Philly Comedy Round-up, Vol. 69

Chip Chantry's debut comedy album Across From the Adonis is now available on iTunes. The album was recorded live in front of a packed crowd at Helium Comedy Club and can now be downloaded and enjoyed from the comfort of your own home for $9.99.

On Tuesday A Bunch of Improv at The Grape Room (105 Grape St.) returns with a show featuring improv from Nielsen, No Wait, Matt&, and Cock Hat and will be hosted by Rob Gentile. Doors open at 8pm with the show starting at 8:20.

This Thursday Comedian Deconstruction presents Girls Girls Girls (and Bed Savage) at L'etage (624 S. 6th St.) This month's show will feature stand-up comedy from Mary Radzinski, Cecily Chapman, Erin Mullville, and Nicole Yates and improv sets from The Amie and Kristen Show and Bed Savage.

This Friday The Arts Parlor (1170 S. Broad St.) will host The Sideshow: Short Attention Span Theater. The show will feature shorter acts (no longer than 15 minutes) and will hosts a mix of magic, stand-up, improv, sketch, storytelling, music, and more.

Secret Pants' annual Christmas show at Johnny Brenda's (1201 N. Frankford Ave.) is this Sunday, December 23 at 9:00pm. A Banner Year at the Ol' Bender Household: A Yuletide Holiday Extravaganza will be hosted by Chip Chantry and will feature sketch performances by: Camp WoodsManiPediSpecific Jawns, and Secret Pants as well as music by Emily and Micah McGraw and a burlesque showcase with Randi WarholTickets are available online.

Just another reminder that the WitOut Caption Contest for this month is live.  To enter  submit a caption in the comments section on the  caption contest post. The winner (as chosen by the editors of WitOut) will receive two free tickets to a ComedySportz show of their choice.


Philly Comedy Round-up, Vol. 35

This weekend the Arts Parlor will host the first in The Sideshows series of one act plays. The Sideshow: Hidden in This Picture features the one act originally written in the late 80's by screenwriter extraodinaire, Aaron Sorkin. It's a single scene focusing on a first time director dealing with an egotistical writer a penny pinching producer, a dim witted assistant and an invasion of cows that arrived to ruin his oscar winning shot. The show stars Nathan Edmondson, Bert Archer, Matt Nelson and Daniel Jaquette and is directed by Mike Marbach. The show will play Friday February 24 at 10:30pm, Saturday February 25 at 8:30pm, and Sunday February 26 at 3:00pm.

Last week in a show at Temple University the team of comedians was chosen to represent the school in this year's National College Comedy Competition. The first round of competition will be held at Helium Comedy Clubon Sunday, March 18 at 7:30pm and will showcase the Temple team facing off against a team of comics from Penn State. The comedians representing each school are Temple: Tyler Wolf, Alex Grubard, Matt Kase, Paul Kenton, Steve Lipman, Jordana Lipsitz, Tim Ryan, Chris Whitehair Penn State: Kyle Dodson, Bill Hood, Stephanie Wain, Sean Becker, Dave Porter, Tom Wong, Spencer Frank, Kevin Gallagher.

Last week, for his Newsmakers Podcast, comedian Luke Giordano sat down to interview his childhood hero George Lucas. To see how things turned out for Luke you can listen to the episode on his website Everything You Like is Stupid.

Last week comedian Ted Alexandro headlined at Helium Comedy Club. If you missed it, that's a shame, because he's great, but at least you can still read this interview with him from CityPaper.

Sign-ups for ComedySportz Philly's spring classes have begun. The company is offering three levels of classes each at the early registration price of $179 (until March 7). You can sign up for classes online.

 


ComedySportz Presents Stage Fright: An Improvised Homage to Hitchcock

This weekend, as part of their Final Fridays series which features new shows on the final two weekends of every month, ComedySports Philly will host Stage Fright: An Improvised Homage to Hitchcock. The show, which was recently nominated for Best in Long Form at the 2012 INNY Awards will play Thursday, February 16 at 8:00PM, Friday, February 17 at 10:00PM, and Saturday, February 18 at 3:00PM  at The Playground at The Adrienne (2030 Sansom St. Philadelphia). Tickets can be purchased online or at the door.

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.


