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Magnet Theater Blog: News and Ideas about Comedy, Improv Shows & Classes in NYC

Archive for the ‘Shows’ Category

Tuesday April 29, 2014, 12:05pm - by Magnet Theater
ten bucks

ten bucks

Starting in May, The Magnet Theater is going to raise the price of Thursday Night Out to $10. That price will still allow audience members to stay all night. If someone is coming strictly for Inspirado, the price will remain $7.  We’re incredibly proud of the work being done on this night and feel confident in showcasing it as some of the best work we have to offer.  Magnet students and performers will still be able to get into the show for free.

 

Thursday December 5, 2013, 2:37pm - by Charlie Whitcroft

Director Series

December brings us cold weather, warm tidings of holiday cheer, hopefully at least a few days off from work… and perhaps most importantly, the latest installment of The Director Series: Genus.

Genus takes the suggestion of a genre, then improvises an entire show in that genre.
Featuring Nick Jaramillo, Lauren Olson, Kelly Buttermore, Dennis Zavolock, John Roukis,
Jana Schmieding, Jamie Rivera
Directed by Christian Pollack

Every Thursday in December at 9:00pm, part of Magnet Theater’s Thursday Night Out Line-up.

*               *               *

In advance of tonight’s debut performance, I got to talk to director Christian Pollack a bit about the show, and why you should see it.

Give us some of your thoughts about genre-based improv.
CP: Genre improv is something I’ve always loved, it takes away some of the work of invention in the scene if you have a template to work off of, and then it gets really fun to just commit to it.

Will the suggested genres shape the form of the show itself?
CP: The suggestion will inform the show for sure, but the players are not bound to try to recreate the suggestion, just again, use it as a template for what types of characters might be in this show; but within the scenes, it’s still very much about discovering what’s happening along with everybody else in the theater.

Are there any genres the cast can’t handle?
CP: The one genre we’ve had the most trouble with is “Mork and Mindy”. “Mork and Mindy” is a genre, right?

How is it working with Jamie Rivera?
CP: Jaime Rivera is quiet, humble, on-time, smells like Earth and the outdoors. Everything you want in a cast leader. I’m honestly very lucky to have so many talented, fun people agree to do this, I’m looking forward to watching them all have fun.

*               *               *

I’m sure you’ve seen Christian, Nick, Lauren, Kelly, Dennis, John, Jana and Jamie perform in various other shows at the Magnet Theater, so you know you’re in for a treat with Genus.

Director Series

Thursday July 18, 2013, 12:24pm - by Charlie Whitcroft

Revolver(web)

If you’ve never seen Junior Varsity, Hello Laser, or The Boss perform at the Magnet Theater, I’m guessing you’ve had some longstanding obligation on Thursday nights for the last several years.

They’re the Magnet Theater’s longest standing, longest standing teams – veterans who’ve been performing high quality improv together for almost seven years. That’s a length of time most people can’t even wrap their heads around in this ever-more present-focused world of ours.

HLJVTB

Now they’re loading themselves up into chambers randomly (not really randomly… there’s a set schedule) for a weekly round of Russian Roulette known as The Revolver. Each week you’ll see two of these teams perform, each in their own unique and seasoned styles.

Come out and see them, every Thursday Night at 8pm.

Then talk to them afterwards. Being around so long, they have stories to tell.

Wednesday March 27, 2013, 12:51pm - by catherinewing

poster_beees

BEEES!!! turned 2 earlier this year! They are celebrating with a Two-Year Anniversary Show this Friday, March 29th, at 7pm, and you are all invited!

Formed in late December 2010, BEEES!!! gathered for the first time as a team at Mooncake, a few doors down from the Magnet Training Center.  Over dinner and cheap Sapporo beers, they got better acquainted with one another.  Some had taken the Magnet musical improv classes together, and were nervous and excited to be placed on their very first house team; others were seasoned performers, with years of improv and stage experience under their belts.  What they all had in common, was their musical improv training under the brilliant Tara Copeland and Frank Spitznagel.  BEEES!!! hit the Magnet stage for their first show on Tuesday, January 4th, 2011.

The meta show, November 2011.  Photo by Keith Huang.

