by Aaron Hertzog – $5

Wednesday, February 3rd
8:00pm: Guilty Pleasures; One Year Anniversary Show – $5

Thursday, February 4th
8:00pm: High Dramma + Mr. Lizard – $10
9:30pm: We’re Nice People; A Night of Doucheless Comedy (NYC) – $10

Friday, February 5th
8:00pm: Tin Sandwich (Chicago) + B.W.P. – $10
9:30pm: King Friday – $10

Saturday, February 6th
8:00pm: King Friday – $10
9:30pm: Tin Sandwich (Chicago) + The Carousel of Progress – $10

Tickets and additional information

PJIs Cecily and Gwendolyn run begins tonight


Over the past few months, the PHILADELPHIA JOKE INITIATIVE has presented a number of single night showcases, including the Mike Connor Travelogues and a fundraiser featuring music from the Hopper Brothers. Beginning tonight, this small production company launches its largest endeavor to date, and plans to do so with a little Victorian class.

CECILY & GWENDOLYN’S FANTASTICAL BALLOON RIDE opens tonight and runs through January 31st at the Latvian Society in Northern Liberties.

The show, featuring KELLY JENNINGS and KAREN GETZ in the eponymous roles of Cecily and Gwendolyn, is a fully improvised imagining of two slightly mad Victorian ladies who fancy themselves anthropologists. When all is said and done and chronometers have been synced, each evening explores the notion that these time traveling ladies find themselves 175 years through space and time via their hot air balloon in present day Philadelphia – where each night’s audience will serve as lab rats of sorts… from whom they’ll extract their conclusions about the “modern” society in which we live.

I was fortunate enough to attend a private performance this past weekend, and can honestly say that I’ve never been quite so excited to see how audiences will react to a show. Karen and Kelly (as pictured L to R above) have taken the idea of audience participation, and replaced it with complete audience immersion. The entire show is an evening that we’re all invited to take part in. Everything from the set to the seating, the costumes to the conversation, all welcome the audience member in, begging to be engaged, hoping to engross. Sitting there with only a handful of people, I’ve never felt so unconscious of my contribution. Getz and Jennings do a remarkable job of captivating with ease. Something that while I know from talking to them has taken years to develop, comes across as simple and organic.

As you can tell, I’m really excited about how it all drew me in and am excited to hear how audiences respond to this level of participatory immersion.

If you’re interested in reading  more about the show, more can be found in this recent writeup in the CityPaper. You can also get to know these ladies by watching their YouTube videos or by joining them on Facebook.

During its three week run (Thursdays through Sundays, excepting tonight’s opening) the show will play host to a myriad of comedy guests, including local talent the likes of Chip Chantry, Cubed, Rare Bird Show, BWP, Leo Callahan, the N Crowd, Real Housewives of Philadelphia and ComedySportz Improvised Shakespeare as well as Hello Laser from the Magnet Theater in NYC.

JANUARY 13-31, 2010 | 7PM

Comedy for the Weekend Warrior


I’m on vacation this week, but I’m posting from the remote recesses of upstate NY to tell you about the incredible weekend of comedy kicking off tomorrow night (hey, it’s summer – weekends can start on Thursday in the summer).


Studio 34 | 4522 Baltimore Ave (BYO/pay what you can)


Actors Center | 257 N Third St ($10 adv/$15 door)

Actors Center | 257 N Third St ($15)


7:30PM – WOMEN WITH CLASS (Directed by Bill McLaughlin & Andrew Stanton of APBT)
Morrisville Borough Annex | 31 East Cleveland Ave ($8)

Playground at the Adrienne | 2030 Sansom St ($15)

PHIT lineup for July


PHIT_LogoTonight, the PHILLY IMPROV THEATER kicks off two weeks of comedy at the Shubin Theater. PHIT has put together a fun lineup full of new shows, special themes, visitors from afar, some old favorites and three nights of female comedy lovingly known as BONERAMA. Check it out:

