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

Tuesday January 31, 2012, 10:45am - by WillyAppelman

Growing up it was a bi-monthly event in my family.  We’d drive 45 minutes to the nearest movie theater, go out for Chinese Food and then go see something.  Something big.   But starting this Thursday my bi-monthly childhood treat will become a weekly one…

“The Movie” is coming to Magnet Theater!  This improvised long form will leave you a bit breathless.  It’s an entire improvised film, complete with cuts, pans, zooms, helicopter shots, and maybe even some prohibitively expensive CGI.  And if we’re lucky, we may get some Chinese Food before (but probably not).

It might be a heart-warming coming of age picture, or a tear-jerking sports hero battling cancer sort of thing.  Or maybe a sci-fi horror ‘stuck on a planet battling a monster (but the real monster is their own inner demon)’ sort of movie.  Maybe a combo of all three.  Doesn’t matter though.  I’ll be there.

“The Movie” is the first installment of The Directors Series, a 4-week series of performances wherein a Director selects a cast and presents a different form.  This month Ed Herbstman is directing Fiona Mallek, Jamie Rivera, Louis Kornfeld, Peter McNerney, Chet Siegel, Nick Kanellis, Christian Palluck, Woody Fu, Elana Fishbein and Alex Marino.  Every Thursday at 10pm in February!

Oh, and it’s part of Thursday Night Out – you get to see the whole night of shows for one $7 ticket.

–Willy Appelman

Monday January 30, 2012, 6:49pm - by catherinewing
In 2006, Josh Fulton, an alumnus of Magnet Megawatt teams Pax Romana and Science!, single-handedly embarked on an ambitious project, into which he poured countless hours of time and energy.  He decided to interview some of the most respected improv minds in the country, in person and over the phone.  He transcribed those interviews and posted them on his blog, Improv Interviews.  His very first interview was with Armando Diaz, co-founder of the Magnet Theater.
Armando Diaz being pointed at.

Armando Diaz being pointed at.

A complete list and breakdown of interviews come after the jump… CLICK TO READ MORE…
Thursday January 19, 2012, 4:15pm - by WillQuinn

I love ketchup. A LOT. In fact, embarrassingly, I was called out at Mustang Sally’s last week for trying to sneakily eat a whole plate of ketchup… by itself. Weird and gross, I know. But it also means that I’ve never been more excited for a show than I am for Justin Peters’ one man show, Confessions of a Condiment Hustler. Ketchup? Comedy? HOW COULD I NOT LOVE IT?

Me: I’d like a burger with ketchup please, hold the burger.

Don’t like ketchup so much that it makes people uncomfortable? There are still plenty of other reasons to be absolutely psyched about this show! Fresh off of his run with the fantastic Megawatt team, Dunk, and new member of Chet Watkins, Peters is a phenomenally funny improviser and actor and this show promises to live up to his high standards of awesomeness. AND – breaking news! – Saucy by Nature, the gourmet, all-natural sauce company, will be in the lobby beforehand with sauce samples and things to buy! CLICK TO READ MORE…

Thursday January 19, 2012, 9:07am - by woodyfu
Henry Kaiser & Justin Moran

Musical improv lovers, where were you January 7th? If you were anywhere but the Magnet then kick yourself in the ears and jump into an elevator shaft. If you were at the Magnet seeing the opening night of Choral Rage’s new weekend run, then massage your ears lovingly and take a leisurely elevator ride wherever you please.

Henry Kaiser and Justin Moran

Choral Rage, one of the Magnet’s veteran musical improv teams, returned to the main stage to perform a musical mono scene (sort of. Does it count if they go to an alternate version of the same location?). In their opening number we were introduced one by one to the characters, then launched into a set that included a disintegrating, loveless 30-year marriage; a four-person affair; a father/son rivalry with opposing kitchens in the same diner; a cross-country-traveling pair of lovers; and a cigarette machine that opened a portal to parallel reality diner. CLICK TO READ MORE…

Tuesday January 17, 2012, 1:56pm - by catherinewing

Take five of NYC’s sharpest improvisers, add a dash of Youtube, and stir well with the nimble fingers of a trusty Research Assistant in the tech booth: you get Search Engine, the newest innovative improv cocktail to hit the stage at the Magnet Theater. With improvisers hailing from 4Track, Mother, and Hello Laser, Search Engine promises to deliver knowledge that you didn’t even know you had to know.