The meta show, November 2011. Photo by Keith Huang.

(Team Trivia: Michael Lutton came up with the team name, which won the majority of the votes, over gems such as “7 O’Clock,” “The Richard Cheddar Show,” and “Employee of the Month.”)

Inspirado winners!  Dumb challenge ("Beethoven"), February 2012

Inspirado winners! Dumb challenge (“Beethoven”), February 2012

Since then, BEEES!!! has performed regularly on Magnet Musical Tuesdays, survived two hurricanes (Irene and Sandy), won five Inspirado challenges, and performed in theaters and improv festivals throughout NYC and along the East Coast, including The Depot Theatre, Boston Comedy Arts Festival, North Carolina Comedy Arts Festival, NYC Improv Festival, and the New York Musical Improv Festival.

Harold Night at ImprovBoston, March 2012

Harold Night at ImprovBoston, March 2012

The Depot Theatre in Westport, NY, July 2012.

The Depot Theatre in Westport, NY, July 2012.

BEEES!!! is happy and proud to call the Magnet Theater home. Come this Friday, March 29th, at 7pm and join them in celebrating 2 years of making beautiful musical improv together.

The BEEES!!! opening, artistically rendered by Desireé Nash

The BEEES!!! opening, artistically rendered by Desireé Nash

BEEES!!! is: Jamie Cummings, Michael Lutton, Desireé Nash, Steve Whyte, Catherine Wing.

Sleepytime at Chateau Whyte, North Carolina Comedy Arts Festival, February 2013.

Sleepytime at Chateau Whyte, North Carolina Comedy Arts Festival, February 2013.

 

Friday July 13, 2012, 10:59am - by woodyfu
frank

Last night the Magnet expanded its musical improv program by doubling the number of Musical Megawatt teams. We saw the premiere of new teams Atticus, Legend, and the Montels, playing alongside vet teams Aquarius, Mint Condition, and BEEES!

Michael Martin kicks off Musical Megawatt

At the beginning of the night, the director of the musical program Michael Martin talked about how, seven years ago, Tara Copeland and Frank Spitznagel offered a musical improv elective, and how the program has since blossomed into six teams, dozens of performers, and hundreds of students.

New team Atticus took the stage first, telling the tale of Solomon Mann, whose spiritual journey brought him to indigent, indigenous, indignant Native Americans; to Arkansas’s only midnight improv theater; to Penelope the Corn Goddess.

Photo from the Magnet Theater’s Instagram feed

Drew Tarvin’s puns for this show are:

  1. Tickets disappear in a puff of smoke, so be sure to make reservations.
  2. So confident they’ll never Atticus Flinch.
  3. Some of the best meta improv you’ve ever Arkansas.
  4. A harrowing tale about taking on the Mann
  5. If the show is sold out, better try to scalp some tickets.
BOOM!
Next, Mint Condition told the tale of Mr Branson, a My Little Pony-collecting teacher who only wanted to connect with and teach one student in his class. Despite being pregnant, one student study montage’d her way to finishing the S.A.T. and earning Mr Branson his angel wings. He was brutally shot to death at one point.

Photo from the Magnet Theater’s Instagram feed

Drew Tarvin’s puns for this show are:

  1. The perfect conditions for great improv–you’ll go mint-al.
  2. Pony up $7 and saddle up for one heck of a ride.
  3. Around award season, expect this team to win a My Little Tony.
  4. They may talk abut the S.A.T. but you wont be sitting when this one is over.
  5. Get schooled on performing improv with class, Mint Conditon packs some principow!
New team Legend was next in the night, telling the historically accurate facts of the French Revolution, touching on the origin of the guillotine, the terrible English-speaking peasants, owls and knife-like glass nipples.

The worst picture of Lorraine I could find

Drew Tarvin’s puns for this show are:

  1. Caution: funny times a head.
  2. This little piggy went “Oui! Oui! Oui!” all the way home.
  3. What a hoot!
  4. This show will leave you in a body caste.
  5. Get out a map because this is one Legend you want to see.

Musical Director Frank Spitznagel!

