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

Posts Tagged ‘comedy’

Wednesday June 6, 2012, 10:52pm - by WillyAppelman

Poster by Carly Monardo

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 directs a form named after the Chicago group that made it famous. Kevin Cragg, Tony Mui, Gretchen Poole, Jamie Rivera, Sandra Struthers, Teddy Shivers, Mike Ferreira and Kristy Wesolowski take the stage under Whitcroft’s mighty direction. We spoke with Charlie about his choice to present the form.

What is Jazz Freddy?

Structurally, Jazz Freddy is a 4 scene tag-out piece that starts in the present (whatever that means), then tags to the past, tags to the past again, then tags to the future. Simple though it is, it can only be performed by a stellar cast. We get to meet a character, see a bit of her developmentally significant life moments, then see how things turn out for her. Then there’s a further exploration of the other characters we’ve met, and the world they live in. Jazz Freddy is named after the group that performed it first in Chicago in 1992. The first cast included Jimmy Carrane, Rachel Dratch, Dave Koechner, Noah Gregoropoulos, Miriam Tolan, Kevin Dorff, Brian Stack, Meredith Zinner, and others. I’ve heard that it was the first long form show to use tag-outs. I don’t know if that’s true, and I haven’t been able to find anyone who was even alive in 1992 to confirm or deny.

Why did you choose this form?

Two things that I love about the Jazz Freddy – it’s not too complicated, and it’s a lot of fun. The Boss performed Jazz Freddy for a long time as part of Megawatt. We added a lot of our own touches to it, but the simple structure was there. I’m sure there are other groups that have performed the structure since the original cast, but I don’t know of too many in New York. And I don’t appreciate or respect the anti-Jazz Freddy regulations that the Mayor is trying to put in place. Read the news. These are important issues.

What is the future of improv?

