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

Posts Tagged ‘Louis Kornfeld’

Tuesday September 3, 2013, 2:47pm - by WillyAppelman

Craig-Cackowski

The Magnet Q & A Series is HERE!

This podcast is devoted to delving into different improv techniques, and finding out what makes comedy hearts tick. We’ve had the honor of interviewing improv teachers and performers from all over the country. This episode, Louis Kornfeld interviews improv master Craig Cackowski about Chicago improv, investing in characters and gifting scene partners. This Q & A was recorded live at The Magnet Theater in NYC in Spring of 2013.

LISTEN HERE!

This podcast is hosted and produced by Nolan Constantino and Adam Hawkins. Podcast music by Giancarlo Sutton.

Thursday August 8, 2013, 11:00am - by Charlie Whitcroft

The Blackout

“The Blackout” is the newest installment of The Director Series, a 5-week series of performances wherein a Director selects a cast and presents a different form. This month Louis Kornfeld is directing The Blackout, featuring Phoebe Tyers, Alexis Lambright, Ely Aina Rapoza, Rebecca Robles, Charlie Whitcroft, Rob Penty, Eli Itzkowitz, and Desiree Nash.

Blackout Cast

Photo by Woody Fu

This past Thursday saw the premier of “The Blackout”, a unique and refreshing improv show relying solely on scenework. The cast, proficient in subtlety and poise, performed the series of scenes in two and three person combinations that came together naturally and comfortably to fill the hour with standalone vignettes and thematic revisitations under the direction and technical expertise of Director Louis Kornfeld.

Photo by Woody Fu

Photo by Woody Fu

Photo by Woody Fu

The audience watched childhood friends discussing the ups and downs of having two mothers, a needy secretary fail to grasp the humor of a screen-saver, a married couple deal with three years of built up frustration and resentment, teens peeping on their “girlfriend” undressing in her bedroom, and a man out himself to passengers on his plane during a recreational flight, among many other episodes. Never a dull moment, while all of the energy of this show flowed steadily and with intention.

There are four more opportunities to catch “The Blackout” – August 8th, 15, 22 and 29th at 9:00pm at The Magnet Theater!

This was a re-blogged review from Charlie Whitcroft.

Tuesday April 30, 2013, 9:55am - by WillyAppelman

images

Thank you to everyone who came out for Megawatt auditions. We’re excited to announce our latest teams:

New Team RED
Shacottha Fields
Michael McLarnon
Andy Moskowitz
Teddy Shivers
Adam Twitchell
Christina Dabney
Brian Frange
Matthew Selliti

New Team WHITE
Charles Rogers
Phoebe Tyers
Dennis Pacheco
Nick Mykins
Sebastian Conelli
Maggie Morris
Matt Weir
Kevin Cobbs

New Team BLUE
Rebecca Robles
Don Romaniello
Maddy Mako
Peter Collins
Matt Antonucci
Dennis Zavolock
Jesse Acini
Kristy Wesolowski

There will also be additions to Horses, The Wrath and Featherweight

Horses
Kelly Buttermore
Kim Ferguson
Federico Garduno
George Fernandez
David Etkin
Michael Lutton
Woody Fu
Eli Itzkowitz

The Wrath
Andrew Yurman Glaser
Michael Kroll
Ross Taylor
Scott Lawrie
Rob Penty
Emily Shapiro
Mike Dwyer
Steven Slate

Featherweight
Justin Moran
Elana Fishbein
Blake Merriman
Noel Dineen
Matt Shafeek
Lauren Ashley Smith
Frank Bonomo

These brand new teams debut Wednesday, May 1st at 7pm. Get there early.

Wednesday May 2, 2012, 11:22am - by WillyAppelman

In the latest installment of The Director’s Series, Christina Gausas takes the reins on The Subject.  The Subject is a form that  “follows the central character of the evening (the subject), never leaving the stage while the others enter and exit as various friends, relatives, demons and fantasy figures”.

The Subject, created by Alex Fendrich, was originally performed at the iO theater in Chicago and was “Highly Recommended” by The Chicago Sun-Times.  Gausas was a member of the original cast and now she leads an all-star cast made up of Louis Kornfeld, Megan Gray, Alex Marino, Angela Demanti, Sebastian Connelli, Ruby Marez, Binu Paulose, Tom Levin, and Liz McDonnell.

The Subject opens Thursday May 3rd at 10pm, and is followed by an Opening Night Party at Mustang Sally’s (28th & 7th).  Come to the show and celebrate afterwards with great food and drink specials!

The Subject, opening May 3rd at 10pm at The Magnet Theater!

Wednesday April 18, 2012, 9:04pm - by admin

In celebration of its 7th Anniversary, Magnet held its first completely ridiculous and ironically meaningful award ceremony. It was the 1st Annual Maggie Awards and everyone played fell into their appropriate roles immediately; the winners were falsely modest and the nominees who lost pretended it was an honor just to be nominated. The presenters were sharp and read the prompter with varying degrees of skill and self conscious sexiness.

Here are some moments from the ceremony for those of you in the community who couldn’t be there, and those of you who were there and aren’t sure this actually happened.  Enjoy

Here is a video of the opening number.  Peter McNerney was our Billy Crystal, accompanied by Steve Whyte and  Joel Esher.  Also appearing in the opening number were Michael Lutton, Jen Sanders and Santa Claus. 

Click after the jump for the complete list of nominees and winners.

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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

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. 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

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.

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Tuesday March 1, 2011, 9:47am - by admin

 

 

TJ, Megan, Desiree, Rick, Louis, and Rocco…

 

Hired by The Second City?

 

 


 

It’s no surprise that our auditioning instructor had such a good audition that he got hired by Second City to perform in their ensemble at sea which sends top improvisers on Norwegian Cruise Line ships to the Caribbean. Congrats to you, TJ Mannix!

 

And Congrats to Magnet’s outstanding Level 1 Instructor and super funny Junior Varsity member, Megan Gray. She was also hired by Second City after they conducted their first ever New York audition for their cruise ship ensembles.

 

Let’s not stop there, though – -

 

Congratulations to Louis Kornfeld, our wicked smart Level 2 Instructor, House Manager, and most bearded member of long-time house team, The Boss.  You deserve all the success in the world, Louis!

 

And Desiree Nash, painfully funny member of Ransom Family and a musical improv heroine! Congratulations, Desiree.  Send us photos, please.

 

And Rocco Privetera, who stars in this hilarious video, produced by the Magnet Media Engine (with TJ Mannix, Adam Taylor, and Shawn Amaro).  Rocco will be taking his magical fingers to the ocean as a Musical Director for a a Second City cruise ship ensemble.  Yes.  The fingers are magical.

 

Let’s not forget Magnet’s Rick Andrews who was also offered a spot on the big boat. Rick is a tall grad school drop-out and all around wonderful person who is currently teaching at Magnet. He is also the co-creator and co-star of The Cascade with Jennifer Dunne Monday nights at Magnet.

 

While getting tan, they’ll be performing classic Second City scenes, improv sets and teaching workshops. Basically it’s like the nerd version of Dirty Dancing without the sexual awakening.  Have fun.  Represent America and Magnet well, please.  When you get back to the island of Manhattan, we’ll be here waiting.