DÜOFEST is upon us!


Hey there duo fans! The wait is just about over… DÜOFEST kicks off this week, and boy oh boy are there some exciting pairings on board. The producers have put together quite an assortment, including local talent like Grimmacchio, Jessica Tandy, Matt&, BWP, Kristen & Amie Show, Suggestical and others, along with visitors the likes of Rachel & Dave, The Cascade, Trotsky & Hutch, Red Letters, Hodapp & Rothwell, Banana Breakup and a very exciting Messing w/ a Friend featuring Susan Messing joined by Christina Gausus. There will also be a number of special pairings that are either new, rarely seen, or assembled just for Düofest… like Jadico Fowler and Michael Loves Greg.

Full festival passes are already sold out, and rumor has it that day passes are quite limited at this point. You can find out more details about ticket options at the Düofest website. Now, let’s get to the lineup!!!

7:02 pm: Rosen & Milkshake + Grandma Hates Technology
8:02 pm: Upstate + Grimmacchio
9:02 pm: Mañez + Dave and Ethan
10:02 pm: Acid Bath + Hans Gruber

7:02 pm: BWP + Jadico Fowler
8:02 pm: Michael Loves Greg + Jessica Tandy
9:02 pm: The Nathan & Joe Show + Matt&
10:02 pm: Justin Bobby + Trotsky & Hutch
11:02 pm: Evan the Loyal + Listen, Kid!

6:02 pm: RuBin + OJ in a Sippy Cup
7:02 pm: Red Letters + Suggestical
8:02 pm: The Cascade + Rachel and Dave
9:02 pm: The Kristen & Amie Show + Trike
10:02 pm: Messing with a Friend (feat. Christina Gausus)
11:02 pm: We’re Matt Weir + Banana Breakup

6:02 pm: Hot and Modest + Kait and Andrew
7:02 pm: Sisser + Horner & Davis
8:02 pm: Manthorne & the Baron + Dictionary Soup
9:02 pm: Hodapp and Rothwell + Dangerous Fools

All shows are at the Shubin Theater, 407 Bainbridge St. Information about individual groups, tickets, planned excursions, parties and workshops can be found at http://www.duofest.com

Tonight: Bully Pulpit & Rant-O-Wheel at the Shubin


The PHILLY IMPROV THEATER has been on an impressive and unprecedented run of shows recently, and is keeping the momentum going tonight with THE BULLY PULPIT, hosted by LUKE GIORDANO followed by RANT-O-WHEEL, hosted by JAMIE FOUNTAINE.

For those unfamiliar with The Bully Pulpit, Luke invites a group of comics onstage to offer their insights on various topics. We’ve seen a who’s who of Philly comedic minds debate about love, hate, film, current events and just about anything you can imagine. On the docket for tonight’s show are comics JOEY DOUGHERTY, CAROLYN BUSA, H FOLEY and MATT MCCUSKER. Head on down, and laugh as they tackle the ins and outs of today’s pop culture and maybe offer a bit of advice on life.

Then stick around as Jaime and her special co-host ALEJANDRO MORALES spin the Rant-O-Wheel, letting the hand of fate decide what topics will be the subject of their comedic ire. Also… use the password ‘Alejandro’ and get half off admission!



Duofest begins today


Tonight marks the start of the first ever DUOFEST, hosted by the PHILLY IMPROV THEATER and taking place at the Shubin.

This weekend explores the joys of duos… two person improv that until now has never appreciated this level of attention. Kudos to the producers for locking in on a unique theme and creating a playspace for this abundant but underdeveloped corner of the improv world.

Audiences have four days of twosome love to take in, and there’s a lot of talent that’s going to be represented on stage through the weekend. You’re likely familiar with a lot of the local ones… the longtime partnership of Whipsuit, the organically fresh Amie & Kristen Show, the one-man duo with an audience member M@&, the newly retitled Rosen & Milkshake and even an old school reunion of Holmes/Maughan. All of the acts promise to be excited and fun-filled, but because weekend passes are long since sold out and I love lists, I’m giving you my picks of new, exciting and different duos you may not know about but probably want to make a point of checking out this weekend.


Toy Soldiers
Kelly Vrooman & Alan Williams

Kicking off the list and performing tonight are Toy Soldiers. These are two local improvisers very dear to my heart, not only because I’ve played with both of them regularly through the years, but more so because I’ve been in the audience watching them. They’re individually fun to watch, and I’m really excited for the debut of them together in a premise that plays exceptionally to their strengths.

Gay Boy / Straight Boy
Steve Kleinedler & Dana Bein

Closing out opening night is this duo from Boston. As the title might suggest, one is gay and one is straight, but most importantly, both are hilarious. I’ve been able to play with Steve on numerous occasions, and he’s always a delight. Although I haven’t climbed on stage with Dana, he’s a joy to watch and makes some surprising choices. I’ve been waiting to catch them together in this show, and tonight I finally get to.


The Cascade
Rick Andrews & Jenny Dunne

Rick is a Duofest producer and brings with him a long history of improvised stage work, starting out at ImprovBoston and continuing up through his current work with Magnet, where he met Jenny. Although she’s newer to the craft, she’s had the opportunity to dive in and train with some of the best NY has to offer. Now watch as these two carefully explore the nuances of perspective and change, reliving a single moment over and over, discovering how subtle choices define consequence.

