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

Posts Tagged ‘woody fu’

Friday May 4, 2012, 11:22am - by catherinewing

 

GAY BOMB: THE MUSICAL is landing on the Magnet Theater, with only a few seats left for this highly anticipated opening night tonight! Directed by Michael Martin, with music by Frank Spitznagel, and book and lyrics by Chris Friden and Steve Whyte, this musical comedy is inspired by an actual proposal by the U.S. military (in 1994!) to build a bomb that would make America’s enemies gay.

Starring Andrew Fafoutakis, Dreagn Foltz, Ben Jones, Michael Lutton, Jen Sanders, T.J. Mannix, Oscar Montoya, Dave Tomczak and Woody Fu, the show premieres tonight, and will run on select Mondays and Fridays in May and June at 8:30pm. Tickets can be purchased here.

Fridays: 5/4, 5/11, 5/18, 5/25, 6/15, 6/22, 6/29
Mondays: 5/21, 6/11, 6/18

Here is Part 1 of my interview with GAY BOMB: THE MUSICAL co-writer, Steve Whyte.

Magnet Blog:  What motivated you and your co-writer, Chris Friden, to create GAY BOMB?

Steve Whyte:  We often hear of absurd policies from our government, but this one really seemed special. It’s simultaneously hilarious and sad. Sad that a room full of educated, grown men (no one knows who was in the room, but I would wager that, yes, they were probably all men) would have a set of values and beliefs that could allow the serious consideration of a “Gay Bomb.” This didn’t happen in the 1950s; this was 1994. Hilarious, I suppose, for the same reasons. It’s low hanging fruit – easy to make fun of.  At the same time, it’s an opportunity for some commentary about stereotyping, prejudice, politics, and power.

MB:  Have you and Chris ever written a musical before?

SW:  Neither of us have ever written a musical. We actually wrote a screenplay of GAY BOMB about a year ago, and then figured it would make a fun musical. I learned a lot about musicals and what makes them tick from the musical improv classes at the Magnet. Then, when we decided to do this, I read a shitload of books on the subject, took a “musical writers bootcamp” workshop at Davenport Theatrical, and bent the ear of fellow Magnet improviser and librettist Justin Moran (POPE!, Nightfall on Miranga Island).

MB:  Any advice for folks who might want to write their own musical, but don’t know how to start?

SW:  My number one suggestion would be: Get help. Surround yourself with talented people. Be willing to give up control and have others help.

There are several books on the subject, a couple of which lay out the fundamentals pretty well. I found The Musical Theatre Writer’s Survival Guide by David Spencer and Writing the Broadway Musical by Aaron Frankel to be particularly helpful. Watching and re-watching a lot of musicals helps, especially ones that resonate with you. For me, that’s anything by Parker and Stone—Team America, Book of Mormon, the South Park movie (there are also several South Park episodes that are mini-musicals). And again, the musical improv classes also provide a great foundation in what moves a musical forward.

MB:  Any last words to end Part 1 of this interview, Steve?

SW:  We’re honored that the Magnet has included us in their effort to showcase more scripted material at the theater. This production draws very heavily on the Magnet community. Everyone in the cast and crew has taken many classes here, and has been in many shows. Our director, Michael Martin, is the director of the musical improv program here along with Frank Spitznagel, who is our musical director and composer.

Please stay tuned to the Magnet blog for future installments of my interview with Steve. See you at Opening Night of GAY BOMB!  Stay for the after-party at Smithfield, the new bar at 215 West 28th Street!

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.

more

Monday February 6, 2012, 6:11pm - by woodyfu
Fed's bodysuit

One thing I love seeing in scenes is when players create elaborate visual set-ups that the audience has to imagine. Sometimes it’s environmental — I remember a great Brick gag where the scene took place in “Office Narnia,” a private hide-away space that included weightlifting gear, endless bootleg cigarettes (“Camle” brand) and a cum bucket. OR! There was another time in the Program when the players assembled to create a giant, walking Statue of Liberty composed of dead bodies.

Other times it’s generated by the characters themselves — there was a great Dunk bit where the fumes from Taylor’s “stinky leg” was so overpowering that it physicalized and could knock people out. And sometimes it is as simple as an article of clothing on a character. Anytime a character is revealed as wearing overalls, a Buckingham Palace-guard-hat, or a Batman outfit, I love watching players take these cues and physicalize them or working them into the scene. What I’m saying is that I like to use my imagination! People!

I saw a Horses show recently and Fed’s character was obsessed with the Bodies exhibit and over the course of the show got his own body suit and crashed a dinner party with it on.

I got to use my imagination. I liked it!

I drew a picture of what I imagined it looked like:

Fed's bodysuit

Scene painting!

Get it? You get it. I will hopefully be doing more of these as time goes on. Oh, if you want to see pictures from that show, you can do so here.

PS – Thanks to gross gross Slim Goodbody for the reference.

 

– Woody Fu

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 5, 2012, 2:02pm - by woodyfu
large_choralrage

Tara Copeland originally formed Choral Rage back in July ’09, one of the first musical house teams at the Magnet along with Miracle Baby. After a brief hibernation, they perfected the art of the fully improvised rock opera, and more recently began honing the nuances of the musical monoscene.

Choral Rage’s personnel is comprised of a stellar cast of musical improv veterans: Angela DeManti (Weird Sisters/Phooka), Henry Kaiser (Face), Justin Moran (Featherweight/Nightfall on Miranga Island), Ryan Nelson (Nightfall on Miranga Island), Robin Rothman (Rosencrantz/Nightfall on Miranga Island), Jon Roufaeal (Nightfall on Miranga Island) & Jen Sanders (Mint Condition/Made Up Musical).

John Roufaeal, Jen Sanders, Robin Rothman, Henry Kaiser, Ryan Nelson, Angela DeManti

What form will they unveil this weekend, when they return to the Magnet stage for the beginning of their second weekend run? What mellifluous harmonies will grace our ears, what hip thrusts and possible stage-humps? Be there at 9pm on Friday to find out.

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Friday April 22, 2011, 3:19pm - by admin

Link: Woody Fu’s “People I Have Met Through Magnet” Album

It’s no secret that taking improv classes at The Magnet Theater is a great way to branch out, try something new and meet fun and interesting people.  Recently Woody Fu, a student and now the most recent addition to the Musical Improv Team, The Sound and the Fury, started to draw everyone he has met through taking classes and performing at The Magnet Theater.  The result is incredibly cool, check it out:

 

   

 

 

The whole album can be viewed by clicking on the title link above.  There are 100+ drawings and it’s been growing larger everyday.  Great job!  Woody also does comics at http://www.peroxidecomics.com.

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