Author Archives: Rodney
We’ve been hearing for weeks that Milwaukeeans are clamoring for tickets for the holiday edition of T.I.M. – The Improvised Musical.
The popularity of the monthly impromptu song-and-dance extravaganza has been building throughout its 2½ years. Plus, duh, it’s the holiday show. And, it’s the T.I.M. swan song for Alan Piotrowicz, who has been improvising lighting and sound effects in concert with the T.I.M. cast and The Improvised Band.
If you haven’t seen T.I.M. lately, it’s added instruments to its in-house band and a couple of members to its multi-dimensional cast.
T.I.M. also has become more in-demand, so call today to reserve your $5 tickets – if it’s not already too late. Call during business hours at 414-272-8888.
T.I.M. happens at 7:30 p.m., every third Thursday of the month – which includes Dec. 19, at ComedySportz, 420 S. 1st. St.
Ands the comedy will come from:
- Matty Field (the emcee)
- Tony Tudor (reportedly, his last appearance before moving to New York City*)
- Nate Seek
- Mike Kobin
- Jessie Mahne
- Ryan Holman and
- Damon Millard (who has been performing in New York City*)
The Cactus Club Comedy & Music Night starts at 9:30 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 14. It costs all of $7 at the door – $6 if you wear an ugly sweater.
(*Maybe there’s some sort of trade involving Tony and Damon. We don’t know if there’s any cash or draft picks involved.)
The producers of the Milwaukee Comedy Festival and Sketch 22 are very creative gentlemen. But they’re no gods. Maybe they’re working on it, but they can’t take a lump of clay or a rib or whatever to create talent. Besides, the talent they’re looking for already exists. They just need to meet it – or be reminded of it.
With that in mind, Matt Kemple and Patrick Schmitz and the producers of Bye Bye Liver: The Milwaukee Drinking Play, are inviting interested comedy performers – stand-ups, sketch actors and improvisers – to audition. They’re welcoming both individuals and groups.
Here are the details:
- 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 15
- Underground Collaborative, 161 W. Wisconsin Ave., lower level
- Fill out this form to secure a time slot.
- Bring a relevant resume and a photo.
- Be prepared to provide a sample of one or more of your abilities: Up to 5 minutes performing a comedy sketch; Up to 5 minutes of original standup material; Up to 5 minutes of improv.
The producers are forming a talent pool to be considered for a variety of Milwaukee-based comedy productions, including such ongoing shows as Retro Comedy Night, Variety Hour Happy Hour, Stand Up Showcase, Sketch 22 and the Milwaukee Comedy Festival.
“We are looking for talented comedy and improv groups as well as individual actors, improvisers, comedians of all kinds and people that are looking to be a part of something fun and exciting!” says a Facebook post on the auditions.
Initial response to a similar post last month was so impressive that the producers added this Dec. 15 date.
A little-known – or maybe just ignored – free comedy event in Milwaukee is the weekly ComedySportz Recreational League. It’s one of the offshoots of Milwaukee-grown ComedySportz, the international improvisational comedy franchise that turns 30 next year.
The Rec League features amateur improvisers – meaning they don’t get paid and they do it for the love of it. They have teams and “compete” in matches with games from the ComedySportz repertoire that are based on suggestions from the audience. Each match is officiated by a professional ComedySportz comedian, usually Dave Bogan or Dave Nelsen.
This Sunday, Dec. 8, the Rec League playoffs begin with matches every hour from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. The audience decides which teams win and advance to the semi-final rounds on Sunday, Dec. 15.
The playoffs are free and open to the public at 420 S. 1st St.
OK, so the Retro Comedy Night starts at 7:30 p.m., on Saturday, Dec. 14. Let’s say it ends about 9 p.m. What are you going to do?
You’re all giddy from laughing at Damon Millard‘s stand-up comedy, and you’re all goofy from watching a live spoof of a secret nostalgic TV sitcom. And it’s only 9 o’clock on a Saturday night. Where you gonna go?
Tyler Menz and Jake Kornely have the solution: Stay right where you are, at the Arcade Theatre, 161 W. Wisconsin Ave., lower level.
Because immediately following the Retro show, Tyler and Jake, two stand-up standouts in their own right, will inaugurate “The Goodnight Milwaukee Show!” That’s why.
From Facebook: “Ever wonder what would happen if the competing late night TV hosts were forced to come together and host a show together? Of course you have! Join Tyler and Jake as they interview crazy guests, play super-fun games, and tell jokes, lots of jokes!”
