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

Posts Tagged ‘Town Hall’

Wednesday October 9, 2013, 9:39am - by catherinewing

TJ-&-Dave-DISPLAY-POSTER-revised

At an early point in an improviser’s development, the names of TJ Jagodowski and David Pasquesi will be mentioned by a teacher, a coach, or a fellow comedy nerd friend. “You gotta go see TJ & Dave.” You will be told that they are the best of the best. You will be advised that their approach towards improvisation is worth incorporating into your own philosophy and growth as a performer.

And you might wonder: why?

Based in Chicago, TJ & Dave are revered as two of the best improvisers in the country. TJ Jagodowski is most recognizable from the long-running series of improvised Sonic Drive-In commercials featuring himself and Peter Grosz. In addition to performing in “TJ & Dave,” TJ performs regularly with other seasoned improv groups on stages across Chicago. Dave Pasquesi has performed in dramatic plays (Glengarry Glen Ross, God of Carnage), appeared on television (Strangers With Candy, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Veep) and in movies, and is also a voiceover actor. As a duo, they have performed together for over a decade. TJ & Dave perform regularly at the iO Theater on Wednesday nights. They also perform multiple times during the year in New York City, at the Barrow Street Theatre.

TJ & Dave create one-act plays through the art of slow comedy, taking time to develop characters and relationships, and discover situations together. They don’t go for the easy laugh. As a result, the comedy that emerges from their patience is moving, grounded, and honest. The Magnet’s own Matt Shafeek wrote this Splitsider article on TJ & Dave and the power of slow comedy:

TJ & Dave can often go long stretches of time without any big laughs, and this is where a lot of weaker improvisers often falter. A performer who fears he or she has lost the audience will panic and will resort to time-honored gimmicks – exaggerated physicality, ridiculous characters, and of course, going ‘blue’ (making a lewd/sexual reference or choice) in a desperate attempt to end the audience’s silence. But TJ & Dave, as well as Louis CK, know that patience in comedy can lead to much bigger rewards.

The mainstream world has caught onto the awesomeness that is TJ & Dave. A rave review in the theater section of the New York Times, written last year by accomplished composer and lyricist David Yazbek, has skyrocketed the popularity of their New York City appearances. Tickets are often sold out well before the beginning of each run. A Radiolab podcast feature earlier this year introduced TJ & Dave to hip intelligentsia who might not otherwise be interested in the improv comedy scene.

Psyched to check out a TJ & Dave show? You’re in luck! They will be performing in New York City at Town Hall this Friday, October 11th, at 8pm. This performance is extra-special for a lot of reasons. For the first time in New York, TJ & Dave will be performing with Chicago musician, Ike Reilly, in a joint appearance. If you’ve ever been to a TJ & Dave show, you’ve heard Ike Reilly’s songs at the beginning and end of the show. Their NY anthem is Commie Drives A Nova. This is also the first time that TJ & Dave will be performing at Town Hall, a venue that seats over 1000 people. This is the largest venue they have ever played in New York City, and possibly anywhere else. This show is one night only! TJ & Dave would love to see the NYC improv community in the audience, so please come and support!

Full price tickets are $42, but follow the instructions for various options below to get them for $27. The asterisks indicate preferred options, to avoid service fees:

For all options, use the code BST. You will need to tell the box office the code in order to get the discounted $27 tickets.

1) Show up in person at TOWN HALL BOX OFFICE*
(no service fees)
123 West 43rd Street, NY
12pm – 6pm, M-SAT

2) In Person: LIMITED tix available at BARROW STREET THEATRE BOX OFFICE*
(no service fees, CASH ONLY)
27 Barrow Street, on the corner of 7th Ave.
Open at 1pm Daily

3) Online: At ticketmaster.com with code BST
(service fees will apply)

Still unconvinced? Let’s go down the TJ & Dave rabbit hole, shall we?

In 2009, Alex Karpovsky made Trust Us, This Is All Made Up, a documentary about TJ & Dave, which includes an entire show that was recorded at the Barrow Street Theatre.  It had its world premiere at the 2009 SXSW Film Festival.  The DVD is available for purchase.  Check it out!

Pam Victor shares her interviews with the country’s improv greats on her blog series, Geeking Out With ….  She interviewed TJ and David extensively.  All three are in the process of co-writing a book on improv.  Stay tuned!

