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

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.

 

Tuesday January 10, 2012, 9:06am - by admin

Elana Fishbein & Shaun Farrugia

Elana and Shaun are hilarious, talented improvisers who bring a ton of experience to their Megawatt shows.  Elana has been on a team for five years now, and Shaun just got cast.  Jolene Turner interviewed both of them about favorite moments, comedy role models, and some veteran advice.  Enjoy….

CLICK TO READ MORE…

Thursday January 5, 2012, 2:02pm - by woodyfu
large_choralrage

Tara Copeland originally formed Choral Rage back in July ’09, one of the first musical house teams at the Magnet along with Miracle Baby. After a brief hibernation, they perfected the art of the fully improvised rock opera, and more recently began honing the nuances of the musical monoscene.

Choral Rage’s personnel is comprised of a stellar cast of musical improv veterans: Angela DeManti (Weird Sisters/Phooka), Henry Kaiser (Face), Justin Moran (Featherweight/Nightfall on Miranga Island), Ryan Nelson (Nightfall on Miranga Island), Robin Rothman (Rosencrantz/Nightfall on Miranga Island), Jon Roufaeal (Nightfall on Miranga Island) & Jen Sanders (Mint Condition/Made Up Musical).

John Roufaeal, Jen Sanders, Robin Rothman, Henry Kaiser, Ryan Nelson, Angela DeManti

What form will they unveil this weekend, when they return to the Magnet stage for the beginning of their second weekend run? What mellifluous harmonies will grace our ears, what hip thrusts and possible stage-humps? Be there at 9pm on Friday to find out.

Follow!

Watch!

Wednesday January 4, 2012, 4:09pm - by rickandrews

Tomorrow night at the Magnet is the 5th anniversary of some very special fellows and ladies.  Hello Laser, The Boss, and Junior Varsity, The Magnet’s most veteran house teams, all turn five years old.

Five years is a long time to be an improv team, and you can see that experience borne out every Thursday in the playfulness, patience, trust and skill that these teams exhibit every time they hit the stage.

Come on out tomorrow night and laugh until your silly once again.  Vets Phooka will open up the night at 8pm, followed by Laser, Boss and JV.  At 10pm, there’s a big mix-em up with all the teams as players swap sides for a set or two.  Join everyone at local watering hole Mustang Sally’s after the show for the official after party.

Whew.  We can’t wait.  It’s been a crazy ride.  To celebrate their achievement in longevity, we at the Mblog thought it’d be fun to take a look back at some old photos of these teams so you can see what they were like through the years…

 

2007

Here's the Hello Laser boys back in year 1, right after being cast by Armando Diaz, and right before finding that dead body and getting threatened by local greaser Jack Bauer.

CLICK TO READ MORE…

Tuesday January 3, 2012, 1:55pm - by rubymarez

It’s here! It’s here! It’s finally here! Giddy all day and full of glee like a kid who has spotted an array of presents under the tree left by Santa – this was the excitement I felt last Saturday for the first ever Ladies’ Night at The Magnet Theater! An evening dedicated to showcasing the improv and sketch comedy talents of women from around the city.

The energy from the performers and audience was palpable, the seats were sold out, and as one of the many performers who watched shows from the side, I was craning my neck to see everything I possibly could onstage.

Those who couldn’t get a seat or view from the side, had their own jolly good time in the lobby drinking homemade wine spritzer and vegan cupcakes – baked by Megan Gray and sold to raise money for Gilda’s Club, a cancer support community created after Gilda Radner, who is many women’s comedic hero.

            

That night I watched female improvisers take the stage who normally don’t have an opportunity to perform together. Out of these unlikely groupings, some of my favorite improv scenes happened. Seriously, if a version of AFI’s Top 100 Improv Scenes existed, several of them would have to be knocked off the list to make room for the performances from last Saturday night! These ladies urged me to stand up, cheer, and clap thunderously alongside Maggie Morris and others. (Her clap rivals Binu Paulose’s laughter on the decibel scale.) There was a perfect balance to the evening with some new lady improv groups, some lady groups that have been around the block, mix em ups with female improvisers who have never played together, sketch, a tease of burlesque and a lady mixer at the end allowing women who hadn’t played at all that evening to play with people from the prior shows.

                  

One of the greatest feelings in the world is laughter. Even better is when it’s your friends making you laugh. Even better than that is when your onstage performing with friends and fellow improvisers and laughing so hard you forget that you’re onstage and supposed to be performing!

