ManiPedi adds Corin Wells, Caitlin Weigel and Jacquie Baker

ManiPedi

In keeping with their seemingly intentional practice of incorporating Philly's very funniest female sketch and improv comedians into their troupe, the mammary mammoth ManiPedi has absorbed three ladies who are so funny in their own right, we simply presumed they've been MPs for a while and are ashamed of our prejudiciously lazy attitude.

We asked the three sketch comedians--rumored to have been on the verge of starting their own rival all-gal comedy troupe, before being bought-out by ManiPedi (the New York Yankees of Philly lady-comedy)--what it feels like to be a member of the WitOut.net Sketch Comedy Group of the Year™.

Caitlin Weigel

Mani pedi is the tits. Writing and rehearsing with this group is like being at an endless slumber party with a bunch of raunchy gang members and just thinking about all their beautiful, hilarious, idiot faces gives me the warm and fuzzies.
Mani pedi is the tits. Writing and rehearsing with this group is like being at an endless slumber party with a bunch of raunchy gang members. Just thinking about all their beautiful, hilarious, idiot faces gives me the warm and fuzzies.

Corin Wells

Corin Wells
I just kind of started showing up to rehearsals. I think they thought I was Madonna [Refugia] for a while. Anyway, after they found me out, they kind of just let me stay which was cool. I avoided the hazing process of having to shake my tits repeatedly for a week and eating an entire cake by myself but trust me... I'm paying for my deception.

Jacquie Baker

Jacquie Baker
"I don't know why good things keep happening to me, but better me than someone else.
Right, Darwin?"

If you're not already planning on seeing their show tonight at 9:00 @ Phit, Philly Weekly has said "Marked by razor-sharp writing and an almost insane attention to details, ManiPedi’s particular brand of humor often teeters freely between dark and silly."

Go see their show! Don't be sexist! (Unless you operate with the variety of sexism that would bias you towards an all-female sketch comedy troupe, then by all means, your worldview is entirely jutified, in this instance!)

 


Check This Out: Figment Theater's "A Series of Dangerous Fools" @ Vox Populi

FB-Event_Series-of-Dangerous-Fools We just added two shows to the calendar for Thursday and Saturday. The last nights of a run of shows called A Series of Dangerous Fools features improv from Thomas Fowler & Mary Carpenter, with special guests. Produced by Figment Theater and running at the Vox Populi gallery on 11th Street between Vine and Callowhill, Fools is $5 bucks at the door and has different featured improvisers each night.

On Thursday night, check out The Chain w/ Erin Pitts (Pitts invites a fellow improviser to play, who in turn invites another, initiating a chain of invites creating a one-night-only ensemble) and Slasher Sorority (sorority sisters Cait O'Driscoll, Corin Wells, Kate Banford, Kristen Schier & Kristin Finger are stalked by mysterious killers Joel Sumner & Thomas Fowler).

On Saturday, it's John Hughes High Minisode 1 (the fictional world of John Hughes High is explored when Lucy [Kristin Finger] and Principal Hines [Kevin Regan] meet with an admissions recruiter from OSU [Thomas Fowler]), John Hughes High Minisode 2 - (Ox [Frank Farrell] and his father [Thomas Fowler] sit down for a meeting with Coach [Eoin O’Shea] to discuss some worrisome poetry that’s been uncovered), Fowler-Roney-O'Shea - (Thomas Fowler, Steve Roney & Eoin O’Shea unite for a special one-night-only set), and Origin Story - (Alli Soowal, Brian Ratcliffe, Eoin O'Shea, Joe Sabatino, Kelly Jennings, Kristin Finger, Mary Carpenter and Steve Roney and Thomas Fowler trace the origin of how a superhero is born).


Talkin' 'Bout Singin' with the Cast of 'The Sideshow Musical Revue'

This Thursday, The Sideshow continues on its mission to get performers to try new things and venture out of their comfort zones with a musical revue starring a cast of local improvisers—most of whom have little musical theater experience beyond karaoke at O'Neals."Trying different things is how I feel I've gotten better," says Mike Marbach, Sideshow creator and producer. "The more experience you get outside of improv, the more you're going to bring into your improv."

