Posts Tagged ‘the boss’
The Magnet Theater boasts an incredible roster of talent, some of which have been around since the theater’s inception. On March 19th, I (Amanda Ariel Peggy Xeller!) met up with veteran Magnet improviser Charlie Whitcroft (The Boss) to get a glimpse into his world of improv.
Where are you from originally?
I am from Staten Island, NY. I moved to Queens 7 years ago and I love Queens. I mean, Staten Island was nice, but I’m glad I moved off of it.
When did you realize you wanted to get involved in comedy?
I don’t know if I ever did realize that I wanted to get into comedy. I kind of grew up with Louis Kornfeld and Megan Gray and Corey Grimes. We all went to school together. They were all doing improv I’d say a year before I was. They would always encourage me to take classes. I guess it wore me down and I finally did and I never looked back. Somewhere in there, I guess maybe like 8 or 9 years ago, I decided that I wanted to do comedy. But I had been going to see them do improv more
They’re the Magnet Theater’s longest standing, longest standing teams – veterans who’ve been performing high quality improv together for almost seven years. That’s a length of time most people can’t even wrap their heads around in this ever-more present-focused world of ours.
Now they’re loading themselves up into chambers randomly (not really randomly… there’s a set schedule) for a weekly round of Russian Roulette known as The Revolver. Each week you’ll see two of these teams perform, each in their own unique and seasoned styles.
Come out and see them, every Thursday Night at 8pm.
Then talk to them afterwards. Being around so long, they have stories to tell.
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!
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…
Louis Kornfeld, Chet Siegel and Quinton Loder from The Boss are in the Doritos: CRASH THE SUPERBOWL Commercial contest. Click on the link and vote for “Doritos Experiment”!
Speaking of The Boss… you can also catch them live on stage tonight at 10PM at The Magnet Theater. Thursday Night Out!