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.

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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


Insomniac Alert: Get Dazed and Amused this weekend

08/26/2010

Ever get an itch for live comedy at 4AM? Then your insomnia-fueled dreams are about to come true my friend, as improvisers from both Philadelphia and Los Angeles take to the Adrienne’s Second Stage tomorrow for DAZED & AMUSED: THE 24 HOUR IMPROV MARATHON.

Produced by the PHILADELPHIA JOKE INITIATIVE and directed by MARY CARPENTER, the second year of this ambitious show runs from Friday at 10PM until Saturday at 10PM, featuring a full 24 consecutive hours of non-stop improv. Joining Carpenter on stage are Los Angelenos ALEXIS SIMPSON & THOMAS FOWLER (both former Philadelphians), in addition to local comedians MARIO FRABONINATHAN HOLT, KAREN GETZ, ALLI SOOWAL, JIM CARPENTER and DAVE DRITSAS.

The cast plans to keep a bit of variety in their games, performing both long and shortform formats. While they will remain on stage for the full marathon, cast members are allowed two 30 minute naps… however they must do so in full view of the audience, in one of two cots that will sit onstage. The only time anyone will be able to leave the stage is to use facilities, because according to cast member Simpson “hey, who wants to see that?”

In a world where the actors create everything, sleep-deprived hallucinations should pose no threat. “Not only did we survive,” recalls Carpenter of last year’s endeavor, “we put on a fantastic show.”

She adds, “Improv always makes people ask ‘How’d they do that?’ Doing it for 24 straight hours, well that’s ‘How’d they do that’ to the nth degree. For those final minutes, the entire audience was on its feet.”

All proceeds after production expenses benefit EDUCATIONWORKS, a non-profit organization that provides unique educational opportunities and academic enrichment for students in the Philadelphia area.

PJI has a variety of ticket options available… so if you want to just catch the opening or closing, want to come see middle of the night insanity or are brave enough to forge through the whole shebang, there’s an option to fit your both your wallet and your sleeping habits (or lack thereof).

DAZED & AMUSED
THE 24 HOUR IMPROV MARATHON

FRI 8/27 @ 10PM – SAT 8/28 @ 10PM
ADRIENNE SECOND STAGE | 2030 SANSOM ST
TICKETS: $7 – $24


Open Mic Sandwich tonight at Fergies

07/28/2010

Tonight at Fergies Pub, the PHILADELPHIA JOKE INITIATIVE presents OPEN MIC SANDWICH. For those who may be unfamiliar with the show, it features a regular open mic bookended by sets from two established comics. Performing sets tonight will be JOHN KENSIL and PAT HOUSE, with the whole evening hosted by TOMMY HIGHLAND.

PJI’S OPEN MIC SANDWICH
WEDNESDAY, JULY 28TH @ 8:30PM
OPEN MIC SIGNUP AT 8PM
UPSTAIRS @ FERGIES PUB | 1214 SANSOM ST


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


Amuseday Tuesday: Roast-O-Wheel

06/08/2010

The Rant-O-Wheel is back, and it’s turning up the heat in South Philly! Tonight, SECOND STORIES and PJI take over The Dive to present ROAST-O-WHEEL: A Tribute to Steve Manheart.

Just like past editions of this improvised storytelling series, participants are given three nouns, chosen at random by the wheel.  Each person has 5 minutes or less to include all three in a story.

So how’s this different, you ask? This time, there’s a caveat… all stories must be about, or involve Steve Manheart! Who is Steve? Well he’s a dear friend of the show, who is departing Philadelphia.  Don’t know Steve? That’s just dandy! Knowing him is not required, nor is it encouraged for participation. Head on out and help roast Steve… it’s guaranteed he won’t know what hit him.

ROAST-O-WHEEL: A TRIBUTE TO STEVE MANHEART
PRESENTED BY SECOND STORIES & PJI
TUESDAY, JUNE 8TH | DOORS @ 7PM
THE DIVE | 947 E PASSYUNK AVE
FREE | 21+


Comedy for the Weekend Warrior

05/28/2010

Here’s the comedy that’s happening around you this weekend:

FRIDAY

• 8PM – The N Crowd | Actors Center | $15
• 8PM – Epsilon Faction & Friends | PHIT @ The Shubin | $10
• 8PM – Rodgers & Hammerstein Are Dead | Latvian Society | $20
• 8PM – Keith Robinson | Helium Comedy Club | $20-$25
• 8:30PM – Corey “Zooman” Miller | Laff House | $15
• 9:30PM – King Friday | PHIT @ The Shubin | $10
• 10:30PM – Keith Robinson | Helium Comedy Club | $20-$25
• 10:45PM – Corey “Zooman” Miller | Laff House | $15

SATURDAY

• 7:30PM – ComedySportz Philadelphia | Playground @ Adrienne | $15
• 8PM – Screening: Love Is A Battlefield | PHIT @ The Shubin | $10
• 8PM – PJI & Camp Woods: 11 Years of Space Docking | Connie’s | $10
• 8PM – Rodgers & Hammerstein Are Dead | Latvian Society | $20
• 8PM – Keith Robinson | Helium Comedy Club | $20-$25
• 8PM – Corey “Zooman” Miller | Laff House | $15
• 9:30PM – Activity Book & Friends | PHIT @ The Shubin | $10
• 10PM – ComedySportz Philadelphia | Playground @ Adrienne | $15
• 10PM – Corey “Zooman” Miller | Laff House | $15
• 10:30PM – Keith Robinson | Helium Comedy Club | $20-$25
• 11PM – Flying Leap Improv Jam | PHIT @ The Shubin | FREE
• 11:55PM – Corey “Zooman” Miller | Laff House | $15

SUNDAY

• 6PM – PHIT Level 3 Class Show | PHIT @ The Shubin | FREE
• 7PM – Rock*u*bator | Community Education Center | DONATIONS