The theme of the show is love, from wanting it and trying to find it to hating it and decrying it.  We went to a recent rehearsal and got to talk to a few of the cast members about the songs they'll be performing.

Kristen Schier (The Amie & Kristen Show, The N Crowd): One of the songs that I'm singing is the song "Alone" by Heart. I chose that one because I love to sing it in karaoke, but the reason I love to sing is because I've always wanted to be a rock star. But I never had the confidence to. I know this sounds corny or whatever but honestly doing comedy over the years and learning about confidence and teaching people that it's all about confidence has given me the confidence to sing the way that song requires and the other songs in the show require. I'm not the best singer, but I love singing and I'm still confident in what I can do. I don't think I could do it the same without having been taught that in the improv classes that I've taken and it's good to be able to step into a different medium, so to speak, and just run with it.

Erin Pitts (ZaoGao): I'm doing "There are Worse Things I Could Do" from Grease. It was a song I could sing decently I guess [laughs]. There will be a little bit of comedy throughout the show. In mine I think I'm just going to be singing—I hope people don't laugh at me if I'm trying to be serious about it! But as far as improv goes, I don't know if I'm really borrowing anything from improv, just the acting part and the being comfortable in front of people part.

Brett Knobloch (Asteroid!): I'm singing a song called "Making Love Alone." The song is about loving yourself. I figured everyone was going to be doing songs about someone else, so I thought it would be nice to do a song about yourself.  It's a song that was written for Bernadette Peters, and she did it on Saturday Night Live. It's sort of just a straight-up cabaret piece, and that's how I'm going to do it. It's almost like this pretty ballad—it's more suggestive than it is lewd. And that's why I like it, the humor comes from the subtlety.

Chris Caletta (Hot Dish): I'm doing "Earth Angel," from Back to the Future. I think it's a great movie. I am going to break down at some point [like in the film], and hopefully we can come up with a twist on it too, I'm not quite sure. I just wanted to try something different. I do music stuff too, so it'll be neat to bring it into the comedy realm and see how that goes.

Milkshake (Asteroid!): I don't have any musical theater background whatsoever. I'm singing "Love Stinks," which is more of a classic rock song. It's very disparaging of love I suppose; very teen angst-y. Mike thought it was really appropriate for me to do because of I guess when Asteroid! does [the improv singing game] "Hot Spot" in warm-ups. I'm not a J. Geils fan...but I guess I mock it well? I'm not mocking it but I can affect that in games that we play and comedic situations. I think what I'm supposed to do is break out of the very theatrical musical number [which precedes my song] and just sauce it up and be with the audience.

The Sideshow Musical Revue: She Loves Me, He Loves Me Not + Hot Dog is this Thursday-Saturday (April 11th-13th) at the Arts Parlor (1170 S. Broad Street). Show starts at 8PM. Admission is $5.


Top 5 of 2012: Corin Wells's Top 5 Sexiest Improv Moments of 2012

As the year winds down, WitOut collects lists from comedy performers and fans of their favorite moments, comedians, groups, shows, etc. from the last year in Philly comedy. Top 5 of 2012 lists will run throughout December, and slightly beyond, if we deem it necessary–if you’d like to write one, pitch us your list at contact@witout.net!

Sexiness is not learned. It’s a gift and when you combine that gift with comedy, prepare to burst with laughter and…well… yea.

5.  The Birth of Davenger and Hot Dish (shameless, vain plug)

4. J.P. Boudwin and Billy Bob Thompson in Improv at Bernie’s
For the Del Close Marathon this year, the amazing Kaitlin Thompson came up with the brilliant concept of Improv at Bernie’s in which a group of improvisers do a set with a dead cast member, played effortlessly by Billy Bob Thompson.  In one of the scenes (I wish I could remember what it was about), J.P. gives Billy a nice long, loving, lustful raspberry right on his belly.