Mark Leopold "Interviews" Jason Stockdale

Mark Leopold is a Philadelphia improviser, sketch comedian, employee, an uncomfortable-complimenter-when-the-other-person-has-complimented-him-first-because-it-feels-like-the-only-reason-he’s-complimenting-them-is-to-make-them-even-no-matter-how-sincere-his-compliment-may-or-may-not-be, and a friend. He is a member of the PHIT house team Hey Rube as well as a new addition to the cast of Comedysportz and he does sketch comedy with his group The Hold-up. When he isn’t doing one of these things he is busy doing other things, like working and laundry, and so while he sincerely wishes he was able to be a real interviewer, the best he is able to do is interview people in his head while he drives different places. Today, while on his way to work, Mark took some time to sit down in an interrogation room in his head with Philadelphia improviser and Comedysportz teammate/teacher Jason Stockdale.

MARK LEOPOLD: Hey Jason, it’s me Mark!

JASON STOCKDALE: Hey man!

ML: Good times! Stockdale!

JS: Alright!

ML: Okay, shut up, let’s do this. Greatest fear?

JS: Dogs.

ML: Greatest strength?

JS: Left shoulder.

ML: Best way to get into your apartment without a key?

JS: You go through the large window in my bedroom. It doesn’t latch and there’s no way to lock it.

ML: Good.

JS: Full disclosure, there is a pit full of spikes directly inside and below the window.

ML: Home Alone style.

JS: That would have been a very different movie if Kevin had ended up killing the burglars with his first couples of traps.

ML: I’d like to see that movie. It probably just becomes a courtroom drama.

JS: And the creepy neighbor testifies against him.

ML: That neighbor…man. It sucks that he got a bad rap just for carrying a snow shovel around…in winter…after it had recently snowed.

JS: But he also had a beard, and he squinted quite a bit.

ML: Now who’s testifying against who? Who? Whom?

JS: Whom.

ML: Whom?

JS: Yep.

ML: I thought whom had something to do with having a direct object.

JS: Yep, but we should move on. I’m sure your readers aren’t that interested in the finer points of grammar.

ML: Ouch. I’ll have you know that I cater to a very high-end readership.

JS: Even so, this is pretty dry stuff. They can just buy a grammar book.

ML: Favorite grammar book?

JS: Strunk and White, okay moving on!

ML: Favorite chapter of Strunk and White?

JS: Chapter 13: Colons and Semicolons. Okay! So…Mark, what do you like most about Philadelphia?

ML: It’s proximity to my house.

JS: You’re being a real asshole.

ML: It was a joke Jason. This whole thing is a joke.

JS: Don’t do that. Don’t write it to make me seem like the jerk here.

ML: Jason, just calm down. Be reasonable.

JS: (standing up and overturning the table) I’ll be as unreasonable as I want damn it!

ML: (hands out, placating) Jason…easy.

JS: (…and here comes Jason’s famous switchblade) Shut up!

ML: Jason come on…put down the knife.

JS: (grabbing Brooks and putting the knife to his throat) No!

ML: Jason. Jason. Look at his neck Jason. Look at his neck. He’s bleeding Jason.

JS: (breaking down into tears and dropping the knife) I’m…I’m sorry…I just…

ML: I understand.

JS: I can’t go back.

ML: I know.

JS: I’m sorry.

ML: (turning to Brooks) Brooks, get out of here. (…but Brooks is already gone) Brooks?

JS: (sniffing) Brooks?

ML: Brooks!?

Mark and Jason look at each other with unspoken realization. The camera slowly pans up to the wooden beam overhead where there is an inscription carved into the wood. The inscription reads, “Brooks was here…but got really bored when they started talking about grammar.”


Mark Leopold "Interviews" Alan Williams

Mark Leopold is a Philadelphia improviser, sketch comedian, employee, someone-who-sleeps-laying-directly-on-his-back-with-his-arms-down-at-his-sides-and-with-his-legs-straight-and-slightly-set-apart-on-top-of-a-memory-form-mattress-which-makes-him-feel-as-though-he-is-an-action-figure-in-it’s-original-packaging, and a friend. He is a member of the PHIT house team Hey Rube as well as a new addition to the cast of Comedysportz and he does sketch comedy with his group The Hold-up. When he isn’t doing one of these things he is busy doing other things,like working and laundry, and so while he sincerely wishes he was able to be a real interviewer,the best he is able to do is interview people in his head while he drives different places. Today,while driving down route 1 on his way to the shore, Mark took some time to sit down on the beach in his head with Philadelphia improviser and Comedysportz teammate Alan Williams.