Musical Megawatt’s MOST VETERAN TEAM Beees went on next, performing a slice-of-life set taking place in a Rite Aid. From the suggestion of the theme of “jealousy,” we saw the Rite Aid manager who liked passing along his grandfather’s advice in “talksies” with his employees; Karen (the most veteran Rite Aid employee), who was unsure about the mysteries of sex; a gay couple who just broke up after two and half years. Remember: don’t dig a hole if you already have one in the backyard.

The Magnet’s Most Veteran Musical Megawatt Team

Drew Tarvin’s puns for this show are:

  1. This team shows there aint nothin wrong with a little bump and Grindr.
  2. They may be called Beees but I give them an A.
  3. Stop digging for better improv, this team has the hole package.
  4. Is this team from Nevada because they left me green with NV.
  5. Bad improv left you feeling hurt? Beees has the Rite Aid.

New team the Montels were next, and from the suggestion of “candy” took us into Candyland, where tooth fairies worried for their existence, salads and health food were on the rise, people read Candy Gawker, and Colonel Custard waged war against Colonel Kale.

Colonel Custard and Colonel Kale battle for Candyland

Drew Tarvin’s puns for this show are:

  1. Grab some popcorn because these colonels are ready to pop.
  2. All kale the chiefs of great improv!
  3. Funny as health.
  4. With a team this funny, it’s no wonder Mon tells.
  5. Yes We Can-dy.
The final team was Aquarius, who performed the complete works of William Shakespeare at the Apollo Theater. If you were to sum up this show within a show, it would be “I love you, I’m dead.” King Latifah made an appearance, as did Shylock the talent agent, Brian Regan, and Ophelia, who tragically drank a Monster Energy Drink with a cyanide pill in it.

Clean comic Brian Regan and an old couple waiting for a bus

Drew Tarvin’s puns for this show are:

  1. It’s fun for Aquari-you, it’s fun for Aquari-me, it’s fun for Aquari-us.
  2. This comedy equals tragedy + rhyme.
  3. There’s nothing Rocky about this show, it’s out of this world.
  4. The character impersonations will make you stand-up as they get the play-wright.
  5. No need to shake your spears, this show completely works.

Congratulations to all the new teams who debuted last night! Musical Megawatt is now expanded to four shows a night: two shows at 7pm and two shows at 8:30pm. Check the calendar for showtimes!

Thursday June 28, 2012, 1:25pm - by catherinewing

GAY BOMB: THE MUSICAL will be having its final show this Friday night, June 29th at 8:30pm at the Magnet Theater.  Tickets are going fast, so get them now before the show sells out!  Psssst … if you want discount tickets for $7, use the code “POTUS Felching” when you buy your tickets HERE.

Directed by Michael Martin, with music by Frank Spitznagel.  Book and lyrics by Chris Friden and Steve Whyte.

Starring: Andrew Fafoutakis, Dreagn Foltz, Ben Jones, Michael Lutton, Jen Sanders, TJ Mannix, Oscar Montoya, Dave Tomczak and Woody Fu.

In case you’ve missed the earlier installments of the Magnet Blog’s interview with GAY BOMB co-writer, Steve Whyte, here they are: Part 1 and Part 2.  And now, our third and final installment of the interview.

Magnet Blog:  Did you do comedy in college?  What did you study/major in?

Steve Whyte:  I didn’t really do any comedy in college. I emcee’d events which involved a smidgeon of comedy — the cheesy kind that one might have found in a resort in the Poconos in the 1950s.  I majored in Linguistics at UC Berkeley (Go Bears!).  No, I don’t speak any other languages, but I can get around in Mexico, and in Mandarin, I can count to ten and say “I’m a crazy American.”  But really I spent the majority of my time playing in the student Jazz Ensembles where I played drums in various combos and big bands.  And after college I stayed in the music business, playing at clubs, weddings, lounges, etc., until Chris and I started our goofy, college sports TV show, “Out of Bounds” on SportsChannel National (now FoxSports).  We managed to win an Emmy, though Jamie Cummings will point out that it’s a regional Emmy, and that the local weather man probably had a down year.

MB:  Who or what are your comedic influences?

SW:  I’m a sucker for satire.  Bill Maher, The Daily Show, Parker and Stone (South Park, Book of Mormon), Stephen Colbert, Janeane Garofalo, Bill Hicks, the Tea Baggers, and many others.

