News in Brief

12/17/2010

Keeping you up to date on what’s going on in comedy

  • The resignation of editor Brian Howard isn’t the only change over at CityPaper… RYAN CAREY of Critical Mass has started a new weekly look at Philadelphia’s comedy scene, LOL With It. And in his inaugural post, he chats with none other than CHIP CHANTRY.
  • Some exciting news from CHRIS COTTON and the gang at CENTER CITY COMEDY. LLC papers have been filed and they’ve made it official. Congratulations!
  • The schedule for NCCAF (North Carolina Comedy Arts Festival) has been posted. Seven Philadelphia improv groups have been slated to perform – Jessica Tandy, Rintersplit, Adrift, The Ones, N Crowd, Cubed & Rookie Card… as well as four sketch groups – Camp Woods, Bare Hug, Emily & Micah McGraw and Meg & Rob (with 2 shows!) and also stand up Aaron Hertzog. My apologies if I missed any locals while scanning the list.
  • And across the country on the same weekend, more Philly comedians will be tearing it up at SFIT (Seattle Festival of Improv Theater). Making their SFIT debuts will be the Amie & Kristen Show as well as MattAnd.

Be sure to keep up to date on Philly comedy happenings by following us on Twitter and liking us on Facebook.


Comedy for the Weekend Warrior

07/09/2010

Here’s a look at comedy happening around town this weekend…

CUBED

Friday, July 9th

8:00PM – N Crowd | Actors Center | $10-$15
8:00PM – CUBED + Rookie Card | Shubin | $10
8:00PM – Ben Bailey | Helium Comedy Club | SOLD OUT
9:30PM – Fletcher + Friends | Shubin | $10
10:30PM – Ben Bailey | Helium Comedy Club | $25-$30

Saturday, July 10th

7:30PM – ComedySportz Philly | Playground @ Adrienne | $10
8:00PM – Bare Hugs + WALT! | Shubin | $10
8:00PM – Kevin Brennan | Helium Comedy Club | $25-$30
9:30PM – Epsilon Faction + Activity Book | Shubin | $10
10:00PM – ComedySportz Philly | Playground @ Adrienne | $10
10:30PM – Kevin Brennan | Helium Comedy Club | $25-$30
11:00PM – Sketch Open Mic: Sketch Up or Shut Up | Shubin | FREE

Sunday, July 11th

6:00PM – PHIT L1 Class Show | Shubin | FREE
7:00PM – Improv Incubator | Community Education Center | PWYC
7:00PM – Philly’s Phunniest | Helium Comedy Club | $10-$15
8:00PM – Bare Hugs + WALT! | Shubin | $10


Lineup for PHIT at the Shubin

06/29/2010

It’s time once again for the PHILLY IMPROV THEATER to take up residence at the Shubin Theatre. They’ve put together a lot of great programming to kick off July… including recurring favorites like the BULLY PULPIT, a new Cagematch challenger looking to take down THE ONES…, the very audience inclusive M@&, new Troika breakout DECONSTRUCTING STEVE, newcomers WALT!, the much anticipated KEVIN ALLISON SKETCH COMEDY SPECTACULAR and if memory serves, the first ever L1 CLASS SHOW. Here’s the breakdown:

Wed, June 30
8:00pm – The Bully Pulpit

Thu, July 1
8:00pm – M@& + Friends
9:30pm – Angry People Building Things + Friends

Fri, July 2
8:00pm – Deconstructing Steve + Leo Callahan
9:30pm – King Friday + Friends

Sat, July 3
6:00pm – Storytelling Grad Show
8:00pm – Kevin Allison’s Sketch Comedy Spectacular
9:30pm – Kevin Allison’s Sketch Comedy Spectacular

Mon, July 5
8:00pm – The Moops

Wed, July 7
8:00pm – Guilty Pleasures

Thu, July 8
8:00pm – Hey Everybody!
9:30pm – CAGEMATCH: Stranger, Danger vs. The Ones

Fri, July 9
8:00pm – CUBED + Rookie Card
9:30pm – Fletcher + Friends

Sat, July 10
8:00pm – Bare Hugs + WALT!
9:30pm – Epsilon Faction + Activity Book

Sun, July 11
6:00pm – Class Show: Emily Davis’ L1
8:00pm – WALT! + Bare Hugs


PHILLY IMPROV THEATER
JUNE 30 – JULY 11
SHUBIN THEATRE | 407 BAINBRIDGE ST
TICKETS: $5 – $10


Comedian Profile: Mark Bringhurst

06/14/2010

Editors Note: In this segment, we step away from the stage and take a look at comedians in the Philadelphia area… Learn a little more about where they come from, what they do while not performing and of course the question we all ask ourselves… Why do we do it?

MARK BRINGHURST


Might have seen him in: CUBED, Ladies & Gentlemen, Delaware Comedy Theatre

Hangs his hat in: Berlin, NJ

Stomping Grounds: Berlin, NJ

Pays the Bills: Teaching 5th grade

Other Hobbies: writing, hiking, reading

Why Improv?