Grandma Hates Technology
Mike Weiss & Jessica Weiss

A father-daughter act that is as quick and clever as it is adorable. They brought the house down and wowed audiences at PHIF last year, and since that time have been on a streak, killing stages at festivals all across the country. Anyone that has any doubts about Jessica’s age surely hasn’t seen that girl take on solid adult personas and bust out shadow characters with the best of them. Truly a unique show not to be missed.


Scout and Handsome Rob
Marcy Jarreau & Rob Penty

It’s no secret I’ve had an improv crush on Marcy for years, from her days conquering UCB’s Project Improviser, clear up to the present, as her all-female ensemble Bombardo continues to be a highlight of PHIF each year. In this show, she reunites with Megawatt Team X co-star Rob (sending out some Imposters love) for a duo that’s sure to be filled with strong characters and bold moves.

Snake Pitt
Jake Schneider & Jonathan Pitts

One’s part of Improvised Shakespeare and The Reckoning. The other created Storybox and runs CIF. These are two Chicago greats, just doing what they do best. Sit back and soak it in.

Asaf Ronen & Karen Eleanor Wight

Local audiences may be familiar with Asaf and his work he’s brought to Philadelphia in the past. A wonder on his own, when you put Karen in the mix for IMP, you get something that really jumps a few levels. Mostly devoid of spoken words, this commedia inspired clowning duo communicates more effectively with glances and gestures than many improvisers could hope to do with an arsenal of verbal language. Fluid character archetypes, combined with often poetic and always hypnotic visual storytelling creates something that isn’t improv… because it defies description.

Landry and Summers
Shaun Landry & Hans Summers

This duo are married to the stage and to one another. Both Second City Alums, both determined to show California how it’s done… first in San Francisco and now taking up residence in LA. 25 years improvising together is no small feat, and here’s a rare chance for folks on the east coast to see what that kind of shared skill, knowledge, intimacy and trust can create on stage.


Hodapp and Rothwell
Dan Hodapp & Natasha Rothwell

Two fantastic and funny people who NY is very fortunate to have. They won Magnet’s Improv Duo Tournament in 2009. They won my heart long before that.

Adventure Squad
Kaci Beeler & Valerie Ward

I’ll be honest that I’ve heard nothing about this show, nor am I familiar with the improvisers. But the show description alone has my interest genuinely piqued. Closing out Duofest, these ladies play awkward, quirky pre-teens living through a single day of school. Nostalgia and cringing humiliation are apparently on the lesson plan, and attendance is mandatory.

There are dozens of other acts running throughout the weekend, and you can get the details on all of them on the Duofest website.


PHIT close to breaking fundraising ceiling


The PHILLY IMPROV THEATER has been working diligently over the last month to raise funds towards a dedicated space. In phase one they look to raise $10,000 by June 26th. This first phase goes to cover legal expenses for lease negotiations and initial architect fees. By the close of the year, PHIT looks to raise $50,000 to match a challenge grant received from an anonymous donor.

Currently PHIT leases the Shubin Theater for two weeks of each month, in addition to leasing the Adrienne Mainstage for Live Arts – Fringe and special events. It also leases classroom space throughout the city in order to facilitate its training program. Plans for a dedicated space include a theater, black box and a training center.

Performers and students of the theater have kept social networks buzzing, as well as holding rummage sales, selling t-shirts and any number of other efforts to bridge the gap that now stands at over 85% to goal. With ten days remaining, they need to raise just over $100 dollars a day to meet the mark.

Fundraising is handled through Kickstarter, where with varying pledge levels, contributors earn rewards ranging from a name on a plaque, up to naming rights of the mainstage.

Contributions can be made via credit card, which will be billed on June 26th, provided the funding goal is met.

To learn more details and to pledge, visit the PHIT page on Kickstarter.

Comedy for the Weekend Warrior


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


• 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


• 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


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

Four more days of PHIT comedy at the Shubin


With the holiday fast approaching, you only have a few more days to enjoy May programming from the PHILLY IMPROV THEATER.

Scheduled events include the return of CAGEMATCH, a movie screening and an assortment of shows… one of which features L3 grads. Let’s take a look:

8:00PM – Improv Comedy PhD: Webber & Einstein + WALT! ($5)
9:30PM – CAGEMATCH: The Ones vs Two Guidos ($5)

8:00PM – Epsilon Faction & Friends ($10)
9:30PM – King Friday ($10)

8:00PM – Screening: Catch 22’s Love is a Battlefield
9:30PM – Activity Book & Friends ($10)
11:00PM – Improv Jam: Flying Leap! (FREE)

6:00PM – Class Show: Amie Roe’s Improv Level 3 (FREE)

Current Cagematch Champs: The Ones Your Moms Warned You About


The Bully Pulpit Birthday Show


LUKE GIORDANO hosts comedy panel talk show THE BULLY PULPIT live tomorrow night as part of PHIT at the Shubin Theater. The monthly show features a rotating quartet of standup, sketch and improv comedians who discuss, debate, and argue over a selection of different topics ranging from the latest current events to pop culture to life advice and everywhere in between.

This month comedians JAMES HESKY, DARRYL CHARLES, AARON HERTZOG and BILLY BOB THOMPSON convene to not only offer their comedic exposition, but to celebrate Luke’s birthday… all with free beer and birthday cake!

You can get yourself in the mood by heading over to the new Bully Pulpit site and listening to the podcast from last month’s show.