MARK LEOPOLD: Hey Alan, it’s me Mark!

ALAN WILLIAMS: Hey Mark.

Mark and Alan sit quietly together, watching the waves roll in. The sun directly overhead beats down upon them. Alan reapplies sunscreen. Mark checks over at Alan to see if it seems like he wants to talk. It doesn’t seem like he wants to. Mark reaches into his bag and in brings out the book he brought to the beach, mostly because the beach seems like one of those places you’re supposed to bring books. He opens up the first page and begins reading.

AW: Ahem.

Mark looks over at Alan, unsure if he said something or not. He mentally weighs his options and determines that if Alan has said something it’s far ruder to seem like he’s ignoring it.

ML: Sorry?

Now it seems like Alan hasn’t heard him. A wave was coming in just as Mark was saying it, so it’s entirely possible that Alan just didn’t hear him.

ML: Did you say something?

Alan, still looking at the waves, now notices that Mark is looking over at him and seems to be saying something. Alan takes his earbuds out.

AW: Did you say something?

ML: Yeah, I asked if you said something.

AW: When?

ML: A few seconds ago.

AW: …I don’t think so. Was I saying something?

ML: That’s what I’m asking.

AW: I was listening to a book on tape…

ML: Right…but did you say something?

AW: I don’t know.

ML: Never mind then.

Mark and Alan both turn back to the waves, rolling inexorably in to the beach. Mark returns to his book. Alan, checking to see if Mark seems like he wants to talk and ascertaining that he doesn’t, moves to put his earbuds back in.

ML: It is really hot.

AW: (abruptly stopping putting his earbuds back in) Hm? Oh…yeah.

ML: You want to go?

AW: What? Already?

ML: Yeah man, it’s terrible here.

AW: Terrible? We’re sitting on a beautiful beach, watching the waves come crashing in on a gorgeous day.

ML: It’s just way too hot.

AW: Go in the water and cool off then.

ML: What? Ew. No. Do you know how polluted that water is?

AW: It’s fine, don’t be a wimp.

ML: Ugh, all I can imagine is all the tiny microscopic things living in that water and finding their way into my body.

AW: I never knew you were such a germaphobe.

ML: It’s not just germs in there man. There are tiny fish and plankton. It’s just gross. The water is actually opaque with the density of non-water material in it.

AW: So you’re too hot, but instead of going and cooling off in the OCEAN of water directly in front of you, you think it makes more sense to drive two hours home?

ML: It would be different if the water was clear, like if we were at one of those beaches you see in rum commercials.

AW: You should have put us on one of those then.

ML: I’ve never been to one of them, I’ve only been to beaches in New Jersey and I’m serious man, it is boiling lava hot out here. Can we just go?

AW: You go, I’m going to stay.

ML: How are you going to get home?

AW: I’ll figure it out.

ML: Don’t be crazy, just ride with me.

AW: Mark, it’s fine, I’ll grab a cab or something.

ML: A cab from the shore? Do you have any idea how expensive that’s going to be?

AW: Not really.

ML: Me neither, but I’d imagine it’s probably super expensive.

AW: I’ll rent a car then.

ML: Just ride with me!

AW: We just got here. I wanted to come to the beach. You said you did too. Now we’re here and I want to actually spend a little time here before I go back.

ML: It’s too hot!

AW: What did you think it would be like on the beach?

ML: I don’t know okay? I didn’t think it out very clearly. It’s summertime and I know people talk about going to the beach and seem excited about the prospect so I thought it wouldn’t be this terrible.

AW: It’s not terrible! It’s just warm.

ML: Not warm, hot. And it’s also really sandy.

AW: So you’re complaints about the beach are that it’s hot and sandy? Congratulations, you just described what a beach is.

ML: Fine, we’ll compromise.

Mark and Alan stay at the beach, but now it’s not as hot, it’s maybe 77 degrees and the humidity is really low and there’s a nice breeze coming in. Not a strong breeze, because then that would kick sand up onto Mark and Alan and since they’re still sweating a little bit (I’m a really easy sweater okay?) if any sand got blown onto them it would stick to their skin and make it really gritty and that would be super uncomfortable. So a nice, soft, gentle breeze. And you know what, screw it, the water is clear and nice like the water in those Corona commercials. That sounds good too. Alan and Mark sit in two beach chairs facing out to the water as the waves come gently lapping onto the shore, they clink their Coronas together over a bucket full of ice and more Coronas.

