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

Posts Tagged ‘musical improv’

Tuesday December 2, 2014, 6:06pm - by Magnet Theater

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The multi-talented sketch writer/performer, improviser, and head of Musical Megawatt, Michael Lutton, sits down with host Louis Kornfeld to discuss what makes for good musical improv and how it can benefit “regular” improv. He talks about the advantages of pushing boundaries when no one is looking and provides advice for improvisers looking to learn musical improv outside of NYC. This one is all about selling it in the moment.

Subscribe to the Magnet Theater Podcast via iTunes here.

Enjoy Episode #23 on iTunes or below via SoundCloud.

Tuesday November 25, 2014, 4:14pm - by Magnet Theater

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Louis Kornfeld gets up on his soapbox along with Michael Girts and Mike Descoteaux to preach the virtues of bringing musical improv to the big stage. Blank! The Musical is a big budget improvised musical playing Off-Broadway at New World Stages in NYC. Louis talks with both Mikes about the hard work and planning that goes into producing such an incredible show, and how framing the performance and accepting the audience as an integral part of the show help to propel on-the-spot theater to new heights.

NYT Review: Click here; Broadway World Review: Click here; The Source Review: Click here.

Subscribe to the Magnet Theater Podcast via iTunes here.

Enjoy Episode #22 on iTunes or below via SoundCloud.

Wednesday October 1, 2014, 1:03pm - by Megan Gray

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The Magnet Theater is pleased to announce the new teams and additions for the fall 2014 season of Musical Megawatt, debuting this Tuesday, October 7th at 7pm, 8pm, 9pm and 10pm. We hope to see you there.

New Team Sonny
Alisa Ledyard
Miles Lindahl
Carolyn Malfa
Harry Marker
Louie Pearlman
Steve Whyte
Laura Yoder Witt

New Team Cher
Brad Benson
Jon de Guzman
Damon Ketron
Maggie Morris
Megan Reilly
Lauren Stripling
Stefan Wenger

more

Friday September 5, 2014, 9:41am - by Megan Gray

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Magnet Theater is now accepting applications for the 2014 fall season of Musical Megawatt. Please fill out THIS FORM no later than TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 16th to apply for an audition slot.

Anyone who has completed Magnet Musical Improv Level 3 is eligible to apply, though please note that a completed form does not guarantee an audition slot. Due to the high volume of eligible improvisers and a limited number of slots, priority will be given to students and performers who have finished the class or performed on a Musical Megawatt team within the last year.

Confirmations will be sent out by THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 18th.

CLICK HERE to apply.

Tuesday August 26, 2014, 4:53pm - by Magnet Theater

 

 

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John O’Donnell, longtime friend of Magnet Theater and kind onstage powerhouse talks about how he first fell in love with performing, improv, and stumbling upon the early evolution of musical improv.

John has appeared in pilots for Comedy Central, the HBO Aspen Comedy Festival, on Late Night With Conan O’Brien, as well as numerous commercials.

He has also written and performed a trilogy of one-man shows, O’Donnellogues, Son of O’Donnellogues, and Beneath The Planet of The O’Donnellogues. At the Magnet Theater he has made appearances in Thursday Night Out, The Armando Diaz Experience, The Tiny Spectacular, and currently improvises weekly in Magnet’s ‘The Made Up Musical‘.

John has a Masters Degree in Education and has been teaching in New York City for over a decade.

Subscribe to the Magnet Theater Podcast via iTunes here.

Enjoy Episode #13 on iTunes or below via SoundCloud.

Tuesday July 8, 2014, 1:21pm - by Magnet Theater

Frank SpitznagelSubscribe with iTunes!

Louis Kornfeld interviews Magnet Musical Director Frank Spitznagel! They talk about everything from Annie to Zorba including musical theater, musical improv, and what makes a good scene- all while Rick Andrews laughs loudly in the background!

Subscribe and Listen with iTunes!

Or listen below on SoundCloud…

Sunday March 30, 2014, 9:30pm - by Magnet Theater
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We’re excited to announce our new additions to Musical Megawatt, New Team Hall and New Team Oates!  Both teams will be debuting Tuesday, April 1st at Musical Megawatt, where there will be Magnet drink specials and an after party at Walter’s (389 8th Ave).

