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


Pandas Win ECNY Award For Best Improv Group!

01/29/2008

This year, the ECNY Awards returned in grand form after nearly two years off. The awards show highlights the best of the NYC comedy scene. As you can well imagine, there’s some tough competition in a ceremony that showcases improv, sketch, stand up, film, musicals and even websites. Winners are chosen by votes submitted online by fans and associates.

One of my all time favorite groups, I Eat Pandas, took home the award in the category of Best Improv Group. While this is an incredible accomplishment by any means, if you’ve ever witnessed these two ladies improvise a musical on the spot, it’s definitely not a stretch of the imagination that they should win.

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(Photo credit: Chad Nicholson)

Rarely have I seen two performers more consistently bankable than Eliza Skinner and Glennis McMurray. We were fortunate enough to have I Eat Pandas down to Philly not too long ago, and their shows were an absolute joy to watch. And they were just as much fun post-show hanging out and chatting about anything and everything. Congratulation ladies!

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(Photo credit: Keith Huang)

A Complete List of Winners

Best Director: Kurt Braunohler

Best Host: Eugene Mirman and Michael Showalter (Tearing the Veil of Maya @ Union Hall)

Best Improv Group: I Eat Pandas

Best One Person Show: Nick Kroll (Fabrice Fabrice)

Best Short Comedic Film: Elephant Larry’s Minesweeper

Best Technician: Pat Baer

Best Variety Show: The Greg Johnson & Larry Murphy Show

Outstanding Achievement In Flyer Design: Matthew C. Johnson & Keith Huang (The Apple Sisters)

Best Website: News or Commentary: The Apiary

Best Website: Original Comedic Content: The Onion News Network

Lifetime Achievement Award: Eddie Brill

Emerging Comic Award: Joe Mande

Best Sketch Group: Harvard Sailing Team

Best Musical Comedy Act: The Apple Sisters

Best Female Stand Up: Kristen Schaal

Best Male Stand Up: John Mulaney