MB:  You have been very open about your obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).  Mike Sacks, author of the book, And Here’s The Kicker, makes the connection between comedy writers and OCD.  Have you found that your OCD kicks in while you’re doing improv, or if it informs how you approach/write comedy?

SW:  For me, when I’m doing improv, or playing drums, I usually get relief from the OCD.  Those are usually the rare times it seems to disappear—only to come roaring back once the show is over. I heard this is sometimes the case for Tourette’s sufferers — their tics stop while they’re involved in their performance. On the other hand, my OCD experiences provide a wealth of material to draw upon. I guess there’s lots of comedy to be found in being totally freaked out and paralyzed by everyday shit.

MB:  Any future projects in the works now?

SW:  Chris and I are working on a couple of other projects.  One takes place in the not-too-distant future, where people have to rent a mechanical penis from the government in order to procreate and/or have sexual experiences that require a phallus.  Males have their biological penises removed at birth.  All seems normal in society until an adult male shows up with a flesh penis.  Wackiness ensues.

Thanks, Steve!  You are all warmly invited to join the cast and crew of GAY BOMB  at the Closing Night party after the show on Friday, at 10pm at Smithfield, 215 W. 28th Street.  See you there!


Thursday June 28, 2012, 10:54am - by seantaylor
newsletter_edited

The Armando Diaz Experience! Choral Rage! New Musical Teams!

Magnet Theater
June 27, 2012 

 

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Featured Shows

 

The legendary show is reborn by the man who made it famous. A rotating cast of all-stars perform scenes inspired by the masterful monologues of the man himself, the Magnet’s own, Armando Diaz.
Featuring: Tami Sagher, Ed Herbstman, Christina Gausas

Sunday, July 1st

8:00pm

For more information, click here!

CHORAL RAGE!

Join RAGE for their closing night as they dabble in the world of experimental musical improvisation and theatrical exploration.
Saturday June 30th
9pm

 

MAGNET CLASSES
Level One for Experienced Improvisors

 

How are your fundamentals? It’s easy for experienced improvisers to underestimate the importance of the basics. The truly great performers, however, develop discipline in the fundamentals of good improv and return continuously to them for inspiration. This class is designed to bring experienced improvisers back to the beginning to reconnect with what’s essential and to develop the good habits and skills that will serve you for as long as you continue to improvise. Prerequisite: A year or more of improv training.

 

 

 

 Upcoming

Congratulations to the new Musical Megawatt teams!
Get ready for the
Tuesday, July 10th premieres!

TEAM OPRAH
Chano Garcia
John Heffley
T.J. Mannix
Maya Deshmukh
Robin Rothman
Joel Arandia
Brad Benson
Ren McDermott
TEAM MONTEL
Richard Dery
Oleg Slinin
Shaun Farrugia
Chris Simpson
Olivia Petzy
Andrew Cornelius
Ariana Murphy
Susan Pickover
TEAM TYRA
Kirk Damato
Leslie Collins
Roman Pietrs
Douglas Widdick
Gretchen Poole
Lorraine Cink
Jordan Hirsch
Abby Holland
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Magnet Theater | 254 West 29th Street | New York | NY | 10001

 

 

Wednesday June 13, 2012, 10:12am - by seantaylor
newsletter_edited

Jazz Freddy! Pride Night! The Circuit!

Magnet Theater
June 13, 2012 

 

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Featured Shows

 

“Jazz Freddy” is the fifth installment of The Director Series, a 4-week series of performances wherein a Director selects a cast and presents a different form.

This month Charlie Whitcroft is directing “Jazz Freddy.”

The show first centers on the past, present and future of one character and then spirals into an exploration of the character’s world.

Thursdays in July

10pm

For more information, click here!

Magnet Theater Presents: 
Pride Night 2012
Join Magnet Theater for a night of all-star GLBTQ programing.  Featuring:

 

*Time Out New York Critic’s Pick!*

 

 

Friday, June 15th shows at 7, 8:30, 10, 11:30

 
 
 
 
 
 

 

MAGNET CLASSES
Magnet Summer Intensive:
Become an Excellent Improvisor.  