3. Asteroid!’s Orgy

403460_447451255274454_1312674519_n

….This picture explains it.

2. Emily Davis.
Just… every time she walks on stage. ::swoon::

1. Andrew Stanton and Luke Field’s Duo

andrewluke

If you missed this, you missed life. Whatever stars aligned that day to bring this two together on stage, I am forever grateful because that was one of my favorite improv moments period. I think I described it as “my improv wet dream."  Accurate.

Corin Wells is a member of the PHIT Improv House Team Hot Dish and Sketch House Team Dog Mountain. She also performs with the independent team Iron Lung and is one half of the duo Ebony and Ivory, hosts of 'Cagematch'


Wrapped: The Web Series

Wrapped is a web series that debuts tomorrow about a group of Production Assistants working on a movie trying to get by without causing the ire of any of their higher ups. The series features work from many Philadelphia comedians including Maureen Costello, Corin Wells, Andy Moskowitz, Steve Kleinedler, and Bert Archer. You can see the entire web series online starting tomorrow, and check out a trailer and clip below.

http://vimeo.com/33331138

http://vimeo.com/40215039


Aubrie Williams Has Coffee With...Corin Wells

For my second Coffee with Comedians, I chose to get to know Corin Wells. Oddly enough, and in spite of being in the same room as each other probably somewhere over 50 times, we had not exchanged more than "hellos" and congratulatory remarks after shows. We even went to see " My Week With Marilyn" together, but since you have to be quiet in movie theaters and also since I got there right as the movie started, I did not get a chance to start a friendship beyond that of the facebook and twitter realm there, either. So, Corin agreed to sit down with me at the Broad Street Diner, and thus, a friendship beyond the world wide web was born!

Aubrie: You have been performing with Iron Lung for a year now in Philly! Was there a specific moment when you realized you wanted to pursue comedy? Was it always something you were interested in, or was there a distinct moment where you realized that this what you wanted to do?

Corin: I think it's something I always wanted to do, I just didn't know how I wanted to do it. Cause I love stand up so much but I don't have the nads to do it, so when I came across improv I was like "Ahhhh, yeah. This is it." And I tried it and I fell in love with it and I got addicted. Now improv is what I love.

Aubrie: That's awesome! Did you do theater or anything before?

Corin: Yeah, I did. I did theater in school. After high school I kind of stopped doing acting and started focusing on dancing- because when I was younger I did a bit of everything only cause my mom made me do it. And I was like, "I wanna be a hip-hop dancer!" So I did that in college, and then I was like, "This is not lucrative!"

Aubrie: Maybe not lucrative, but it is awesome! If I didn't think I'd fail immediately, I probably would've majored in hip-hop dancing! Where did you go to college?

Corin: Hampton University in Virginia.

Aubrie: And what initially drew you to improv? Did you find it in or after college?

Corin: After. I had finished taking regular acting classes at Mike Lemon Casting and I was like, "OK, I need to do something else and I want to try comedy." And I had been looking at PHIT for awhile, but for some reason I was like- I think it was money reasons- that I was like, "I can't take two classes at one time." So right after I was done with those acting classes, I was like, "It's time." And I ended up taking my 1st class with Nick Gillette, which was great. And I've been hooked ever since.

Aubrie: What is the best comedy advice you've ever gotten?

Corin: There's a lot, cause I hang out with Marbach and he's full of comedy advice. I guess as far as improv goes, just make sure you're having fun. That's the best advice. Cause if you're not having fun onstage, then why are you up there? There's no point.

Aubrie: Any general life advice that has been helpful to you, non-comedy related?

Corin: Do what you love, and fuck the rest. Yeah, my mom has always told me that- not necessarily "fuck" the rest, but she's like "if you're not doing something that you love to do then really what's the point." She doesn't necessarily get the comedy thing, but she supports it. She's great.

