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.
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.
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.
One measure of the progress the Milwaukee comedy scene has made since the first Milwaukee Comedy Festival in 2006 is how vast and varied the kickoff has become.
Even a couple of years ago, the kick off was little more than an improv jam the night before the fest started.
This year entails four full nights of shows featuring standup, improv and sketch comedy. It all begins on Thursday, July 25 with the Comedy Arcade Show followed by the Variety Hour Half-Hour, on Friday, July 26, and the Retro Comedy Night on Saturday, July 27, and a special Milwaukee Comedy Showcase on Wednesday, July 31 - aka Milwaukee Comedy Fest Eve.
Please click here for details on kick off events, including discount advance tickets. (Each of the events includes prizes. Maybe you’ll even win a ticket to the 8th Annual Milwaukee Comedy Festival, which runs Aug. 1-4.)
For more on how the local comedy scene has changed since the festival started, check out our Milwaukee Comedy video interview with Matt Kemple and Patrick Schmitz:
For years, Patrick Schmitz has made a reputation for himself in Milwaukee teaching improvisational comedy at such venues as ComedySportz and First Stage children’s theater. Now, he’s making a living for himself teaching drama at Brown Deer High School, which he discusses in the YouTube video above.
But, as most teachers, Patrick Schmitz is more than a teacher. He’s a performer. He’s a mentor. And he’s a presenter.
Because at 7 p.m. on Saturday, July 13, Patrick Schmitz presents the 11th edition of his Sketch 22 show.
That’s the one where Milwaukee’s top comedy and theater talent get together and within a 22-hour period create a show featuring 10 genuinely original comedy sketches. Do the math. That’s less than a day.
Sketch 22 unfolds at ComedySportz, 420 S. 1st St. Bring $10 (or a friend with $20) so you can join in the fun. Don’t bring children younger than 14.
The Variety Hour Half Hour is a funny show with a funny name. It’s an all new live show featuring a late-night talk show format including live music, sketch comedy, interviews and videos – and it’s about an hour if you see it live. The first one was a big hit on May 24th, and now, to make the name more understandable, about 30 minutes of the show is available online!
Check out the clips below and enjoy a few laughs before the next Variety Hour Half Hour, which will be a part of the Milwaukee Comedy Festival Kick Off Week the last week of July!
Variety Hour Half Hour! Episode 1
Friday, May 24, 2013