Monday, July 6
8PM: The Comic vs Audience Comedy Show – $5

Wednesday, July 8
8PM: Guilty Pleasures – $5
10PM: The Bully Pulpit – $5

Thursday, July 9
8PM: Improv Comedy, PhD – Drexel Football Team & Everything Must Go – $5
10PM: CAGEMATCH: m@& vs Rookie Card – $5

Friday, July 10
8PM: Longform Improv: Angry People Building Things and Activity Book – $10
10PM: Longform Improv: WhipSuit and An Improv Jam – $10

Saturday, July 11
8PM: Longform Improv: Angry People Building Things and Activity Book – $10
10PM: Longform Improv: WhipSuit and An Improv Jam – $10
11:30PM: Sketch Up or Shut Up – FREE

Tuesday, July 14
8PM: Longform Improv: Fletcher and Parallelogramophonograph – $10

Thursday, July 16
8PM: Bonerama: The Real Housewives of Philadelphia – $10
10PM: Bonerama: CAGEMATCH: Brenda vs Pony Coat – $10

Friday, July 17
8PM: Bonerama: BWP and Cecily & Gwendolyn – $10
10PM: Bonerama: The Bonerama Variety Hour – $10

Saturday, July 18
8PM: Bonerama: BWP and Cecily & Gwendolyn – $10
10PM: Bonerama: The Bonerama Variety Hour – $10

Tickets are available now at phillyimprovtheater.com

Must See: Shubin Saturday


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…


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.

Saturday, July 11th
8 & 10PM
407 Bainbridge St
Tickets – $10

Alli Soowal Tapped To Teach PHIT L1


Alli Soowal

Alli Soowal, who you might know from, I don’t know – everything (PHIF Producer, ComedySportz, MakeOut Clinic, Men About Town, BWP, 2007 Troika Champ PonyCoat, contributor to this blog, et al…) has been announced as the instructor for PHIT’s Level 1 class beginning next month.

The class beings 6/22 will run Sundays from 6-8pm through 8/10 at the Ethical Society on Rittenhouse Square. More detail and enrollment can be had here.

Time For PHIT At The Shubin


We’re now upon the March run of PHIT @ The Shubin. This month’s showcase is a giant fundraiser for Project HOME; a charity working towards ending homelessness in Philadelphia.

This Week’s shows

7pm: Tongue & Groove with Illegal Refill. $5.

8pm: Bedtime Stories: Way Down in the Hole (A Tribute to The Wire). $5. PW A-List Pick!

pm: Theatresports: DCT North vs. Philly. $5.
pm: CAGEMATCH: Holmes vs. Holmes vs. Homelessness. $5.

8pm: Meg and Rob with Traffic Jelly. $10.
pm: Cajones with BWP. $10.

8pm: Cajones with BWP. $10.
pm: Meg and Rob with Traffic Jelly. $10.

7pm: The Parade of A-Holes: A Benefit Auction for Project H.O.M.E. Free & BYOB!

Comic Vs. Audience has the lowdown on the benefit auction:

“Part comedy show, part benefit auction, The Parade of A-holes will take you on a hilarious trip through your bad dating decisions. In the style of a charity bachelor auction, these eligible and annoying singles (played by a selection of Philly’s favorite improvisers and sketch comedians) will be “auctioned” alongside fabulous prize packages. The winning bidder goes home with the prize, not the a-hole, and everyone gets a chance to laugh at some characters everyone’s dated but nobody likes. Bonus: It’s all for charity! The Parade of A-Holes: Laugh! Bid! WIN!”



407 Bainbridge

Mon 3/3 – Sun 3/9



Tonight marks the start of CAGEMATCH!

Two improv teams, one stage; two comedy sets, one winner. This is CAGEMATCH: the world’s most competitive longform improvisation tournament, visiting from the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater and hosted by PHIT. Philly’s best improv groups will perform 25 minutes head-to-head with the winner chosen by audience secret ballot.

Thursday, 9/13: Men About Town vs. Industrial
Friday, 9/14: BWP vs. Swapmeet
Saturday, 9/15: Traffic Jelly vs. Whipsuit


Second Stage @ The Adrienne
2030 Sansom Street, 10pm
Tickets – $10