Upcoming Shows

  • April 23, 2014 7:30 pmADVENTURE FRIENDS PRESENT A SKETCH HAROLD + SABOTAGE @ PHIT
  • April 23, 2014 9:00 pmOUTSIDE VOICES + THIS IS YOUR CAPTAIN @ PHIT
  • April 23, 2014 10:00 pmOUTSIDE VOICES @ PHIT
  • April 24, 2014 7:30 pmPHIT PRESENTS: MILLENNIUM QUEST: WARP JAWN
  • April 24, 2014 9:00 pmCHEAT CODE W. SPECIAL GUESTS @ PHIT
  • April 24, 2014 9:00 pmThe Comedy Attic
  • April 24, 2014 10:30 pmHOUSE OF BLACK @ PHIT
  • April 25, 2014 7:00 pmThe Comedy Works
  • April 25, 2014 7:30 pmPHIT PRESENTS: MILLENNIUM QUEST: WARP JAWN
  • April 25, 2014 8:00 pmCrazy Cow Comedy
  • April 25, 2014 8:00 pmThe N Crowd
  • April 25, 2014 9:00 pmCHEAT CODE W. SPECIAL GUESTS @ PHIT
  • April 25, 2014 10:30 pmSTORY UP! AFTER DARK @ PHIT
  • April 25, 2014 11:00 pmIRON SKETCH @ PHIT
  • April 26, 2014 7:30 pmSarcasm Comedy Club
  • April 26, 2014 7:30 pmComedy Sportz Philadelphia
  • April 26, 2014 7:30 pmPHIT PRESENTS: MILLENNIUM QUEST: WARP JAWN
  • April 26, 2014 8:00 pmBye Bye Liver: The Philadelphia Drinking Play
  • April 26, 2014 8:00 pmCrazy Cow Comedy
  • April 26, 2014 9:00 pmMEN WITH FACES + BIG BABY @ PHIT
  • April 26, 2014 9:30 pmThe Comedy Works
  • April 26, 2014 9:30 pmSarcasm Comedy Club
  • April 26, 2014 10:00 pmComedy Sportz Philadelphia
  • April 26, 2014 10:30 pmTHE FUTURE + MAYOR KAREN @ PHIT
  • April 26, 2014 11:00 pmIRON SKETCH @ PHIT
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Gregg Gethard Has Some Ideas

Are you producing a comedy show in Philadelphia?  Bedtime Stories creator Gregg Gethard has some ideas he’d like to try to make Philly comedy more attractive to new audiences, and he’d like to see the rest of us trying ‘em out, too. Read below, and feel free to add your own opinions and suggestions in the comments.

by Gregg Gethard

The Holiday Inn in East Somerville, MA is located in the absolute ass end of greater Boston. Do you know where the car rental return places are down near the airport? That’s essentially where this Holiday Inn is located.

However, this past weekend, it was the home of a joint comedy show between The Union Square Roundtable and The Chris Gethard Show. Over 80 intrepid comedy nerds made the trip to a part of the area that is a vortex of nothing. And while both the USRT (which is to Boston comedy what Bedtime Stories and The Theme Show are to Philly) and The Chris Gethard Show have their followings, the main selling point for the show was the swimming pool.

The USRT folks rented out the hotel’s pool area, which also has wall-climbing, ping-pong, foosball and a basketball hoop. It also had space for a video projector and for a band to play. It was a comedy show in one of the most bizarre venues imaginable.

It also taught me a valuable lesson: We need to do a ton better in marketing our product to the Philadelphia audience. And one of the ways to do so is in our choice of venues.

We often complain in Philly comedy about our audiences, which are in most cases other performers and family and friends. We’ve complained at length about a lack of media attention (although that has gotten a LOT better) but we really need to do a lot on ourselves to market our shows beyond “Facebook invites/e-mails/press releases.”