Aubrie: Do you have any pre-show rituals?

Corin: Lately, I've been listening to Beyonce's "Love on Top" because it's such a hype song, it's such a feel-good song. But I just try to get to get in a fund mind-set, like for Iron Lung, so when we start our ritual I'm ready to jump on board. And it's always something different, something I can dance to. Sometimes it's gangster rap. I don't know, depending on my mood.

Aubrie: Sweet! Do you do silly dances, or choreographed dances?

Corin: For Beyonce I do real choreography.

Aubrie: Nice. Do you do them at home or at the venue before a show?

Corin: Anywhere. If I'm walking, if I'm driving, I'll be dancing. I'll do it while walking down the street...it's great when people start dancing with you!

Aubrie: What was your favorite comedy moment to witness, Philly or otherwise? This is a tough one, cause I made it so broad, but it could be anything- a TV or film moment, or something you saw onstage or that your friends did...

Corin: I think the most recent one I can remember because it was a few weeks ago was Medic had this show and they were on a bus and AJ had to crawl outside the bus for some reason and ended up getting hit by this giant bus. And Luke kept running over him with a bunch of chairs. He just kept doing it- it was so funny! It was this really giant bus and that illusion was created, and it was so great. And Emily was like, "It's a mix between Les Mis and Speed" and it cut back to AJ crawling outside of this bus and getting hit by it. Yeah, that was a great moment. I love Medic.

Aubrie: Me too!! They do a lot of cool physical stuff. Iron Lung also does a lot of cool physical stuff.

Corin: Yeah, I love those guys.

Aubrie: On that note, do you have a favorite stage moment that you were a part of? It can be anything-dance, theater, improv...

Corin: It's probably gonna be improv.

Aubrie: Nice! I didn't want to box you in.

Corin: It's hard because there are a lot coming to my head. But there was one show where we ended up doing the whole block at PHIT and we didn't know that we were going to, but Kevin, prior to the show spilled Malt Vinegar on his pants. So the whole first half became about Kevin smelling like shit. And he had the nerve to sit on my lap. I think that's why I loved it so much, because we were all fucking with each other, and that's when you have the most fun. There was also one show where we had Pinocchio running an underground railroad for puppets. That was great.

Aubrie: And what's your favorite part about improv? Is there a specific thing about it that you really love?

Corin: I think just the concept of improv. I mean, when you strip all of the rules away, you are just a bunch of adults pretending on-stage- that's all it is. And it's like, "I do this. I'm playing around- I'm a kid again, just smarter."

Aubrie: If you could create a comedy dream team of anyone in the world, who'd be on it? It could be just Philly people too, to make this super-difficult on-the-spot question easier.

Corin: Oh man, that's tough. I'm gonna do Philly comedians and say my
fantasy improv draft is Matt Holmes(QB), Amie Roe(WR), Billy Bob Thompson(RB), Andrew Stanton(TE), Emily Davis(S), Jess Ross(OL), Dan Jaquette(DL), & Tara Demy(K).

Aubrie: I hope that team one day happens, and that they all play those positions- like a football/improv mash-up! And my final question is...drumroll...are you a dog or a cat person? I ended the last interview on this note, So I'm gonna stick with it.

Corin: I am a dog person, but I like cats. Which is a new development, cause my roommates brought home a stray, and I love her. I curse her out a lot, but I love her. We had miniature collies growing up. My parents have one named Teacup. I hate that name. My dad named her that, and I was like, "Man up, daddy!" He named her that because he wanted us to get a teacup yorkie, and we got a miniature collie. So he was like, I'm calling it Teacup anyway. My other dog's name, we called her"Puppy." We adopted her from a shelter and her name was "Mandy," and my mom was like, "I don't like that name." So she named her Puppy.

You can currently catch Corin on stage with Iron Lung and as half of the duo Ebony & Ivory, and in May she will premiere with PHIT Houseteam (Codename) Strider.


