Last week of Comedy Month underway

11/16/2010

Posts have been lacking the last few weeks, as I’ve been otherwise occupied deep in the hilarity of the Philadelphia Comedy Collective’s COMEDY MONTH. Both the PHILADELPHIA IMPROV FESTIVAL and the PHILLY SKETCHFEST enjoyed incredible acts playing to record audiences. Recaps of those weeks will be coming soon.

Last night kicked of the final week of Comedy Month, with selections from the PHILADELPHIA JOKE INITIATIVE entitled These Guys Are Good Vol 1. We saw the comedic illusions and body manipulations of flexible comedian JONATHAN BURNS. THOMAS CHOINACKY gave audiences a taste of his obsession with an excerpt from his show Thomas is Titanic. Finally, UN Ambassador and Nobel Laureate BUDDY FELCH dropped jaws with tales of his experiences with Ghandi, the Dalai Lama and other high profile figures. The evening was hosted by the incredibly funny CHRIS COTTON.

The fun continues next with These Guys Are Good Vol 2. In the hopper for tonight are videos and sketches from I’D RATHER BE HERE PRODUCTIONS, the musical comedy stylings of TODD CHAPPELLE, and variety show comedy from 2 DUDES & A DUDE (featuring former 6th Borough sketchers COREY COHEN & JASON MESSINA).

Here’s a look at the rest of PJI Week:

TUESDAY
8PM: THESE GUYS ARE GOOD VOL 2

WEDNESDAY
8PM: NED TALKS

THURSDAY
8PM: THE N CROWD GOES LONG
10PM: COMEDY GONE BAD

FRIDAY
8PM: PREVIEW – A VERY LADIES & GENTLEMEN CHRISTMAS SPECIAL
10PM: COMEDYSPORTZ PRESENTS GAME, SET, MATCH GAME!

SATURDAY
CIF’S NATIONAL COLLEGE IMPROV TOURNAMENT
12PM, 2PM, 4PM & 6PM: EASTERN REGIONAL PRELIMINARIES
9PM: EASTERN REGIONAL FINALS

All shows are held at the Philadelphia Shakespeare Theatre, 2111 Sansom St in Center City Philadelphia.

Mixing sketch, stand-up, film, music, education, parody and a healthy dose of competition, this eclectic last week is the perfect topper to what has been an incredible Comedy Month. Come join us as PJI explores the bizarre and surreal corners of today’s comedy.

Tickets and additional information

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Announcing Philadelphia Comedy Collective and Comedy Month

06/10/2010

Philadelphia Improv Festival, Philly Sketchfest, and The Philadelphia Joke Initiative Join Forces To Form Philadelphia Comedy Collective

New Collaborative Set to Present Month of Comedy in November

Three of the top forces in the local comedy scene are teaming up this year, becoming The Philadelphia Comedy Collective, and presenting Comedy Month. Forming the new collaborative are the Philadelphia Improv Festival, Philly Sketchfest, and The Philadelphia Joke Initiative. Their first endeavor, Comedy Month, will run from November 1-21 at the Philadelphia Shakespeare Theatre, 2111 Sansom Street. The producers will announce the performance schedule later this summer.

The first week of the festival will be the now week-long Philadelphia Improv Festival featuring local longform and shortform improv acts and troupes from all over the country. Now in its sixth year, the Philadelphia Improv Festival has hosted top-notch local acts along with teams from the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater (NYC), iO West (LA), DSI Comedy Theater (NC), Second City (Chicago), the Magnet Theater (NYC), Washington Improv Theater (DC), and the People’s Improv Theater (NYC). The Philadelphia Improv Festival is produced by Matt Nelson, Alli Soowal, and Jason Stockdale.

Following the improv festival, Philly Sketchfest will present its third annual event, a full week dedicated to sketch comedy. Philly Sketchfest is the brainchild of sketch troupe Animosity Pierre’s manager Ben Maher and Pierre members Matt Lally and Dave Terruso; Jessica Ciaramella and Cathleen Collins are associate producers. As active members of the Philadelphia sketch scene, these comedians have experienced the growth of comedy in the city firsthand. In 2009, the festival grew to include over a dozen local and national sketch groups.

The Philadelphia Joke Initiative (PJI) will handle the final week of performances. The comedy advocacy organization recently completed a successful run of its improvised musical, “Rodgers and Hammerstein are Dead.” The group was founded in 2009 and is dedicated to supporting comedy and comedians in the greater Philadelphia area. PJI recognizes comedy has inherent cultural value, and will foster Philadelphia’s cultural community by regularly producing comedy events, nurturing local talent, encouraging that talent to remain in Philadelphia, and raising the profile of Philadelphia-based comedy on the national market. PJI is run by Alexis Simpson and Kate Sabato.

About The Philadelphia Comedy Collective

The Philadelphia Comedy Collective is a consortium of local producers, performers, and companies unified for the purpose of comedy advocacy, cultural vitality, and excellence in improvisation, sketch, stand up, theater, film, music, and other comedy media.


Philadelphia Improv Festival, Philly Sketchfest, and The Philadelphia Joke Initiative Join Forces To Form Philadelphia Comedy Collective

New Collaborative Set to Present Month of Comedy in NovemberPhiladelphia Improv Festival, Philly Sketchfest, and The Philadelphia Joke Initiative Join Forces To Form Philadelphia Comedy Collective

New Collaborative Set to Present Month of Comedy in November


Dept of Far Away Improv: Twin Cities Tackles Tarantino

05/28/2008

Some of Minnesota’s finest have decided to put their improv skills up against the style, mood and catalog of the director of Resevoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction & Kill Bill in Stare Down: A Tarantino Make ‘Em Up, an hour-long improvised Quentin Tarantino movie.

Stare Down performer Jill Bernard gives us a peek:

“What happens when you have five steely-eyed strangers who won’t give an inch in a high-stakes situation? Pulling together some of the best improvisers in the Twin Cities and a healthy love of all the things Tarantino, Stare Down promises to be a show full of entertainment and… uneasy silences.”

Tarantino films are typically very stylized and he’s developed an ability to embrace the genres he’s paying homage to without boiling them down. While exploring his varied influences he’s still able to maintain a commonality that is distinctly Quentin. It should be really interesting to see that captured through improv.

Stare Down: A Tarantino Make ‘Em Up
May 30 & 31, 8PM
Center for Independent Artists
4137 Bloomington Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN


Video: Excellent Cohen Brothers Mashup

04/21/2008

I’m in love with the following mashup tribute to the Cohen Brothers’ body of work. It does a great job of framing their ability to communicate both through wide cinematic tones and more subtly nuanced themes. As a big fan of about everything Joel and Ethan Cohen touch, I think this is simply gorgeous.

[via Neatorama]