 

Immerse yourself in improvisation for three weeks in Magnet Theater’s Improv Summer Intensive. Students will study improv 25 hours per week, completing 3 full levels of Magnet improv training in only three weeks. The intensive program concludes with a student graduation show, directed by Magnet founder Armando Diaz.

 

Students who complete the intensive will be eligible to start at Level 4 in the Magnet program.

 

MAGNET NEWS 
The Circuit Is Back!

 

New Circuit Teams?  Yes!  Apply Now.

 

The next round of The Circuit begins July 13th! The Circuit features Harold teams made-up of both current Magnet students and veteran Magnet performers. Anyone who has completed Magnet Level 3 or higher (and is not currently on a Megawatt team or in Team Performance Workshop) can apply. Performers will be chosen randomly by lottery. Teams will rehearse weekly with an assigned coach and have a 3 month run of shows on Friday nights at the Studio Theater.

Want to apply, fill out this form:

Circuit Application

Deadline to apply is June 23rd.  Do it now!!  And good luck.

 

Magnet Training Center

 

Hiring Part-Time Assistant

Magnet Training Center 
has a part-time position opening!
Position: Part-Time Magnet Training Center Assistant
Hours: 10-15 Hours/Week; Thursdays 1pm-7pm and Sundays 11am-7pm*
Duties: Answer phones/field questions, clerical assistant work, organizing, supervise on duty interns, cleaning/organizing
*Hours are subject to change.
To apply for this position, please email your resume and cover letter to Kim@magnettheater.com. We will only contact those who we are considering for the position. No calls, please.

 

 Upcoming

Coming In July…

SKETCH SUNDAY
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Tuesday June 12, 2012, 2:48pm - by admin

New Circuit Teams?  Yes!  Apply Now.

The next round of The Circuit begins July 13th! The Circuit features Harold teams made-up of both current Magnet students and veteran Magnet performers. Anyone who has completed Magnet Level 3 or higher (and is not currently on a Megawatt team or in Team Performance Workshop) can apply. Performers will be chosen randomly by lottery. Teams will rehearse weekly with an assigned coach and have a 3 month run of shows on Friday nights at the Studio Theater.

Want to apply, fill out this form:

Circuit Application Form

Deadline to apply is June 23rd.  Do it now!!  And good luck.

Friday May 18, 2012, 2:41pm - by seantaylor
newsletter_edited

Magnet Theater
May 18, 2012 

 

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The second show of the Magnet Theater’s sketch company-in-residence, “America!” will introduce you to characters that will take you on a journey through our national psyche, and explore the people and things that define and inform our American-ness.  Like baseball.  And Ira Glass.  And immigrants.

So unfurl your flags and crack open a cold Sixpoint beer: opening night of “Company 29: America!” is coming your way this Friday, May 18th, at 7pm at the Magnet Theater.

Fri May 18th, 2012, 7:00pm
Sat May 19th, 2012, 9:00pm
Sun May 20th, 2012, 8:00pm
For more information, click here!

The Weave
 

The only rule is that there are no rules. Watch 6 of New York’s best improvisers perform organic freeform improvisation in two mind blowing parts.

Featuring:

Rick Andrews

Ed Herbstman

Chet Siegel

Paul Barker

Frank Bonomo

Alan Fessenden

 Click here to learn more!

MAGNET CLASSES


Magnet Summer Intensive:
Become an Excellent Improvisor.  

 

Immerse yourself in improvisation for three weeks in Magnet Theater’s Improv Summer Intensive. Students will study improv 25 hours per week, completing 3 full levels of Magnet improv training in only three weeks. The intensive program concludes with a student graduation show, directed by Magnet founder Armando Diaz.

 

Students who complete the intensive will be eligible to start at Level 4 in the Magnet program.

 

SPONSORED BY

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Magnet Theater Training Center
A system designed to turn civilians into exceptional improvisers.  Classes in improvisation lead to performances, and advanced classes lead to regular performances on our stages.  Comedy writing, storytelling, auditioning, musical improvisation, and voice classes provide opportunities for improvisers and creators to expand their comedic range, inform their creative pursuits, and have a great time while doing it.  YES

 

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