Here are some thoughts. I plan on doing a lot of these with Bedtime Stories but feel free to steal them (or give me ideas to steal) because it’s for the greater good:

Continue reading Gregg Gethard Has Some Ideas

“I’m So Excited about This Cast” – Interview with Matt Nelson of Adrift (Performing at ComedySportz this Friday)

On the last Friday of every month, ComedySportz is bringing in original outside acts to perform ahead of their 10pm adults-only Blue Show.  This month, ComedySportz Presents features Adrift, a nationally-touring show created by Philadelphia Improv Festival producer Matt Nelson.  Matt performs with a rotating cast, improvising scenes that take place over several days of being stranded together on a life raft. In this edition, Adrift will be kept afloat by Eoin O’ Shea, Todd Rodenhiser, Sue Taney, Daryll Charles, Danna Young and Mary Carpenter of ComedySportz.

Adrift at at NCCAF. Photo by Kevin Thom.

Adrift at at NCCAF. Photo by Kevin Thom.

WitOut: Can you give a brief overview of the origins of Adrift?

Matt Nelson: Adrift was created four years ago for the Philadelphia Improv Festival. I’d just ended several-year runs with a couple groups, and wanted to still do a longform set in my own festival. I figured I’d rope in a bunch of amazing people that my co-producers couldn’t possibly say no to. I made a short list, and that first show included locals Kristen Schier and Kelly Vrooman, as well as Brian O’Connell from iO West and Steve Kleinedler (at that time, still a Bostonian). I looked at the list and thought to myself, “Hey these people would be amazing to be shipwrecked with.” And that’s when the show concept was born. It was so much fun that I decided to keep at it. It became my own personal all-star show, giving me a chance to work with incredibly talented people I might otherwise never get to play with. Joe Bill, Jeff Griggs, Jill Bernard, Dave Sawyer, Topher Bellavia, Tara DeFrancisco, Rachel Klein—people who make your comedy heart swoon. After I locked down Emo Philips for my NCCAF show two years ago, I became pretty fearless about asking anyone whose work I really admire.

WO: What brought Adrift to ComedySportz?

MN: ComedySportz actually approached me to do the show. Adrift is a show that doesn’t play all the time, and with my format their cast can get really involved. Between the two, I think it’s a nice fit for their Final Fridays format, and I suppose they must have thought the same. I’ve had quite a few of their cast members in various rafts, and they’ve always been a blast to play with… so it was pretty much a “yes” from the word go. Then I was told I could pick from anyone in the cast, and it was like being a kid in a candy store. I decided to opt for mostly new players—because aside from doing a few local gigs and festivals, Adrift is a road show, and I only bring 1-2 Philly improvisers with me to those.

WO: You have some really amazing ComedySportz players in the cast for this show.  What are some skills they bring, either as individuals or a group, that you’re looking forward to having for this performance?

MN: I’m so excited about this cast. Overall, ComedySportz players bring a style of play that comes only from a strong connection built over time doing weekly shows. It’s a family—a very generous, playful family with tons of heart. Let me see if I can highlight a few things though…

Eoin O’shea: Eoin approaches things with a sort of tempered chaos, bubbling just under the surface. No matter how methodical a scene is, there’s always something dangerous and exciting potentially lurking around the next corner.

Todd Rodenhiser: Todd is a menagerie of big, bold, beautiful characters. They’re born from a whole other plane of existence, and it’s always thrilling when they come out to play.

Danna Young: Danna is a quirky, vibrant player than can play the duality of what you think is a light character, only to surprise you with strong choices and emotional reactions that can turn on a dime.

Darryl Charles: Darryl understands comedy like few others I know. The way he processes every little gift, it’s like he took an evolutionary step somewhere— always working out the best possible arcs for relationships, but always in the flash of a moment.

Sue Taney: Sue is a powerhouse player who just exhales hilarity. She’s like one of those storage saver bags where they shrink down all the fluffy stuff —she could take three minutes of silence and not have a moment of dead air.

Mary Carpenter: Mary is the crown jewel of Philly comedy, and I wish more comedians saw her more often. I don’t think I could run out of things to say. I have never, and I genuinely mean never, seen anyone on stage as generous as her. She can communicate so effectively with her face alone, it’s scary. If a show were a knife fight, you’d never have to check your six, because Mary’s got your back without fail.

Catch Adrift at ComedySportz (2030 Sansom Street) this Friday, January 25th at 8pm. Tickets are $12.