Alan Fessenden, Jesse Falcon, Matt Evans, Alex Marino

CLICK TO READ MORE…

Friday January 13, 2012, 3:56pm - by Chano Garcia
A big congratulations goes out to Hello Laser, The Boss, and Junior Varsity, who celebrated five awesome years at Magnet Theater at Thursday Night Out last week.

Phooka opened the night, and after great comedy from some of the tightest groups in the city, the evening ended with a heartfelt “Thank You” to these excellent teams from one of Magnet’s founders, Armando Diaz.  I have to say it truly was one of those rare evenings where the energy was contagious. Each team did more than just show up, did more than just killed, but combined to create an experience whereby the audience started looking at each other, silently corroborating that we were all indeed witnessing something magic and memorable.
But the strongest truth on display that night: Playing with your friends for so long, in this case five years, breeds a deep trust and playful aggression that generates an easy intensity and ridiculously funny show.
Here are some pics:

Hello Laser: Corey Grimes, Alex Marino, Alan Fessenden, Dave Warth

Friday January 13, 2012, 1:33pm - by Andrew Fafoutakis

Home is Where the Heart Is

magnet theater improv event

It started with one show. Back in June, the Magnet Theater was kind enough to host a “Gay Pride Show” in honor of New York’s Gay Pride Celebration. Louie Pearlman along with Roman Rimer organized a one-hour show featuring indie comedy band Thin Skin Johnny and a few select GLBTQ improvisers to join in on the fun. CLICK TO READ MORE…

Friday January 13, 2012, 12:21pm - by Charlie Whitcroft

A good improv scene is a little like a game of 301.

You begin with 301 points, and throw darts to deduct their totals from that sum until you reach 0, on the dot. CLICK TO READ MORE…

Thursday January 12, 2012, 3:29pm - by rickandrews

What’s better news than the news of FIVE new circuit teams being created?  Well, how about the fact that they debut tomorrow night, 10pm, at the Magnet Theater Training Center.  What!  Oh yes.  Also, the show is free.  Try not to faint, and give it up for these amazing new student harold teams:

 

TEAM ZODIAC TEAM CHAOS TEAM GRAVITY TEAM PARALLAX TEAM QUASAR
Coach: K. Buttermore Coach: JS Quinn Coach: R. Werbel Coach: D. Romaniello Coach: J. Miles
Nate Brown Roger Ainslie Matt Antonucci Melissa Caminneci Seth Hirschman
Christina Dabney Nick Bacan Jon Heffley Eric Feldman Brendan Jordan
Chano Garcia Kate Chamuris Jaclynn Larington Lauren Glover Steve Ling
Rafay Khalid Peter Collins Michael McFadden Alessandro King Pat May
Ben Kharakh Rachael Mason Emily Newhouse Carla Nager Leo Mendoza
Frank Magnotti Brigid Moynahan Paul Ton Michael McLarnon Rosie Pelka
Mallory Schlossberg Dennis Pacheco Leah Young Nat Trammell Alex Schaefer
Christopher Simpson Deepak SJ Imrana Zaman  Andrew Vuilleumier Jolene Turner

 

Contact Stephen Hawking and ask him how this was even possible.  Or, just check out The Circuit, every Friday at 10pm at the Training Center, hosted by Mark Grenier, absolutely free.

-RKA

Wednesday January 11, 2012, 2:39pm - by Charlie Whitcroft

If you’ve ever found yourself fixated on some absurdly detailed and equally useless bit of information – like the decomposition cycle of a whale, the Bristol Scale, the Catholic Church’s categories of demonic possession, or the political platforms of republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum – then you’ve already got something in common with the stellar cast of Search Engine.  With shared roots and experience dating back as far as The Deconstruction and 4 Track, they’re guaranteed to provide you with one of the most invigorating, entertaining and downright fun hours of your weekend – specifically at 8:30pm on Friday, January 13.

Starting with a suggestion from the audience of anything you wish you knew more about – perhaps Lepufology – Search Engine will go to work sharing what they know. Meanwhile, the Search Engine Research Assistant in the booth – that’s right, they’ve got a Research Assistant! – will be searching the web for a relevant YouTube video. The discussion and the video will inspire a series of scenes, occasionally punctuated by pertinent wikipedia entries, related trivia, more videos, or other information discovered by the Research Assistant throughout.

Search Engine has assured me that each member of the cast is either chock full of trivial but true information about the world, or naturally able to be confidently and completely wrong in their assumptions. Chances are good that you’ll leave knowing at least as much as you did when you arrived, with laugh-induced soreness in your abdominal region.

Search Engine debuts at The Magnet Theater on Friday, January 13 at 8:30pm. Reservations are highly recommended.