Comedy for the Weekend Warrior


Here’s a look at comedy happening in the city this weekend…



8:00pm – Comedy Month: Very Special Ladies & Gentlemen Christmas Special | Philadelphia Shakespeare Theatre, 2111 Sansom St

8:00pm – Whipsuit | O’Neals Pub, 611 S Third St

8:00pm – The N Crowd | Actors Center, 257 N Third St

8:00pm – Greg Fitzsimmons | Helium Comedy Club, 2031 Sansom St

8:30pm – Michael Shawn | Laff House, 221 South St

10:00pm – Comedy Month: ComedySportz presents Game, Set, MATCH GAME! | Philadelphia Shakespeare Theatre, 2111 Sansom St

10:30pm – Greg Fitzsimmons | Helium Comedy Club, 2031 Sansom St

10:45pm – Michael Shawn | Laff House, 221 South St



12:00pm – Comedy Month: Natl College Improv Tournament Eastern Preliminary 1 | Philadelphia Shakespeare Theatre, 2111 Sansom St

2:00pm – Comedy Month: Natl College Improv Tournament Eastern Preliminary 2 | Philadelphia Shakespeare Theatre, 2111 Sansom St

4:00pm – Comedy Month: Natl College Improv Tournament Eastern Preliminary 3 | Philadelphia Shakespeare Theatre, 2111 Sansom St

6:00pm – Comedy Month: Natl College Improv Tournament Eastern Preliminary 4 | Philadelphia Shakespeare Theatre, 2111 Sansom St

7:30pm – ComedySportz | Playground @ Adrienne, 2030 Sansom St

8:00pm – Rosen & Milkshake w/ Pro B | Vesuvio, 736 S Eighth St

8:00pm – Greg Fitzsimmons | Helium Comedy Club, 2031 Sansom St

8:00pm – Michael Shawn | Laff House, 221 South St

9:00pm – Comedy Month: Natl College Improv Tournament Eastern Regional Finals | Philadelphia Shakespeare Theatre, 2111 Sansom St

10:00pm – ComedySportz | Playground @ Adrienne, 2030 Sansom St

10:00pm – Michael Shawn | Laff House, 221 South St

10:30pm – Greg Fitzsimmons | Helium Comedy Club, 2031 Sansom St

11:55pm – Michael Shawn | Laff House, 221 South St



7:00pm – The Famous International Comedy Show | Q-Ba Lounge, 1176 N Third St

8:00pm – Comedy Hip-Nosis w/ Justin Tranz | Laff House, 221 South St

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.


Comedy for the Weekend Warrior: Early Edition



7:00pm – CSz World Championship: UK vs Philly & Milwaukee vs Portland | World Cafe Live

8:30pm – Laff Away Thursdays | Laff House

9:30pm – CSz World Championship: Indianapolis vs Austin & New York vs LA | World Cafe Live

10:00pm – King Friday + Boys Don’t Cry | Studio 34


7:00pm – CSz World Championship: Chicago vs Philly & Houston vs New York | World Cafe Live

7:00pm – Accidental Circus w/ Whipsuit | O’Neals Irish Pub

8:00pm – Sebastian Maniscalco | Helium

8:00pm – N Crowd | The Actor’s Center

8:30pm – Hamburger | Laff House

9:00pm – Accidental Circus w/ Whipsuit | O’Neals Irish Pub

9:30pm – CSz World Championship: Provo vs San Antonio & All Star East vs West | World Cafe Live

10:00pm – Sebastian Maniscalco | Helium

10:45pm – Hamburger | Laff House


7:00pm – CSz World Championship: Buffalo vs Minneapolis & DC vs San Jose | World Cafe Live

8:00pm – Sebastian Maniscalco | Helium

8:00pm – Hamburger | Laff House

9:30pm – CSz World Championship: Championship Match – World Cafe Live

10:00pm – Sebastian Maniscalco | Helium

10:00pm – Hamburger | Laff House

11:55pm – Hamburger | Laff House


7:00pm – Philly’s Phunniest | Helium

7:00pm – Improv Incubator | Community Education Center

Duofest is born… and its twins!


Last week, members of the Philadelphia and NYC improv scenes announced that this fall we’ll be treated to DUOFEST, a festival dedicated to celebrating comedic pairs. Produced in association with the PHILLY IMPROV THEATER, it’s the first festival of its kind, paying tribute to the unique dynamic created when just two people alone share the stage.

For anyone who attends festivals regularly, and even more so for any duos who submit to them, it’s a sad fact that far too many comedic pairs get passed over for larger ensembles. Many times they are already members of larger groups submitting, other times they may not have the notoriety… but regardless of the reason – only a few make it front and center at national festivals. The producers of Duofest look to flip that reality on it’s head… showing us that there’s never an odd man out when you’ve got two people.

PHIT has long shown its love for duos, having played host to such noted visitors as BASSPROV, CODE DUELLO, TYBRUS, TIN SANDWICH and most recently ADSIT & GAUSUS… as well as regularly showcasing local talent like WHIPSUIT, AMIE & KRISTEN SHOW and CUBED.

Now they’ll be taking that love and spreading it out over 4 days, featuring comedic pairs from the far reaches of duo-dom. Duofest will run Sept. 3o – Oct. 3, 2010 at the Shubin Theater here in Philadelphia. If you have a duo you’d like to get involved, submissions are open until July 22nd with a $32 submission fee. If you hurry up and apply before July 2nd, they’ll knock $10 off the fee.

SEPT. 30 – OCT. 3RD, 2010

PHIT Comedy Tonight at the Shubin


Update: Also performing at 9:30, those organic ladies of originality (and apparently oversight)… The Amie & Kristen Show. Apologies for the omission.

The PHILLY IMPROV THEATER is geared up for a couple of great shows tonight at the Shubin Theater, with a little something for everyone:

First up is HEY EVERYBODY, with special guest host, LUKE GIORDANO. Comics grabbing the mic tonight include ROGER WEAVER, SIDNEY GANTT and JAMES HESKY.

Then stick around for the dynamic duo of improv comedy, RICK HORNER and CUBBY ALTOBELLI, as they present WHIPSUIT: ANOTHER LOOK.


Comedy for the Weekend Warrior





Tonight: Whipsuit monthly show at O’Neals


Comedy duo RICK HORNER and CUBBY ALTOBELLI don the WHIPSUIT tonight in their monthly show at O’Neals Irish Pub. Utilizing an arsenal of commedia, clowning and comics coupled with a playful dose of competitive oneupmanship, the pair spin comedic yarns on the spot for your pleasure.