Author Archives: Rodney
You think your Thanksgiving gatherings were humorous? How about the Milwaukee comedy artists cooking up a big mess of giggles and guffaws for you to feast on this weekend! Among your options:
Indulge yourself at the closing weekend of Jerks!, the latest sketch comedy show from Milwaukee’s broadminded Comedy. Check out their interview on WITI-TV. The first two shows sold out, so click here for tickets for 7:30 p.m. shows on Friday, Nov. 29 and Saturday, Nov. 30, at the Arcade Theatre, 161 W. Wisconsin Ave., lower level.
Dig into ComedySportz - just rated as one of the top comedy schools in the country. Click here for more information on ComedySportz’s family-friendly competitive improv shows Friday and Saturday nights as well as Saturday afternoon. They’re all at 420 S. 1st St.
Or you could take a shot at Bye Bye Liver: The Milwaukee Drinking Play, which includes sketch comedy and drinking games. It starts at 9:30 p.m. Saturday, at the ComedySportz garage venue. Click here for more information.
And you can top it off at the Midnite Show, the uncensored adult-only improv event that happens every Saturday night/Sunday morning, also at ComedySportz.
Yet another option for Milwaukee comedy fans to round out the last two weekends in November is a play debuting at the Boulevard Theatre.
It’s called “The Olde Garde,” and according to advance publicity, it’s a satire that
“relates the tale of a once-thriving theatre company… which is floundering on arid fiscal shores, due to one too many negative reviews by a crusty, power-mad critic, shrinking audience numbers and a general loss of once-youthful passion.”
It’s written by Milwaukee newsman Bruce Murphy and directed by Mark Bucher, who joins a cast that includes
- Jason Will
- Nigel Wade
- Marion Ararujo
- Nicole Gorski
- Christine Horgen and
- Don Lobacz
The show runs seven times from Thursday, Nov. 21, through Sunday, Dec. 1. Please click here for more information and $23 tickets.
The big weekend at Milwaukee’s Arcade Theatre begins on Thursday with this month’s Comedy Arcade Show. It’s another laugh fest showcasing local standup comedians and some improvised comedy.
The show starts at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 21, at the Arcade Theatre, 161 W. Wisconsin Ave., lower level.
It features stand-ups:
- Josh Balew
- Tom Grimm
- Jason Hillman
It’s $10 at the door, or you can get your tickets online for $7 and a FREE BEER. As always, it’s BYOB – especially if you don’t pre-order your tickets.
And this month’s Comedy Arcade kicks off the latest sketch comedy show from Milwaukee’s broadminded Comedy troupe. Their show, Jerks! starts at 7:30 p.m., Friday, Nov. 22, also at the Arcade Theatre, and runs Saturday, Nov. 23, Friday, Nov. 29, and Saturday, Nov. 30. Click here for more information and a link for tickets.
We’re delighted to announce the debut of a new original Broadway-style musical comedy – and it’s one night only – and only in Milwaukee.
That’s about all we can tell you, though, because we don’t know the name of the musical or what it’s about.
Even the actors, who have been rehearsing for weeks, don’t know anything about the story or the characters. Nor are the five musicians in the in-house band aware of any of the pieces they’ll perform.
Because it’s The Improvised Musical. That’s why. The hour-long monthly singing-dancing-comedy extravaganza that’s made up on the spot, based on a suggestion from the audience.
In its two and a half years of third-Thursday performances, T.I.M. has been adding to its band (The Improvised Band) and growing its cast while its following has been multiplying.
And we can tell you this much, T.I.M. starts at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 21, at ComedySportz, 420 S. 1st St. Admission is only $5 cash. The ComedySportz bar and restaurant will be open for the event.
To make sure you get a seat, you might want to make a reservation by calling 414-272-8888 between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m.
Weeks have passed since we first tipped you off that Milwaukee’s premier comedy sketch troupe was performing a new show the last two weekends of November. Well, it’s almost that time.
Before there’s so much publicity that all the shows sell out, order your $12 tickets for Jerks! – which runs at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 22 and 29 as well as Saturday, Nov. 29 and 30.
Yes, that second weekend immediately follows Thanksgiving, but what better way to get away from the jerks in your family and the jerks at Black Friday sales and the jerks who injured your latest favorite football player than by laughing about jerks with Stacy Babl, Anne Graff LaDisa, Melissa Kingston and Megan McGee.
Shows are aimed at adults 15 and older and are BYOB for those older than 21.
The Arcade Theatre is part of the Underground Collaborative, 161 W. Wisconsin Ave., lower level.
The hub of Milwaukee’s improvised comedy is housing a two-day workshop this weekend for sketch comedy writers.
Kevin McDonald – the comedian, actor and voice artist best known as a cast member of “Kids in the Hall” – is presenting a 14-hour how-to on creating comedy sketches from improv.
“I get students to do improv and then help teach them to turn their improv into actual comedy sketches (like the Kids in the Hall used to do),” McDonald says in a statement. “So basically, I’m teaching to write through improv.”
McDonald has been touring the U.S. and Canada teaching the workshop. And his Milwaukee stop, at ComedySportz, 420 S. 1st St., still has spaces available.
The class costs $300 and runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 16 and 17.
For more information and to reserve a spot, please call ComedySportz during business hours at (414) 272-8888.