I have been acting since elementary school but did not discover improv until I was well into adulthood.  I was visiting Disney World’s Pleasure Island (which is now sadly only a memory) and attended my first improv show at the Comedy Warehouse.  I started out the evening thinking “This is awesome!” which later progressed to “I could do this!” which finally ended up with “I HAVE to do this!”  When I came back to New Jersey I did some internet searching and signed up for classes with ComedySportz.  After going through every level class that ComedySportz offered, I was beyond hooked and knew I had to continue.  At the time, the “closest” group that was holding auditions was Delaware Comedy Theatre in Lewes, Delaware.  The fact that I was willing to make a six-hour round trip drive to Lewes at least once a week for several years tells you that I had either found my calling or I was out of my mind…or a little of both.

Improvisational comedy is such a rewarding performance outlet.  I enjoy playing many different types of characters and experimenting with different types of physical comedy.  Anything is possible in any given show.  I am never limited by the words and stage directions someone else has written for me.  It is also rewarding to know that when you elicit any kind of reaction from an audience member…laughter…a happy sigh…a gasp…it is a result of something that you developed on stage in that moment–something that only you and your scene partner(s) brought to life.  The improv scene in Philadelphia has also allowed me to be a part of many different types of improv, from musical to premise-based, from shortform to longform, so it is always exciting, changing, growing, and completely fulfilling!

If you know someone who you think should be profiled, we’d love to hear about them.


Duofest is born… and its twins!

06/10/2010

Last week, members of the Philadelphia and NYC improv scenes announced that this fall we’ll be treated to DUOFEST, a festival dedicated to celebrating comedic pairs. Produced in association with the PHILLY IMPROV THEATER, it’s the first festival of its kind, paying tribute to the unique dynamic created when just two people alone share the stage.

For anyone who attends festivals regularly, and even more so for any duos who submit to them, it’s a sad fact that far too many comedic pairs get passed over for larger ensembles. Many times they are already members of larger groups submitting, other times they may not have the notoriety… but regardless of the reason – only a few make it front and center at national festivals. The producers of Duofest look to flip that reality on it’s head… showing us that there’s never an odd man out when you’ve got two people.

PHIT has long shown its love for duos, having played host to such noted visitors as BASSPROV, CODE DUELLO, TYBRUS, TIN SANDWICH and most recently ADSIT & GAUSUS… as well as regularly showcasing local talent like WHIPSUIT, AMIE & KRISTEN SHOW and CUBED.

Now they’ll be taking that love and spreading it out over 4 days, featuring comedic pairs from the far reaches of duo-dom. Duofest will run Sept. 3o – Oct. 3, 2010 at the Shubin Theater here in Philadelphia. If you have a duo you’d like to get involved, submissions are open until July 22nd with a $32 submission fee. If you hurry up and apply before July 2nd, they’ll knock $10 off the fee.

DUOFEST
TWO IMPROVISERS, ONE STAGE
SEPT. 30 – OCT. 3RD, 2010
SHUBIN THEATER | 407 BAINBRIDGE ST
SUBMIT NOW


PHIT at the Shubin with April-May shows

04/28/2010

Tonight the PHILLY IMPROV THEATER launches another two week run at the Shubin, and they’ve got some fun stuff in store for you…

Wed, 4/28
8:00PM – The Bully Pulpit w. Luke Giordano – $5

Thu, 4/29
8:00PM – Improv Comedy, PhD – $10
9:30PM – Troika: Round 3 – $10
11:00PM – The Ones Your Moms Warned You About – FREE

Fri, 4/30
8:00PM – Dependable Felons + Everything Must Go – $10
9:30PM – The Megaphone Comedy Tour + King Friday – $10

Sat, 5/1
8:00PM – Sketch comedy from Meg & Rob feat. Brendan Kennedy – $10
9:30PM – Activity Book + Leo Callahan – $10
11:00PM – Sketch Up or Shut Up -FREE

Sun, 5/2
8:00PM – Sketch comedy from Meg & Rob feat. Carolyn Busa – $10

Mon, 5/3
8:00PM – The Moops – $5

Wed, 5/5
8:00PM – Guilty Pleasures w/ Brendan Kennedy – $5

Thu, 5/6
8:00PM – Hey Everybody w/ Aaron Hertzog – $5
9:30PM – Troika: Championship – $10

Fri, 5/7
8:00PM – Rare Buck Show w/ Dave Buckman + Vorlof – $10
9:30PM – Fletcher + Angry People Building Things – $10

Sat, 5/8
8:00PM – Sketch comedy from Meg & Rob – $10
9:30PM – CUBED + Red Letters – $10
11:00PM – Improv Jam: Flying Leap – FREE

Additional information and advanced tickets available on the PHIT website.


PJIs Cecily and Gwendolyn run begins tonight

01/13/2010

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.

CECILY & GWENDOLYN’S FANTASTICAL BALLOON RIDE
THE LATVIAN SOCIETY | 531 N 7TH ST
JANUARY 13-31, 2010 | 7PM
PRESENTED BY PJI WITH SUPPORT FROM FREEFALL PRODUCTIONS