TJ Jagodowski: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

David Pasquesi: Part 1, Part 2

Beloved Magnet instructor, David Razowsky,  interviewed TJ & Dave earlier this year for his A.D.D. Comedy podcast.

Jimmy Carrane, veteran Chicago improviser and co-author of the book, Improvising Better: A Guide to the Working Improviser, interviewed TJ and David for his Improv Nerd podcast.

TJ Jagodowski

David Pasquesi

What are you waiting for?  Go buy your discounted tickets now.  See you at Town Hall on Friday!

Friday February 1, 2013, 1:13pm - by WillyAppelman

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The most recent Magnet Town Hall meeting took place Thursday, Jan. 31st at 6:30.  If you weren’t there, here is a quick recap of what was covered!

Rick Andrews, Head of Promotions, spoke about the many new graphics around the theater- all to the thanks of Carly Monardo, Adam Hawkins, Nolan Constantino & Dennis Pacheco.  These four have used their talents to create great show posters, stickers & t-shirts!  We’re going to be updating our Newsletter very soon, so keep your eyes peeled for that! We’re also going to be launching a street team!  If you’re interested in applying, please email schooldirector@magnettheater.com.  Also, if you have any questions about booking the Magnet for a Corporate show or anything else Magnet Tour Co. related, email Rick at rick@magnettheater.com.

Michael Martin, Director of The Musical Improv program spoke about the development of the program.  There are a few curriculum changes that will be going into effect in the next few months.  For more in depth information, be sure to check out The Musical Improv Town Hall, this Saturday (Feb. 2nd) at 11pm at The Magnet Training Center.

Kim Ferguson, The Magnet School Director, spoke about The Magnet Training Center.  The Training Center had a great 2012!   The Magnet has been able to add more specific classes, we’ve added Hip Hop Improv, Teen Improv (run by Elana Fishbein), more workshops & more advanced studies!  In 2012 the Magnet was able to offer special classes with Jeff Hiller, Kevin McDonald, Dave Razowsky, Christina Gausas and many more.  Congrats to new Magnet teachers, Nick Kanellis (Improv Level 1), Chet Siegel (Improv Level 1), Elana Fishbein (Teen Improv) and Melanie Hoopes (Intro to Solo Performance).  Many congrats!  Thanks to Sean Taylor for his incredible work with The Magnet Drop-In Program, be sure to check out the improv, sketch or musical improv Drop-In’s!  A special thanks goes to Kyle Levenick, The Training Center Night Manager, who has spearheaded the improvements and upkeep of The Magnet Training Center.

Megan Gray, The Magnet Artistic Director, spoke about getting involved in the theater. If you’re interested in applying for a written show, that’s a Test Drive.  If you’re interested in submitting your improv team to perform at The Magnet, that’s The Rundown.  Both of these applications can be found HERE on the Magnet website.  There will be more Special Improv Q & A’s coming up, so stay tuned.  Also, Megan will be taking office hours at The Magnet Training Center on Saturday, Feb. 23rd from 3-6pm.  This is a great time to bring up any comments, ideas or concerns.  Please email Megan to set up an appointment: megan@magnettheater.com.

Quinton Loder, The Magnet Theater Manager, spoke about the physical changes in the space.  His focus has been making the theater safe, friendly and professional.  He is always open to suggestions: Quinton@magnettheater.com.  Dave Warth has been brought on as The Magnet Technical Director- welcome Dave!

Armando Diaz & Ed Herbstman, Co-Owners of The Magnet Theater, talked about The Magnet’s conception and future.  Ed urged students to utilize their honed skills and apply them to different aspects of performing.  Armando talked about keeping the Magnet true to its roots.  The Theater is growing, and in this growth, Armando urged, it’s important to remember who we are.

That’s all!  See you at The Theater!

Wednesday January 23, 2013, 2:47pm - by WillyAppelman

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The next Magnet Town Hall Meeting will be held at The Magnet Theater on Thursday, January 31st at 6:30pm.  Boom!

Come hear the latest about the Magnet Theater and Training Center.  We’ll talk about highlights from 2012 and things to look forward to in 2013.  This is an open forum for students and performers to connect with Magnet teachers, managers and other people that run things or make decisions.  This will also be a great way for performers and students to learn about recent changes, current initiatives and upcoming projects and opportunities. Lots to discuss. All are welcome. Including you.

Thursday, January 31st at 6:30pm!  See you there!