And there’s more. “If you go to the Retro Show, you will be able get in to the Goodnight Milwaukee Show for FREE, but making a donation will get a free beer!”
That’s right, you just read “FREE” and “free beer” in the same sentence. Now that’s an invitation to late-night comedy.
You may know him from his prolific standup performances around the Milwaukee area. Or maybe you know that he’s a co-founder of Milwaukee’s Caste of Killers Comedy Collective.
But at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 14, you’ll be seeing Damon Millard – fresh from New York – as the headliner stand-up for the last Retro Comedy Night of 2013.
So there will be something a little retro in the standup portion of the show. Because Damon will be coming back to the city that launched him to various nether regions of the United States in the past year. That’s why.
The retro show itself, if you haven’t been to one yet, re-enacts a classic TV sitcom live on stage with some of Milwaukee’s funniest performers. It’s a secret which show they’ll pay homage to (A year ago, it was Charlie Brown’s Christmas special, with Robbie McGhee as Snoopy, dressed in white with a pair of black socks for ears.).
It’s all at the Arcade Theatre, 161 W. Wisconsin Ave., lower level. Click here for $10 tickets. Or pay $15 at the door.
Another sketch comedy show is heading down to Milwaukee’s Arcade Theatre.
Following the successful run of broadminded Comedy’s Jerks!, Crouch Comedy is scheduling a holiday show for 7:30 p.m., Friday, Dec. 13.
From Facebook: “With more than a dozen new sketches in their arsenal, audiences can expect a full-length show of edgy (ugh, sorry – that word) and outlandish comedy with a timely holiday twist. Indulge the part of yourself that expects coal in your stocking this year, and share in an evening of laughs with How The Crouch Stole Christmas.”
Crouch debuted in July at the Arcade Theatre, 161 W. Wisconsin Ave., lower level, in a Comedy Arcade Show that kicked off the 7th annual Milwaukee Comedy Festival. The troupe includes Laura Bialek, Bradley Colmerauer, Carly Malison, Evan Schroeder, Moe Tremper, Jon Waldbauer, and Pam Zorko.
Tickets for How the Crouch Stole Christmas are $7 online here, or $10 at the door.
One of our favorite Christmas stories – or anytime, really – is the classic “A Christmas Carol,” by Charles Dickens.
Especially in the video form, the tale takes on so many interpretations: Mr. Magoo, Alastair Sim, The Muppets, George C. Scott, Arthur Fonzarelli – and on and on.
It is such an endearing and timeless yarn that anything invoking the name of Dickens gets our attention, which brings us to the Alchemist Theatre, in Milwaukee’s Bay View.
“Kick in the Dickens” is back for another run, with original songs, comedy routines, improvisation and a one-act holiday play based on audience suggestions.
From Facebook: “Some of Milwaukee’s top improvisers, comedic actors, playwrights and songwriters have come together to create this fun filled evening of holiday mayhem!”
Dickens has 14 shows beginning Thursday, Dec. 6, and running through Saturday, Dec. 28. Please click here for more information and to order $19 tickets.
So lots of folks go traveling for Thanksgiving weekend. If you’re one of them, you know.
But here’s a reward for those sticking around Milwaukee: Pay-what-you-can opening of “A Cudahy Caroler Christmas.”
It’s at 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 27, at In Tandem Theatre, 628 N. 10th St. You can start lining up for tickets at 6:30 p.m.
According to the blurb on the In Tandem website, it’s got everything you’d want in a holiday show:
Following a bitter breakup five years earlier, Stasch must reunite the Cudahy Carolers to restore the spirit of the season in this hilarious holiday homage to beer, bowling, friendship and forgiveness! Join Stasch, Pee Wee, Edna, Trixie and the gang as they warble their way through such classics as “Ach ya’ Der Once”, “We T’ree Guys from Cudahy Are” and “O, Bowling Night”!
And if you can’t catch the Thanksgiving Eve production, “A Cudahy Caroler Christmas” plays from Nov. 29 through Jan. 5. Get more information here.
After all your Thanksgiving stuffing and getting fed up with relatives and football and holiday shopping, you deserve some comedy. Milwaukee’s got it for you.
Consider the Black Friday debut of a new long-form improvisational comedy group, The Faculty. It features public school teachers Anna Figlesthaler, Kristin Althoff and Lindsey Walcott.
The Faculty are appearing on the same bill as the improv ensemble of Lee Rowley, Vince Figueroa and James Boland, performing as Busy Bar.
That’s at 7 p.m., Friday, Nov. 29, at the ComedySportz garage venue, 420 S. 1st St. It’s only $5.