Two full length Stage Fright shows now online

05/02/2011

Yesterday was the closing night of STAGE FRIGHT: AN IMPROVISED HOMAGE TO HITCHCOCK. For those of you who missed the run, or for anyone who might want to catch a little more, there are now two full shows available on Vimeo. Featured below are the shows from the last two Saturdays. A special thanks to KEVIN REGAN for filming.

Show from Saturday, April 23rd
Suggested Location: Library + Suggested Psychological Fear: Spiders

Show from Saturday, April 30th
Suggested Location: Blimp + Suggested Psychological Obsession: Counting


A new Cagematch champ arises

10/14/2010

Last week, newcomer JESSICA TANDY (Jessica Ross & Andy Moskowitz) took down longtime reigning champs, THE ONES YOUR MOMS WARNED YOU ABOUT at PHIT’s CAGEMATCH.

After seeing The Ones toppled after holding on to the title for the better part of the past year, I thought I’d get a bit of insight into how everyone feels about the upset…

J: “I’d say we are definitely proud of our run at the top. The loss stings a bit, especially because we had one of our best performances, but we sure went out fighting.

JESSICA: “It was an awesome night. The Ones really set the bar high and as always put on a great show, they’re one of the best teams in Philly.”

ANDY: “We’re thrilled to be the group to finally take down The Ones, and we’d be lucky to keep our streak going even half as long as they did. We we fresh and new… and with each successive show we will be less fresh and less new, so we know it’s an uphill climb.”

B-LIBS: “As for our run, I personally felt like Julius Caesar: conquering all and then holding massive orgies. So I guess that makes Jessica Tandy Brutus. ‘Et tu, Tandy.'”

JESSICA: “We were just happy to share the stage with an amazing team and debut our work. Andy and I had so much fun performing together and were really proud of our work. Winning was just the icing on the cake.”

ANDY: “I think the most important thing is for us to keep having fun and delighting and surprising each other on stage.”

Finally, THE RICHNE$$ had a final message for their groupies: “Dear Ladies, It was a fun run, but we can’t be tied down right now, girl.  We’ll see you around and all.  Remember, girl, hate the game not the playa!  Most Sinceriously – The Richne$$”


So there you go, some broken hearts, some high hopes and lots of praise and mutual respect for what were a couple of great shows. For fans of The Ones, despair not, as they’re slated to play PHIF in a couple of weeks.

As for Jessica Tandy, the duo needs to be on their game tonight if they’re going to hold on to their newly won title. They take on another newcomer, RINTERSPLINT (Joe Gates, Matt Akana & Marc Reber), at CAGEMATCH 9:30pm tonight at the Shubin.

CAGEMATCH! JESSICA TANDY v RINTERSPLINT
THURSDAY, OCT. 14TH @ 9:30PM
PHIT AT THE SHUBIN | 407 BAINBRIDGE ST


Comedian Profile: Jason Stockdale

07/14/2010

Editors Note: In celebration of The 2010 ComedySportz World Championship, this week we’ll be profiling comedians from the local ComedySportz roster.

JASON STOCKDALE


Might have seen him in: ComedySportz, The Ones Your Moms Warned You About

Hangs his hat in: Chestnut Hill

Stomping Grounds: Neptune, NJ

Pays the Bills: Hotel Reservations Manager/Baseball Stadium Hot Dog Launcher and Birthday Greeter/All Around Swell Guy

Projects: Director of Ladies And Gentlemen, fresh off of Rodgers And Hammerstein Are Dead.

Other Hobbies: No time, must keep working and improvising! (Actually, I enjoy comic books, video games and bouncing erratically around between different kinds of music – currently ensconced in nerdcore).

Why Improv?

Would you ask a bee “why honey”? Or a kangaroo “why pouches”? (digress)

Actually my love of improv extends from my love of theatre – the love of watching something happening in front of you, alive, energetic – something that moves and bounces. Something that will never be the same again – even if its a scripted work, the experience changes from night to night, due to the fact that the viewers change from night to night. Improv just moves that to a more dangerous and exciting level – it won’t ever be the same not only from the audience perspective, but from the performers perspective as well. Improv is made of moments, as is life. I also like performing improv because I get to simultaneously hide and be exposed.

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


Sat: Troika Goes Nationwide

06/18/2010

For the last three years, TROIKA has been matching up local improvisers into trios. I created the show as a way for people to experiment with new forms and collaborate outside of their normal circles without having to invest in an entirely new project. It’s also proved to be a great way to expose fan bases to different performers.