The WitOut Podcast, Episode 4: Corin Wells' Black History Project

This week, I take a break from sitting down and chatting with comedians and let Corin Wells do all the work. Corin, along with Darryl Charles, Chris Cotton, Blythe Wimbush and Setoiyo gathered to talk about the state of Black comedy in Philadelphia. They discuss their own experiences as well as their thoughts on the city, past, present, and future. You can listen here, or subscribe on iTunes.

[audio: blackhistory.mp3]

Corin Wells is a Philadelphia comedian and member of improv groups Iron Lung, Ebony and Ivory, and new Philly Improv Theater House Team codenamed Strider. We'd like to thank her very much for her contributions.


Corin Wells' Black History Project

After an all-out brawl at last week’s meeting ending in an arrest, my panel of experts; Suge Knight, Steve Guttenberg and Eartha Kitt,( who could not join us today); decided it would be in everyone’s best interest to, rather than rank a few of the trailblazing comedic women of color, like Moms Mabely or Whoopi Goldberg, we should highlight a some of today’s up and coming African American comediennes. You know… to avoid further conflict… So here is a short list of women in sketch, improv and stand-up who are doing the “damn thang” as they say. Check them out.

Elite Delta Force 3
“Saving the world… one sketch at a time.”
Nefetari Spencer and Angela Yarbrough created this sketch super group, in 2009 and with the help of  Robin Thede, Leshay Tomlinson-Boyce, Nikea Gamby-Turner, and Indira Gibson, Elite Delta Force 3 has become one of the most sought sketch groups in the country. The all-female sketch ensemble “tackles current events, politics, celebrity gossip and more all while incorporating original characters, impressions, parody songs and sometimes even dance into dynamic original and uproarious sketches.”  Since their sketch video, The Real Housewives of the Civil Rights Movement, went viral, the ladies of EDF3 have been featured in Essence Magazine and various other print and online publications. Each of these women have resumes that are comparable to seasoned comedy veterans, some of them having trained at the top improv theaters in the US, including iO West, The Groundlings, and The Second City Chicago and LA. P.S. I’m in love with Robin Thede.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KWh9-GnL9QI

Doppleganger
“That black girl who does improv.”
Forming in March of 2010, this New York City based long-form improve troupe has already made a name for themselves throughout the improv community. Students and Affiliates of The UCB Theater; Nicole Byer, Sasheer Zamata, and Keisha Zollar; were nominated for Best Improv Group ECNY Award in 2011. They have performed all over the country and Canada at various festivals including Best of Fest Vancouver International Improv Festival 2011, Women in Comedy Festival 2011, and SF Sketchfest 2011, just to name a few. They use” a free flowing organic form to BLOW YOUR MIND.” They currently play at UCBeast every Wednesday night at 7:30PM. I have yet to see these ladies perform, but based on their videos and reviews, I am missing out.

http://youtu.be/JUAoVQcV8DA

Marina Franklin
“viciously likeable, if there is such a thing.”
New-York based Marina Franklin is emerging as one of the hottest stars in the comedy scene today. Her notable televisions appearances include Chapelle’s Show, Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn, NBC’s Last Comic Standing Season II, and Comedy Central’s Premium Blend Whether she's talking about her long list of ethnically diverse boyfriend choices or her confusing white/black experiences as a kid, she always comes out ahead with her razor-sharp humor. With a decade of performing stand-up in New York, Marina is taking some serious steps in building her name . Her stand-up caught my attention because her style is very different from what I’m used to seeing in African American female stand-ups. She relates to the new generation of funny women of color.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-IH73zQIQCU

The Panel of researchers:
Suge Knight - the founder and CEO of Black Kapital Records and co-founder and former CEO of Death Row Records. Murderer of Tupac Shakur… probably.
Eartha Kitt-
An American singer, actress, and cabaret star. Catwoman to Adam West’s Batman. Deceased.
Steve Guttenberg-
An American actor and comedian. Would be bigger were it not for Tom Hanks. Nickename: The Gute.