The 2013 WitOut Awards for Philadelphia Comedy will be held at World Cafe Live on Sunday, January 13 at 6:00pm with an after party in the venue immediately following. This year, awards will be given in the following categories:
Best Stand-Up Comedian
Best Sketch Group
Best Improv Group
Best Stand-Up Bit
Best Male Improviser
Best Female Improviser
Best Regular Show
Best Short-Run or One-Time Show
Best Podcast or Web Series
Special Achievement in the Field of Tweeting
Best Open Mic (Stand-Up, Sketch Open Stage or Improv Jam)
Best New Act (Improv Group, Sketch Group or Stand-Up Comedian)
Some changes have been made in the nomination and voting process. Nominations will take place from November 12-30 via online survey,and will be open to performers in the Philadelphia comedy community. Each performer will have the opportunity to make three nominations in each of the 13 categories.
The top five most-nominated individuals/groups in each category will be announced on December 10, and onlinevoting will take place from December 10-21. Voting will be open to both performers and the general public. The winners will be announced at the 2013 WitOut Awards for Philadelphia Comedy ceremony at World Cafe Live on January 13.
Best of luck to all performers. Let’s hope to have a fun- and friendship-filled awards show.
Due to the impending threat of Hurricane Sandy, all shows, classes, rehearsals and workshops scheduled for tonight (Monday, October 29th) and tomorrow (Tuesday, October 30th) at Philly Improv Theater have been cancelled. We will keep you posted with any further schedule changes from PHIT, or any other Philadelphia comedy venues as we receive news.
Last week, Rittenhouse Comedy at Noche came to an end, but those looking for a Tuesday night open mic won’t have to wait long. This week – The Tuesday Night Shitshow hosted by Steve Miller-Miller premieres at Underground Arts (1200 Callowhill St.) Signups begin at 8:30 and the show starts at 9:00.
This Thursday, Camp Woods Plus returns to L’etage (624 S. 6th St.) for a special show featuring Secret Pants and the reunion of Meg & Rob. The show will mark the first show for the sketch duo since Meg Favreau moved to Los Angeles last year. Doors open at 8:00 and the show begins at 8:30.
Episode 8 of Patrick Dodd’sComedy. Food. Sports. podcast is online and features comedian Jim Norton, who calls in to discuss his conversation with Muhammad Ali, Rachel Ray’s hips, A-Rod and Romo never being clutch and much more. The episode is available online via iTunes.
All through the month of October, Philly Improv Theater House Team Asteroid will present their B Movie format – an improvised tribute show celebrating the fun of the low-budget sci-fi/horror films from the Golden Age of Hollywood. The group has released this second teaser video for their shows.
The line-up for the November 1st Camp Woods Plus has been announced and it is a must see for fans of Philadelphia sketch comedy. Joining Camp Woods on stage at L’etage (624 S. 6th St. Philadelphia) will be Philadelphia’s longest running consistently active sketch group Secret Pants as well as the return of Meg & Rob for their first show together since Meg Favreau moved to Los Angeles last year.
This Friday, Camp Tabu’s A Comedy Thing will feature performances from Erin Mulville, Sarah Morawczynski, Trevor Cunnion, Rachel Bensen, and Blythe Wimbush. Alejandro Morales will host and be joined by this months’ cohost Ayanna Dookie. Camp Tabu is held at Tabu Lounge & Sports Bar, 200 South 12th St. Philadelphia. Doors open at 9 and the show begins after.
Last night, the seventh annual Philly’s Phunniest Person Contest continued at Helium Comedy Club with Pat Barker, Carolyn Busa, and Tim Butterly moving on to the semi-finals. The competition continues Monday, July 8 and the opening round continues on Sunday and Monday nights until August 13 (full schedule here).
The lineup and date for the next Camp Woods Plus has been announced. Joining Camp Woods on stage at L’etage on Wednesday, July 25 will be New York sketch group Listen, Kid!, and the show will also mark the debut of a full set from new Philadelphia sketch group Tap City (Aaron Hertzog and Luke Field).
This Saturday, Urban Saloon will host the Laughs on Fairmount Showcase the weekend partner to the weekly open mic from Mary Radzinski and Carolyn Busa. This weekend’s show will feature comedy from Blythe Wimbush, Alejandro Morales, Alex Grubard, James Hesky, and John McKeever. Doors open at 7:30 and the show starts at 8:00.
Dutiful fans of Philly’s favorite pair of half-Italians prone to playful bickering and off-beat tangents braved Monday night’s drizzle for the premiere of The Grimacchio Variety Hour, and the dynamic duo (Jason Grimley and Ralph Andracchio) did not disappoint.
The lovely Sue & Cait (caitblack.com) opened the show on acoustic bass and ukulele, respectively, with Sue jangling the jingle bells around her ankle in time to to the music while Cait crooned silky, smokey vocals into the old timey microphone at center stage.
After two songs, Grimacchio strolled out from behind the curtain—dressed in suits for the occasion—to applaud the two ladies, compliment Cait’s gold shoes, and go off on a riff about a Buck Rogers television special which revealed the actor’s staggering weight gain and declining health, forever marring their memories of their childhood hero. Then, they acknowledged the audience and welcomed us all to the show, blushing (Ralph) and sweating (Jason) with gratitude that everyone came. To warm up the crowd, they improvised some banter around current news items suggested by the audience, speculating on how Barack Obama decided to come out in favor of gay marriage (“fuck it, let’s do this”) and relating the Devil’s Breath street drug sensation to the campy Wes Craven flick The Serpent and the Rainbow.