New Team Hall
Brad Benson
John de Guzman
Damon Ketron
Miles Lindahl
Amanda Mayer
Ariana Murphy
Steve Whyte 
Wednesday March 26, 2014, 12:37am - by Amanda Ariel Peggy Xeller

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Mint Condition is one of the two longest running teams a part of Musical Megawatt at the Magnet Theater. Their full roster is filled with incredible musical improv strength, passion, and a very strong bond making them a Giant of Tuesday night. I (Amanda Ariel Peggy Xeller!) got a chance to sit down with the whole team in an attempt to capture their relationship not only with their comedic art, but with each other. Mint Condition is Angela DeManti, Ryan Dunkin, Woody Fu, Melissa Gordon, Sarah Puls, Chris Simpson, and Douglas Widick.

 

What attracted you to the Magnet to begin with?

Sarah Puls (SP): I wanted to do musical improv and this was the only place that was offering classes and also being on house team.

Melissa Gordon (MG): Same. This was the only theater that had a specific Musical Improv Program.

Angela DeManti (AD): I think that the Magnet’s teaching style was something I could relate to and latch onto.

Ryan Dunkin (RD): I came here for musical improv. I also knew about Armando. I used to live in Chicago so I would go to see those shows and heard about him. That’s how I got interested.

Douglas Widick (DW): Musical improv. more

Monday December 30, 2013, 11:00am - by WillyAppelman

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The Director Series is a monthly improv installation wherein a director picks a new form and sets it on a new cast. This month, Michael Lutton is directing “One Hit Wonder”. We chatted with Michael via email to discuss the form.

1. What is ‘One Hit Wonder’?
One-Hit Wonder is a new form that Jon Bander and I came up with. It’s a narrative that follows the story of a band: how it was created, how the group became famous with their number-one hit, the band’s downfall and where the band members are now. I wanted to direct it because I think it has a lot of fun possibilities. Everyone is familiar with “Behind the Music” and biopics about recording artists, so there is a lot to play with, and with that simple story arc the improvisers will have a lot of room to find patterns and develop characters.

2. How does this differ from normal Musical Improv?
This form uses documentary-style interviews to bookend scenes, and since the story arc is one that is already familiar, the cast members are free to focus more on character dynamics.

3. What is your favorite one hit wonder?
The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia by Vicki Lawrence is one of the best story songs of all time, and I will fight anyone who says different. Physically fight them.

4. What is the future of musical improv?
Musical improv is usually narrative, which is a lot of fun but also very challenging. Moving ahead, I think groups will find new ways to tell stories. Our musical program is relatively new and still growing, but we a have a few veteran groups that are doing interesting things with form and genre, and starting to test the limits of what you can do with a musical. I’m very excited to see what happens next!

‘One Hit Wonder’ premiers Thursday, January 2nd at 9pm and continues Thursdays at 9pm in January!

Tuesday November 5, 2013, 5:46pm - by WillyAppelman

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1. The Director’s Series Presents The Wake (improv)- Thursdays at 9pm: Alex Marino directs “The Wake”, an improv show inspired by the name of a recently deceased person.

2. Croft & Pearce (sketch)- Monday, Nov. 11th at 7pm: For one night only, top-rated British sketch comedians Croft & Pearce will be exploring some of life’s enduring mysteries, such as: is it ever too late? (yes), am I worth more than this? (no), should I tweet about this experience? (obviously).

3. Weekend of Regret & Pepita (improv & solo improv)- Monday, Nov. 11th at 8:30pm: 5 of New York’s top improvisers are paired with Pepita, the fictional alter-ego of Magnet Theater performer and instructor, Elana Fishbein.

4. Magnet Sketch Teams (sketch)- Sundays at 7:30pm: Homegrown sketch groups craft some of the most intelligent and hilarious sketch comedy New York, nay The World, has ever seen.

5. Jamaal Sedayao: Born To Karaoke (solo sketch)- Sunday, Nov. 17th at 9pm: In Japanese, “karaoke” means “empty orchestra.” And in Swahili “karaoke” means “having a good time”. Jamaal hopes you have the latter at this show.

6. Legend (musical improv)- Tuesday, Nov. 26th at 9pm: Seasoned Magnet Musical Improv Team, Legend, will blow you away with a completely improvised musical.

7. Kornfeld & Andrews (improv)- Saturday, Nov. 30th at 10:30pm: Magnet Instructors and performers and super cool dudes Louis Kornfeld and Rick Andrews pair together for one night of magical improvisation.

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