The best thing about Ladies’ Night was not only seeing all the female talent out there, but also that it was filled with bold, hilarious, kickass improv…all of which happened to be from females. It wasn’t just funny female comedy; it was a night of badass improv highlighted by the fact that it surged from a spring of female talent!

 

I’m just grateful I was one of the many who was asked to grace the stage that night, and honored to share the lineup with the likes of Megan Gray, Kelly Buttermore, Christina Gauses, and Shannon O’ Neil (four women I have adored and watched for years as they continuously blow my mind with their no holds barred improv). I, and all the other women that evening, were truly delighted to play with such funny people…all who happened to be women. Yes, Chrismukahkwanza came early this year and hopefully it comes again more frequently in 2012! A sentiment felt by not just the ladies, but also by the fellas. Hubba, hubba.

-Ruby Marez

 

a published book of essays featuring a story of mine that I wrote is available for purchase here! http://www.amazon.com/What-Brought-Back-Birthright-Taglit-Birthright/dp/1592642896/ref=ntt_at_ep_dpt_1

http://alefnext.com/diverse-jews/i-am-party-mix/
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m0hupeg5MwQ&feature=related
http://www.rubincomedy.com/
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ccvfzyq0YFY

Tuesday December 6, 2011, 4:25pm - by admin

The Circuit: Round 5! Apply for Student Harold Teams!
The next round of The Circuit begins in January! 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 Magnet Studio Theater.

Apply now by emailing circuit@magnettheater.com. Deadline to apply is December 23rd.

Sunday November 27, 2011, 9:39pm - by admin

Lauren Olson & George Fernandez

The Megawatt Performer Profile Series is a quick way to get to know some of the excellent improvisers that make up Megawatt, Magnet’s house team system.

Lauren Olson has been on a Megawatt team since 2007, and George Fernandez is brand new. Both are funny, great to watch, and wonderfully nice people who are always ready to play onstage and off.

Each sat down with fellow Magnet performer Jolene Turner to answer a few questions about what they get out of Megawatt, what they put into it, and what makes them laugh. CLICK TO READ MORE…

Friday November 18, 2011, 2:13am - by admin

 

As you can see, Magnet has a new website.  Hoooray!!!

Here’s a quick message from Ed Herbstman:

Wow. Welcome to the new site.  Took a little while, huh?  We were pretty ambitious with this overhaul that it took a long time.  I’ll admit, there were moments when it seemed like it wouldn’t happen.  Like when we had to stop work to prepare for Y2K.  Or when we took a break to watch the moon landing on television.  And who could forget Appomattox?

Well, now the new site is here and we hope you really like it and find it useful and clear.

I want to personally and loudly thank Sean Taylor for his incredible job making this new site come alive.  Please tell him what a great job he did next time you see him.

Also thanks to Chris Camp and Justin Moran.  I am jealous of your skills.  I wish I paid attention during advanced PHP, CSS, Javascript and mySQL class but I was too busy being not as smart as you.  I thank you both for being patient with me during the site build. And further thanks to Rick Andrews, and Peter McNerney for their very helpful insights and feedback, along with a lot of busywork and testing.

There are a few other people who helped out along the way, and I also want to thank them.  Frank Bonomo, Christian Capozzoli, TJ Mannix, Armando Diaz, Alex Marino, Marcy Jarreau, Mark Grenier, Elizabeth Findlay and James Eason.

The site was designed by Graham Slick.

You’ll see there are a lot of blog entries.  And starting now you can make comments on posts.  So feel free to comment.

And please comment on this post to let us know what you think of the  new site.

We’ll be testing the settings on the blog in the coming days, so it may be possible that your comment does not show up right away.  This is just part of testing and will be fully operational soon.

That said, if you find something broken or missing, or have a suggestion for something that might improve the site, please let us know.  You can report bugs on the Contact Us page, and in the drop down you’ll see ‘report a bug’.  Or email webmaster@magnettheater.com directly.

Sincerely,

Ed

Thursday November 10, 2011, 9:20pm - by admin

The Magnet Training Center is a pretty special space. We moved in while it was still the home of Mike Nichols acting school, The New Actors Workshop, which he founded with Paul Sills (the son of Viola Spolin) and George Morrison.

And we got to spend about six months occupying the same space.

The improv roots run deep in these rooms.  For over 20 years, New Actors taught acting, improvisation, voice and movement as an integrated system.  Original games from Improvisation for the Theater were interwoven with acting systems developed by Stella Adler, Lee Strasberg, Sanford Meisner, and others.  Nichols, Morrison and Sills saw improvisation as a necessary component in actor training and essential to the development of their craft. CLICK TO READ MORE…