So they’ve changed the name of the comedy show “Variety Hour Half-Hour” to just “Variety Hour Happy Hour.” Because apparently some Milwaukee comedy enthusiasts were confused, that’s why.
Some thought the monthly shows at the Arcade Theatre were just 30 minutes long. However, the shows are 60 minutes – one hour – live. And then half of the show is presented via edited videotape on YouTube.
I thought “Variety Hour Half-Hour” was catchy. More importantly, I thought the shows have been funny. They offer a live comedy-oriented mixture of standup, sketch and improvised hilarity showcasing top Milwaukee talent. The shows even include an interview segment with a local comedian.
The next show is at 8 p.m., Friday, Aug. 30, at 161 W. Wisconsin Ave., lower level. It features a guest appearance by Sally Arenberg as well as James Boland performing his interactive Dungeons & Dragons-inspired improv game “No Dice.”
Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door.
The “Happy Hour” part of the new title emphasizes both that the show is 60 minutes long and that your face is going to smile. It also suggests alcohol is permitted. It’s BYOB. Or maybe they need to spell that out too.
From the inventive mind of James Boland comes an improvised evening of comedy, role-playing and monster-slaying.
Welcome to No Dice, in which James serves as game master and leads several audience members through a shared story, Dungeons & Dragons style.
Adds James, via Facebook: “You don’t need to have any experience playing DnD.”
Among other accomplishments, James is one-fourth of the new improv group Tall Boys, which also includes Erik Koconis, who will be performing his clever brand of standup comedy as part of the No Dice show.
The fantastic adventure begins at 8 p.m., Friday, June 21, in the Arcade Theatre, 161 W. Wisconsin Ave., lower level. (Think of it as the dungeons of Milwaukee’s historic Plankinton Building.) Admission is $10. BYOB.
“No Dice will take you on an improvised adventure. Game master James Boland will lead a group of adventurers, selected from the audience, through an epic tale of monster slaying.”
- Tim Higgins
- Chris Lay
- and Erik Koconis (above right)