As the days shrink shorter and the nights grow longer, they remind us that we’re nearing Winter Solstice, which rhymes with Soulstice, which is the name of the Milwaukee theater group that’s performing a Steve Martin play Nov. 8-23.
As the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel described it, “Picasso at the Lapin Agile” is a comedy of geniuses – namely, Picasso, Einstein, Martin and you, if you have your wits about you.
The show runs at 7:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays at 3770 S. Pennsylvania Ave., in St. Francis. Adult tickets are $20. For more information, go to the Soulstice Theatre website.
Our pal Brynne Ramella, who wrote a series of blogs for Milwaukee Comedy last spring about an upstart comedy troupe at Marquette University, now is blogging about a two-man improv team in the works.
The two Marquette guys are Chris O’Reilly and Spencer Rose, formerly of Marquette’s 33rd & State sketch group and Studio 013 Refugees improv.
“Marquette has a legacy of some great comedians, and it’s a shame this talent doesn’t get the recognition it deserves.” Brynne writes in her first installment. “As somebody with an interest in the journalistic side of comedy, it breaks my heart to see the audience drinking….uhh lots of soda… at one of the Fugees’ monthly improv shows, while chattering/yelling over the Fugees as they perform. Comedy doesn’t get a whole lot of respect on this campus.”
As Brynne explains, she’ll be documenting efforts by Chris and Spencer to raise the bar on Marquette comedy. Among their plans: a bi-weekly show on campus next semester.
“Since the Studio 013 Refugees were formed about 15 years ago, I don’t think anyone has really attempted to revamp comedy at Marquette,” Brynne writes. “I am still learning about this style of improv and I have never freely blogged on my own, so this is unexplored territory for me – that’s ambition, right post-grad employers? In some way, this is an experiment for all three of us.”
To follow the experiment, click here.
By the way, some of Marquette’s “great comedians” Brynne refers to includes Peter Bonerz, Chris Farley and Danny Pudi. Click here to learn 10 things you don’t know about Danny Pudi.
Keep checking back in this space for updates on the latest open mics for standup comedy in the Milwaukee area.
Usually, those open mics are free. And they serve up a good mix of relatively new comics discovering their voice and established pros working out new material.
Don’t believe us?
Check out the Comedy Show Comedy Show open mic every Monday at 8:30 p.m. at the Bremen Cafe, 901 E. Clarke St.
Every Tuesday, you can travel south of downtown for the free 9 p.m. open mic at the Down & Over Pub, 2535 S. Kinnickinnic Ave. This Tuesday, Nov. 5, Christopher Schmidt will be hosting.
That’s just a sampling, but here’s more: The Caste of Killers Comedy Collective is starting a roaming Saturday Night Mics open mic. The first one is at 7 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 9, at Paulie’s Field Trip, 1430 S. 81st St., West Allis. The emcee will be the incomparable Erik Koconis, whose many contributions to Milwaukee comedy include the month Comedy Conclave, where funny people discuss the craft of making people laugh.
Another group recently started bi-weekly colloquia to advance the writing process of comedy. The next get-together for the Writers Block is at 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 12, at the Underground Collaborative, 161 W. Wisconsin Ave., lower level.
And, yes, you may laugh. But they do use words such as conclave and colloquia. They take funny seriously.
Of the chief forms of comedy, the rarest in Milwaukee is sketch.
We’ve got plenty of standup and improv. But sketch shows have been less frequent. There’s been Sketch 22 twice a year, and Broadminded comedy with their latest production, “Jerks!” scheduled for the last two weekends of November.
Of course, sketch comedy is featured in the Milwaukee Comedy Festival and the Variety Hour Happy Hour and Retro Comedy Night.
More recently, Crouch Comedy has emerged, with a debut performance at a Comedy Arcade Show to kick off the 2013 Comedy Fest. Crouch has another show in the works for December.
Earlier this year, Scott Heaton, of Homegrown Electric Circus, better known for its improv, did a sketch show. Now, Sally Arenberg has tapped Scott and his Circus mates Josh Barto and Evan Koepnick as well as broadminded’s Megan McGee to present a whole new show, which Sally is directing, called ”It Was Embarrassing, So Don’t Ask.”
From Facebook: “Are they laughing with you? Or at you? Sometimes it’s hard to tell. You’ll have to find out at an evening of sketch comedy among the talented cast.”
Weeks away from her bachelor’s degree in acting at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Sally acknowledges that her show fills a bit of a void for sketch comedy. It also is a change of pace, she says from the acting program’s focus on classical theater.
“Comedy is also a big challenge for actors. I think it takes a really talented actor to have the ability to make an audience laugh,” Sally says, and adds, “It’s way different directing comedy. But it’s cool to have this opportunity for other actors too.”
Those actors include:
- Alissa Kluever
- Derrion Brown
- Courtney Howe
- Erika Kirkstein-Zastrow
- Kris Anton
- Keiandra Honeysucker and
- Jeremy Berson
The performances are at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 7 through Saturday, Nov. 9, and 2 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 10, at 1925 E. Kenilworth Place.
Allison Mcmahon is the assistant director, and the other writers are Dan Perlstein and Joey Sullivan.
General admission is $10. Click here for tickets.