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.)
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.
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.
Another Tuesday night Open Improv kicks off a busy week in improvisational comedy in Milwaukee.
The Open Improv welcomes all improvisers at all levels of experience. It runs from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Underground Collaborative, 161 W. Wisconsin Ave., lower level. The bi-weekly session costs $3. But that’s just the beginning.
- There’s The Improvised Musical (T.I.M.), with its monthly show at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 17, at ComedySportz, 420 S. 1st St. Just as it sounds, it’s an entire musical improvised from an audience suggestion. Admission is $5.
- If you go early to T.I.M., peek in on the ComedySportz Rec League’s Game-O-Matic Showcase. That’s at 7 p.m. Thursday, in the auxiliary theater at ComedySportz, 420 S. 1st St. And it’s free. The Game-O-Matic debuts new improv games created by rec league teams (which otherwise perform free on Sunday afternoons – see below).
- Of course, ComedySportz is the wellspring of Milwaukee improv. So let’s not forget about those family-friendly shows, which run at 7:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. every Friday and Saturday as well as the 3 p.m. Saturday matinee.
- Then there’s the Midnite Show, adult-friendly improv, which starts at 11:59 p.m. each Saturday – also at ComedyzSportz. Tickets are $5.
- And the week ends with the ComedySportz Rec League – three free matches supervised by veteran ComedySportz professional improvisers. The games begin at noon, also at 420 S. 1st St.
I read this on Facebook:
“Comedy does not exist for laughs. Comedy exists to make you feel and think. It’s the strongest genre and the strongest emotion.”
It was posted by Jacob Bach, co-founder of The Improvised Musical, the Broadway-style song-and-dance shows that are made up right in front of the audience with experienced comedy improvisers and a live band.
T.I.M. has been performing the third Thursday of every month for more than two years, and if you haven’t seen it yet, 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 17, is your chance. It’s only $5 at Milwaukee’s ComedySportz arena, 420 S. 1st St. If you are a regular T.I.M.-goer (Lord knows there are many.), you know that no two shows are ever alike.
Reserve your tickets by calling ahead on weekdays at (414) 272-8888.
It isn’t always comedy, per se, but the local storytelling fostered by Ex Fabula generates its share of laughs and is a growing force in the Milwaukee performing arts community.
On Thursday, Sept. 5, Ex Fabula kicks off its fifth season with food, beverages, raffles, auctions and – of course – stories.
Cocktails start at 6 p.m. at Best Place at the Historic Pabst Brewery, 901 W. Wisconsin Ave. It’s partly a fundraiser, but it’s also a launchpad for Ex Fabula’s coming year.
From Facebook: “Storytellers will take the stage at 7 p.m. to share Ex Fabula Classics – five of our favorite true, personal stories from the past years, retold in an intimate setting. In between stories, we’ll feature UltraShorts submitted during the cocktail hour and introduce our new season memberships, which offer the opportunity to have reserved seating at our popular events.”
The $25 tickets include a drink get them and more information by clicking here.
With the end of August comes the last three nights of “The Burden of Being” a coming-of-age puppet musical, written by Robby McGhee.
You know Robby from the Tall Boys improv group and Sketch 22 improv and Greendale Community Theatre productions such as the recently completed “Les Miserables” and, of course, The Improvised Musical (T.I.M.).
Now Robby has created a musical – using puppets – performed by some of Milwaukee’s finest talent, including cast and band members from T.I.M.
Mike Fischer, in a review in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, says, “we see the promise of a writer who combines a wonderfully offbeat sense of humor with a heartfelt awareness of what such humor often hides or deflects, in a world where a brave smile is often our only defense against the burden of being.”
Russ Bickerstaff, in the Shepherd Express, calls “The Burden of Being” “a light, quick musical” punctuated by “sparkling performances in the ensemble.”
The final performances are at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Aug. 29-31, at the Alchemist Theatre, 2569 S. Kinnickinnic Ave. Click here for $17 tickets.
You know that the 8th annual Milwaukee Comedy Festival starts Thursday, Aug. 1 and runs through Sunday, Aug. 4.
That is the largest comedy event in Wisconsin – all year, if not ever. But, hey, Milwaukee is a big and busy enough comedy community that plenty of other funny stuff is happening at the same time.
In fact, out-of-town visitors to the Comedy Fest are welcome to see what else Milwaukee has going on. Including:
- Monday, July 29 – 7:30 p.m. Trivia Stew at the Sherbrooke, 6713 W. North Ave., Wauwatosa. The same whacky, game-showy Trivia Stew format that’s a Sunday night favorite at Lee’s Luxury Lounge, in Bay View. Hosted by Dave Nelsen of ComedySportz. Teams of six. Fabulous prizes.
- Tuesday, July 30 – 9 p.m., Open Mic Comedy at the Down & Over Pub, 2535 S. Kinnickinnic Ave. Hosted by Matty Field.
- Wednesday, July 31 – 8 p.m., Comedy Café Open Mic Competition, 615 E. Brady St. It’s a monthly contest. Click here for details.
- Thursday, Aug. 1 – 8:30 p.m., Comedy & Music Night at Sugar Maple, 441 E. Lincoln Ave. With stand up from Tom Grimm, Greg Bach, Jessie Mahne, Erik Koconis, a guest set from Chao Feng. Hosted by Ryan Holman. Music by The Gazettiers. $5.
- Thursday, Aug. 1 – 9:30 p.m., Premier of Moby Dick, the feature-length all-puppet film written and directed by Milwaukee comedy genius Ryan Lowe, including an array of Milwaukee musicians, comedians and actors. At the Rosebud Theater, 6823 W. North Ave. $10. Also showing at 10 a.m., Saturday, Aug. 3, and 10 a.m., Sunday, Aug. 4. Click here to learn more.