Little Plates, Big Tapas premieres this Friday

02/10/2011

Building on the success of last year’s Fringe show, HOW TO SOLVE A BEAR, The GROUNDSWELL PLAYERS – (aka LEO CALLAHAN) are mounting a new production this weekend in cooperation with the PHILADELPHIA JOKE INITIATIVE entitled LITTLE PLATES, BIG TAPAS. Billed as a ‘darkly comic offering’ – the show is a scripted play, workshopped from improvisation, and then subsequently fine-tuned under the direction of DAN PLEHAL.

L to R: Scott Sheppard, Jack Meaney

 

Set in a pasta joint, newly handed down to a culinary trained son – the show explores the comedic clash between big city dreams and small town realities as he attempts to turn the little establishment into a high profile tapas eatery.

SCOTT SHEPPARD, JESSE PAULSEN, JACK MEANEY and ALISON KING brought their previous experiences from How To Solve a Bear into the production, this time joined by long time Leo Callahan collaborators NICHOLAS MIRRA and NICK KERR. Kerr’s character even sets the mood with some piano playing.

While improvisation is a tool utilized by many writers during the development process, for theatrical newcomers like Mirra, the experience of honing and performing that material is something very different indeed. “I came to (the show) with the perspective of an improviser and writer, not an actor… it’s been an exhilarating and challenging process.”

For Mirra, the work has evolved from something familiar yet fleeting, to a body of work with real sustainability. “We tend to appreciate and then forget, because it’s improv and inherently transient… trying to capture, define and repeat is not something I’m accustomed to worrying about.” And it’s in that repeated execution that the reward becomes evident. “Everything we do on stage is imbued with intention and forethought.”

And just what can we expect from this little labor of love? I think Mirra sums it up best… “(the show) is a small-town comedy located at the intersection of food, family, love, loss, ambition, and Himalayan fungi.”

Little Plates, Big Tapas runs just four nights, Feb. 11-14 at the LATVIAN SOCIETY (541 N 7th St). But if you’re looking to catch a glimpse of this limited engagement, you’d best move quickly. Friday and Saturday shows are already sold out. Tickets are available at the Philadelphia Joke Initiative’s website.


Friday: Leo Callahan with Rare Bird Show

01/14/2010

Local rising improv group LEO CALLAHAN is all set to storm the Arts Parlor for their first show of 2010. The night will feature the debut of their newest member, JACK MEANEY, as well as a guest performance from the much exalted RARE BIRD SHOW.

For those of you not yet familiar with Leo Callahan, the group is a fairly recent addition to the scene that is rapidly growing in popularity… Featuring all Haverford Alums, three of whom were former members of Illegal Refill (RIP), these comedians are fast, smart and obviously a tight bunch. I’m excited to see what newcomer Jack brings to the stage and group dynamic.

L to R: Nick Kerr, Nicholas Mirra, Ali King, Scott Sheppard, and Jesse Paulsen. Not pictured: Jack Meaney

IMPROV W/ LEO CALLAHAN
FEAT. RARE BIRD SHOW
FRIDAY, JANUARY 15TH @ 9PM
THE ARTS PARLOR | 1170 S BROAD ST