ML: Now this is miles away from ordinary.

AW: Ugh, you’re the worst.


ComedySportz Announces Rookie Class of 2011

After 2 days, 20 hours and 100 amazingly funny people, ComedySportz is proud to announce The Rookie Class of 2011:

Alan Williams, Darryl Charles, Sue Taney, Kevin Lopez, Mark Leopold, Daniel Dorff, Rachel Sydney, Kevin Regan, Langston Darby and Lulu Krause.

ComedySportz calls new cast members “Rookies” out of tradition, but that title should in no way undermine their talent:

“These guys are really going to impress!” says Rookie Trainer, Jason Stockdale. “We are adding a group of very funny performers to our company. I’m looking forward to working with them over the coming months and can’t wait for them to hit the ComedySportz Arena and destroy everyone with their skills.”

The Rookies begin training this week and will debut mid-Fall.

ComedySportz performs every Saturday night at 7:30 and 10PM. Starting in September, ComedySportz expands its programming with “Final Fridays” — a series of new shows the last two weeks of every month.


Press Release: ComedySportz Philadelphia to become sole tenant in Playground at the Adrienne

Press Release from ComedySportz

ComedySportz Philadelphia has been performing every Saturday night since 1993. For the past seven years, they have been performing two shows each week to accommodate their continually growing audience. The company has been in residence at the Playground at the Adrienne, 2030 Sansom St. Starting this September, they will be Amaryllis Theatre Company’s sole tenant in the space.

 “We are thrilled with this opportunity. For the past few years, we have seen our audience grow rapidly to where we frequently sell out our shows and have to turn people away at the door. Being able to add more shows to our schedule will mean we now have the opportunity to reach even more fans and utilize the skills of our amazing company even more. We will also be able to reach a greater number of performers in the city and give them an opportunity to perform,” said Alli Soowal, Managing Director of ComedySportz Philadelphia.

The changes take effect in September. The increased schedule will start out slow. In September, ComedySportz will begin additional programming the last two Fridays of every month. At 7:30 p.m., they will host a traditional ComedySportz match, and then at 10 p.m. there will be a rotating schedule of special programs; including improvised plays, long form improv teams, and a Blue Show (R-rated humor). The company is also adding a brand new once-a-month Sunday Kids Show.

The biggest impact this new agreement will have for the company will be to the company’s education program. With greater access to permanent space, the company is looking at creating tracks that focus on Improv Games, Scene Work and Sketch Comedy. They will also be able to offer students new performance opportunities and expand our programming by starting a Minor League Team made of graduates from our Level 3 Improv Training Program.

"ComedySportz had been a Philly tradition for years that not enough people have known about. Now we can reach a wider audience of all ages and offer more of what we do best—make people laugh,” said David Dritsas, Executive Director of ComedySportz Philadelphia.

Added Soowal, “Our improv instructors are among the most experienced in the city, but one drawback to our training center is the fact that we were unable to offer our students any further training once they graduated. Now, with the Minor League team, we will be able to continue to foster the growth of comedic performers in the city.”

About ComedySportz Philadelphia

ComedySportz is Philadelphia’s leading improv company. Since 1993 ComedySportz has been entertaining fans with its fast, smart and funny comedy show. Two teams of improvisers vie for points in a hilarious competition similar to TV’s "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" A referee governs the action, calls the fouls and keeps the match moving at a blistering pace. The audience is always a part of the interactive show, with volunteers joining the players on stage! Because everything is improvised, it’s never the same show twice. And it’s clean–appropriate for all ages. Come see why audiences come back to see us again and again. For more information including ticket prices, showtimes and classes visit our website:www.comedysportzphilly.com.


ComedySportz Auditions

From the group's Facebook page:

ComedySportz Philadelphia, Philly’s longest running comedy show, is holding auditions for new company members on Saturday, July 30th with callbacks Sunday, July 31st.

Auditioners will be required to reserve a 10-minute slot in the morning or afternoon of Saturday July 30th at the Playground at the Adrienne (2030 Sansom Street, in Center City Philadelphia). If called back, you will be required to attend a two-hour group audition on Sunday July 31st, either during the morning (10:00 am to 12:00 noon) or the afternoon (1:00 pm to 3:00 pm).

To reserve an audition slot, please e-mail auditions@comedysportzphilly.com with your name and which audition time you prefer: morning, afternoon or either. (Slots based on availability.)