They cut themselves off long enough to bring storyteller Hillary Rea onstage (“you will love her, damnit!”) for a brief conversation about her current projects and an adorably confusing explanation of her multiple online aliases. Rea told a fun and wonderfully detailed story about her first frenemy, a frizzy redhead with an in-home elevator who slutted it up through an Our Changing Bodies video in the sixth grade and ruined Rea’s retro-themed seventh grade birthday party with a Nirvana mixtape and an illicit game of Spin the Bottle, which young Rea excused herself from by hiding in the bathroom for thirty minutes.
Rea was followed by a Grimacchio sketch interlude, featuring the fellas as hipster record store employees (complete with “douchebag hats”) ignoring their customer to challenge each other with obscure music trivia. Sue & Cait followed, returning to the spotlight to literally sing the praises of Theodore Roosevelt, accompanied by a goofy framed black-and-white portrait of the President.
After a brief telling of the origin of the Grimacchio name (Jason didn’t know how to pronounce “Andracchio,” and Ralph didn’t correct him), comedienne LaTice took the mic to talk about the lack of joy in marriage, race relations in the suburbs, reality TV, and Flo the Progressive girl’s insensitivity to racial stereotypes. There were a number of slyly hilarious jokes worth quoting, but I wouldn’t want to ruin the punchlines for you.
Maureen Costello and Corin Wells of Ebony and Ivory closed the show, joined by Grimacchio for an improv set inspired by an interview with an accountant sitting in the audience. Highlights included Grimley as a talking dead goldfish in Costello’s cocaine-induced hallucination set in a cubicle in the ’80s; Wells as a five-year-old demanding apple juice before getting to work saving the company’s finances with her prodigious knowledge of QuickBooks and TurboTax; and a final scene with a Grimacchio-led game of double-speak, where Andracchio opposite hired Grimley from the accounting office, leading Grimley to threaten that he would opposite sleep soundly that night, forcing Andracchio to opposite tell security not to come upstairs and opposite let Grimley leave of his own volition.
After the blackout, Grimacchio invited all of the night’s performers back onstage to receive another round of applause, Sue & Cait played one last sweet little tune, and everyone filed outside praising the evening’s entertainment. For future editions of The Grimacchio Variety Hour, be sure to check the PHIT schedule and look for updates at facebook.com/Grimacchio.
Alison Zeidman lives in South Philadelphia, has a superfluous second Facebook page for work, and spends her evenings running around with the new indie improv team Malone.
Tickets are available now for a stand-up comedy benefit show for the Childrens’ Hospital of Philadelphia. Pat Barker has put together a lineup featuring Chip Chantry, Darryl Charles, Tim Grill, James Hesky, and Doogie Horner to perform on Saturday, June 2 at the Stone Grill (1300 Blackwood Clementon Rd, Clementon NJ). Tickets are $20 and can be purchased by emailing Pat at firstname.lastname@example.org
This Saturday, May 19, Rookie Card‘s monthly show at The Raven Lounge (1718 Sansom St.) makes it’s weekend debut. The free show begins at 7:00pm and will feature stand-up comedian Tommy Highland, a secret improv team, and will end with an jam open to anyone in attendance.
This weekend, High Dramma Sketch Comedy will host another round of shows at the Walking Fish Theater (2509 Frankford Ave.) The show will run May 17-19 at 8:00pm and May 20 at 5:00pm. Tickets are $15 at the door and are also available online with a special “pay what you can” showing on May 17.
The Out of Bounds Comedy Festival is now accepting online applications from improv groups, sketch groups, and stand-up comics. The festival will take place in Austin, Texas from August 28 to September 3 and will feature comedians from all over the country. A few performers from Philadelphia attended the festival last year, one of which was Becca Trabin, who had these things to say to encourage more of our city’s finest to apply for this year’s festival.
The Out Of Bounds Comedy Festival is accepting submissions for their 2012 festival, which takes place Labor Day weekend in Austin, Texas. I attended last year as a stand-up and half of the improv duo Get A Room, and I can’t recommend this festival enough. You get lots of perks for a tiny submission fee, Southern hospitality, adventures in a kooky city, and access to legit Mexican food (get the fish tacos at Chupacabra). The people are charming and the after-parties were some of the best I’ve been to– one was a house party with a taco truck in the driveway, and another was a swanky karaoke bar with a TV next to the dance floor hooked up with Super Nintendo. We drank, danced, sang, and played Mario Kart. Great festival. Highly recommend it. And do the mini golf tournament.
Online applications are now open for the 2012 Out of Bounds Comedy Festival. Submission fee is $20 until 3/27 and $30 until the 4/30 deadline.
Stage Fright is conceived and directed by Philadelphia Improv Festival co-creator Matt Nelson and it’s cast features local improv talents Alli Soowal, Jason Stockdale, Jessica Ross, Joe Sabatino, Kristin Finger, Mary Carpenter, Nathan Edmondson and Rob Cutler. The show explores the dark corners of the world through tension and levity, while bringing to life Hitchcockian characters that are delightfully definitive of his style.