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

Monday March 12, 2012, 3:14pm - by rickandrews

This Wednesday at 8:30, Megawatt gets a new team!  Refreshing? Possibly.  Mind-blowing? Definitely.  World Peace Ending?…No, probably not.  Fresh out of Peter McNerney’s Level 6, The Party Lions plan to complete the circle of improv life at The Magnet Theater, and features performers from The Story Pirates, Kiss*Punch*Poem, Scoresby, Inspirado, Whisky Tango Foxtrot and We Just Might Kiss.  Wow.

Coached by the incredible Kelly Buttermore (Horses), The Party Lions consists of JR Harrington, Evan Barden, Katie Hammond, Nathan Peterman, Bianca Casusol, Gretchen Poole, Brian Frange and Willy Appelman.  Like them on Facebook for more updates and info on Megawatt’s newest ensemble!

The Party Lions premier at Megawatt THIS WEDNESDAY at 8:00pm.  We’re not psychic, but we’re guessing this baby will sell out.  You cannot make reservations for Megawatt’s later in the evening (since it’s pay once, stay as long as you’d like), so if you want to be there, the MBlog highly recommends showing up early to the 7pm Megawatt and sticking around.  Reservations for the 7pm Megawatt can be made here.  Be there!

Saturday March 3, 2012, 5:12pm - by catherinewing

The opening night of Company 29’s show, PS 2012, played to a sold-out crowd last night. Under the directon of Nick Benaquista, the show ran smoothly, with top-notch performances by some of the best performers at the Magnet, and effortless transitions between sketches. This was a great start for Company 29, the Magnet Theater’s very first sketch company-in-residence. CLICK TO READ MORE…

Wednesday February 29, 2012, 5:21pm - by Charlie Whitcroft

Good improv is a little like a campfire.

There are three components to a campfire – heat, fuel and air.

Heat is the catalyst that forces the fuel and air to combust – a match, lightning, or a magical spell. If that catalyst is introduced effectively, heat will continue to be generated by combustion. Fuel is anything that combusts – wood, paper, or witch. Air is air – oxygen, really, but that’s in the air. Without all three, your marshmallows will go untoasted. CLICK TO READ MORE…

Wednesday February 29, 2012, 5:03pm - by catherinewing

This Friday, 3/2 at 8:30pm marks a historic occasion at the Magnet Theater. It is the opening night of “PS 2012,” the inaugural show of the Magnet Theater’s very first sketch company-in-residence, Company 29. Set in and around a public school, PS 2012 will introduce you to characters from the school bus to the schoolyard and the academic beyond.

Dedicated to producing new and original sketch comedy shows on a continual basis, Company 29 consists of the Magnet’s strongest writers, performers and directors. The goal of Company 29 is to create character-driven, thematically cohesive sketch shows with a uniquely Magnet voice. CLICK TO READ MORE…

Tuesday February 28, 2012, 2:45pm - by WillyAppelman

 

It’s here!  The Leap Year.  Megawatt only falls on a Leap Year once every 1,000 years…This wednesday everything has gone haywire!  Starting at 7pm, you’ll be able to see Magnet All Stars play in combinations that you’ve never seen before.    These new teams- Consider The Thief, Across The Sky and Pocket Full of Rocks are ready to make this Leap Year the best since Istanbul was Constantinople!  Show up early, make a reservation, don’t miss what could be the only Megawatt Leap Year Show of your life!

Reservations Here: http://www.magnettheater.com/reservation.php?showid=38287

Wednesday February 22, 2012, 3:39pm - by WillyAppelman

 

No screenplay.  No budget. Yet  it’s a film worthy of an oscar nomination.

But if you’re not there you’ll never get a chance to see it ever again.  On Thursday Feb. 23rd at 10pm, The Movie will have it’s last show as part of the new ‘Director Series’ at The Magnet Theater.  A stacked team of seasoned Magnet performers fill the stage to create a filmic masterpiece. Spielberg can suck it.

Directed by Ed Herbstman, this improvised movie is better and cheaper than anything out right now and it’s actually in 3-D for real!  Make a reservation, turn your cell phones off and please don’t talk back at the screen. Because there is no screen. They are real people. Why is this so hard for you to understand?

Tuesday February 7, 2012, 4:53pm - by Ben Kharakh

Meditating has helped my focus, mood, and creativity.  When it comes to improv specifically, I think of a scene like a meditation session, with my partner (or perhaps the present moment in general) being what I focus on (as opposed to focusing on my breathing as I would during a regular meditation session). Any time I get in my head, I just bring my focus back to my partner and engage with as clear a mind as possible.

monks

Best. Improv. Group. Ever.

 

I remember when I first became conscious of what being “in the zone” felt like. My mind was clear, my focus was on the present moment, and my responses floated into my head. I didn’t need to think in order to know what to do.  Continue reading after the jump… CLICK TO READ MORE…

Monday February 6, 2012, 6:11pm - by woodyfu
Fed's bodysuit

One thing I love seeing in scenes is when players create elaborate visual set-ups that the audience has to imagine. Sometimes it’s environmental — I remember a great Brick gag where the scene took place in “Office Narnia,” a private hide-away space that included weightlifting gear, endless bootleg cigarettes (“Camle” brand) and a cum bucket. OR! There was another time in the Program when the players assembled to create a giant, walking Statue of Liberty composed of dead bodies.

Other times it’s generated by the characters themselves — there was a great Dunk bit where the fumes from Taylor’s “stinky leg” was so overpowering that it physicalized and could knock people out. And sometimes it is as simple as an article of clothing on a character. Anytime a character is revealed as wearing overalls, a Buckingham Palace-guard-hat, or a Batman outfit, I love watching players take these cues and physicalize them or working them into the scene. What I’m saying is that I like to use my imagination! People!

I saw a Horses show recently and Fed’s character was obsessed with the Bodies exhibit and over the course of the show got his own body suit and crashed a dinner party with it on.

I got to use my imagination. I liked it!

I drew a picture of what I imagined it looked like:

Fed's bodysuit

Scene painting!

Get it? You get it. I will hopefully be doing more of these as time goes on. Oh, if you want to see pictures from that show, you can do so here.

PS – Thanks to gross gross Slim Goodbody for the reference.

 

— Woody Fu

Wednesday February 1, 2012, 9:17am - by WillQuinn

For my money, Stephen Colbert is the funniest man alive. He’s probably also the most interesting. I mean, come on! He’s a Sunday School teacher who hosts a subversive late night TV show and who once, at a taping I saw, answered a pre-show question of, “Are you f***ing Matt Damon?” with, “Why? Doe his d*** taste like me?”

Colbert in 1993

Carell, Dinello, Colbert & Razowsky in 1993 PHOTO: The Second City Chicago

CLICK TO READ MORE…

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