Troika’s spawned some pretty unique and fun premise-based and concept shows… we’ve seen musicals, rock band reunions, teen sleepovers and spanish language soap operas, as well as a colorful cast of characters including clowns, librarians, puppets and even states witnesses. We’ve seen groups from Troika live on to perform well beyond their season. Early teams PONYCOAT and BRENDA were the first break outs, followed by several concerts from VELVET HELMET, leading clear up to the current CAGEMATCH champs, THE ONES YOUR MOMS WARNED YOU ABOUT.

Last month, Troika expanded beyond its normal season by shedding its competition brackets for a special “blind” edition. Tomorrow night,  the show looks to raise the bar, as it takes its first steps towards national collaboration. Improvisers from New York, Boston, DC and as far away as Los Angeles will take the stage with some of Philly’s best. They’ll form three trios never before seen on stage, and not likely to be seen again:

ROBO TRIPPING
Hannah Foell (Cambridge, MA)
Nathan Edmondson (Philadelphia, PA)
Topher Bellavia (Washington, DC)

SLACKS
Alli Soowal (Philadelphia, PA)
Luis Cortes (Los Angeles, CA)
Steve Kleinedler (Boston, MA)

FROWNTOWN
Jason Stockdale (Philadelphia, PA)
Michael McFarland (New York City, NY)
Peter Fenzel (Boston, MA)

That’s some serious comedic talent, and all I can say is, you’d best expect the unexpected. So I hope you’ll join us for a special evening that is certainly never to be duplicated.

TROIKA GOES NATIONWIDE
SATURDAY, JUNE 19TH @ 8PM
THE ACTORS CENTER | 257 N THIRD ST
$10 (CASH ONLY)


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


Opening Tonight: Rogers and Hammerstein Are Dead

05/13/2010

Tonight marks the long-awaited opening night of Ladies & Gentlemen: Rogers & Hammerstein Are Dead, presented by the Philadelphia Joke Initiative.

Ladies & Gentlemen aims to create full-length completely improvised musicals, with each new run of shows paying homage to noted composers and songwriters of musical theatre. Future runs may well be inspired by the songs and lyrics of Irving Berlin, Stephen Sondheim, Andrew Lloyd Webber or Gilbert & Sullivan.

First up however, are the darlings of the golden age, Richard Rogers and Oscar Hammerstein – known for such Broadway classics as Oklahoma!, South Pacific, The King & I, Carousel and The Sound of Music.

Over the last few months, the cast (under the direction of Jason Stockdale) has been completely immersed in the world of the famed songwriting duo, studying everything from song structure to character archetypes to dance styles – making sure that what they belt out is not only on key, but also on point. Every night will be a different musical, yet the goal is to have each one ring true to the musical tropes that R&H became so famed for throughout the 40s and 50s.

Ladies & Gentlemen features: Kennedy Allen, Mark Bringhurst, Olivia Brubaker, Olwyn Conway, Rob Cutler, Apple Milkshake, Joe Sabatino, Kristen Schier, Kelly Vrooman & Alan Williams.

The show opens tonight (May 13th) with a grand reception, and continues through May 29th.

LADIES & GENTLEMEN: ROGERS & HAMMERSTEIN ARE DEAD
PRESENTED BY THE PHILADELPHIA JOKE INITIATIVE
OPENS MAY 13 (w/ OPENING NIGHT RECEPTION)
THU-SAT @ 8PM, SUN @ 7PM –  THROUGH MAY 29TH
THE LATVIAN SOCIETY | 531 N 7TH ST | TICKETS: $12-$20


Tonight: The Mike Connor Travelogues continue

12/09/2009

A few months back, MIKE CONNOR spent a month flying around the country, taking in places like the beaches of Florida, the music haunts of Austin and the hostels of San Francisco. Last month PJI produced The Mike Connor Travelogues, a show where Connor recounts his journey across our country while a who’s who of Philly improvisers play out scenes inspired by his tales. Well Connor had so many (mis)adventures, that the show is back for another installment.

THIS IS WHAT ADVENTURE LOOKS LIKE

Starring JP BOUDWIN, SEAN CURRAN, NATHAN EDMONDSON, KRISTIN FINGER, KRISTEN SCHIER and JASON STOCKDALE.

The evening will also feature an opening performance by KAREN GETZ and KELLY JENNINGS in their production of Cecily & Gwendolyn’s Fantastical Balloon Ride.

THE MIKE CONNOR TRAVELOGUES
W/ CECILY & GWENDOLYN
PRESENTED BY THE PHILADELPHIA JOKE INITIATIVE

WEDNESDAY, DEC 9TH – 8PM
CONNIE’S RIC RAC | 1132 S NINTH ST
$10 AT THE DOOR (CASH ONLY) | BYOB W/ ID