I don’t know… I hope it stays out of the drug business. Liquor and gambling have been fine. I’d like to see it go completely legit, maybe clean up some of the money in real estate or something like that.

~~~

Jazz Freddy takes the stage Thursdays at 10pm in June! Check out the opening night, Thursday 6/7 at 10pm- followed by an after party at Smithfield (28th btw. 7th & 8th). Be sure to catch the show for the password for drink specials!

Tuesday May 22, 2012, 10:24am - by admin

(We know. They aren’t teens. But we like the picture.)

Summer! No School!  Lot’s of free unstructured time!

LET’S WATCH TV AND PLAY VIDEO GAMES UNTIL OUR BRAINS TURN INTO PUDDING!!  I LOVE PUDDING!!!!

Don’t do that.

Because on June 18th, Elana Fishbein will be kicking off Summer with “Improv for Teens”, a fun class for sharp teens who want to learn and practice the principles of improv.

We talked with Elana about the class, her history with improv and its importance in everyone’s life .

Magnet Blog:  So how did you get started in improv?

Elana Fishbein:  I started improvising pretty seriously when I was fifteen years old and a big part of that was because of the encouragement I received from some fantastic teachers. Under their tutelage I came to understand the ways in which improv can be an awesome and empowering form of expression. I’m excited to follow in their footsteps.

MB:  So what will this class be about?

EF:  In Improv for Teens, students will learn to improvise together in a fun, supportive environment. Games and exercises will focus on collaboration, group mind, character building, commitment, spontaneity, and the most magical principal of improv, “Yes And!” Participants will walk away with a fundamental understanding of long-form improv and the skills to perform grounded, hilarious, improv scenes. The class will culminate with a graduation performance in which students will have the opportunity to wow their friends and loved ones. It’s a super fun show.

Best. Summer. Ever.

Slots are still available, so if you or someone you know is interested in signing up for Improv for Teens check out this link: http://www.magnettheater.com/classlist.php?infoid=1100.

Class begins on June 18th.

Tweet it, Facebook it, and maybe even actually say it out loud to another person in the same room.

Wednesday May 9, 2012, 11:16am - by WillyAppelman
Last Thursday’s premiere of “The Subject” was enthralling and fascinating.  Directed by Christina Gausas, the show featured Angela DeManti as this week’s “Subject”.  At the top of the piece, objects like sunflower seeds, lilacs, and Buddha statues were placed by cast members into her environment. These objects took her back to memories of college roommates, past boyfriends, and family members. At one point her mother’s constant nagging transformed into a six-headed monster who shrieked at her disappointments, which then transformed into the cries of an ex-boyfriend’s baby.  DeManti remained on the stage the entire show as her life passed before her eyes!
“The Subject” is a funny, honest, and, at times, moving piece of theater. You have four more chances of catching it Thursdays at 10pm in May!
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?

Wednesday August 24, 2011, 5:55pm - by admin

Willy Appelman, Thin Skin Johnny and The Daily Show’s Wyatt Cenac after this month’s Deep Traffic show.

Wednesday August 24, 2011, 9:24am - by admin
orbit commercial

Recent TV spot featuring Ed Herbstman, co-founder of Magnet Theater, bobbing for apples.

Monday August 22, 2011, 4:27pm - by admin

Congratulations to the newest Musical Megawatt Teams!

NEW TEAM AQUA
Jon Bander
Laura Dlug
Joe Hendel
Julie Katz
Ruby Marez
Oscar Montoya
Michael Murnane
Ross Taylor

NEW TEAM AVOCADO
Ryan Dunkin
Andrew Fafoutakis
Dreagn Foltz
Woody Fu
Melissa Gordon
Sarah Puls
Jennifer Sanders
Drew Tarvin

NEW TEAM ROSE
Joel Arandia
Lorraine Cink
Shaun Farrugia
Chano Garcia
Jordan Hirsch
Ariana Murphy
Robin Rothman
Chris Simpson

Come out Tuesday, September 6th & 13th at 8:30 for the premiere of the new teams.


Thursday April 28, 2011, 2:36pm - by admin

 

The Magnet Theater is pleased to announce the new cast members of Round 3 of The Circuit!  Team names are starter temporary names.

 

TEAM JESUS

 

    • David Zax

 

    • Lauren Koch

 

    • Andrew Cornelius

 

    • Kristin Cantwell

 

    • Russ Armstrong

 

    • Raja Rajanathan

 

    • Matt Wilson

 

    • Raina Moore

 

TEAM ELVIS

 

    • Damon Ketron

 

    • Danielle Tolley

 

    • Andrew Fafoutakis

 

    • Ellen Korner

 

    • Ilya Grilikhes

 

    • Reilly Owens

 

    • Nathan Peterman

 

    • Meghan Brown

 

TEAM KIRK

 

    • Lisa Goldstein

 

    • Gretchen Poole

 

    • Jason Kopylec

 

    • Nancy Sun

 

    • Eli Itzkowitz

 

    • Mike Schoenbach

 

    • Jay Hoskins

 

    • Brian Frange

 

TEAM BUDDHA

 

    • Ryan Patrick O’Neil

 

    • David Castro

 

    • Evan Barden

 

    • Dario Osowski

 

    • Jenny Doom

 

    • Sam Segan

 

    • Barry Lank

 

    • Will Quinn

 

TEAM LINCOLN

 

    • Richard Dery

 

    • TJ Del Reno

 

    • Ben Furnas

 

    • Josh Friedman

 

    • Samantha Henig

 

    • Theo Shivers

 

    • Kathryn Geraghty

 

    • Willy Appelman

 

TEAM BRANDO

 

    • Sandra Struthers

 

    • David Kieve

 

    • Beth Gold

 

    • Chris Grove

 

    • Dale Davidson

 

    • Greg Dubin

 

    • Cecilia Minshall

 

    • Kevin Napier

 

The Circuit features Harold teams made-up of both current Magnet students and veteran performers.  Teams will rehearse weekly with an assigned coach and have a three month run of shows that starts on Friday May 6th, 10PM with TEAM JESUS, TEAM BUDDHA and TEAM ELVIS at the Magnet Training Center.