Posts Tagged ‘musical improv’

Tuesday February 20, 2018, 10:00am - by Promo Team

Ever wanted to dip your toe into the world of Musical Improv? There’s no better place to start than The Magnet Musical Improv All-Stars Spectacular!, this Friday, Feb. 23 at 7! Creator and director Nikita Burdein illuminates the rollercoaster of fun (and music!) below.

 

The Magnet has a really amazing Musical Improv program, and it’s one you’re heavily involved in. Tell us a little about your experience with musical ‘prov at Magnet.

I first heard of and came to the Magnet Theater because of their Musical Improv Program. It was (and still is) the only theater that has one night a week dedicated exclusively to Musical Improv, complete with a full band, and I wanted to be a part of that. I got cast on Wonderland in 2013 and we are now the oldest Musical team at Magnet. Oh boy! I’ve also been lucky enough to do various other Musical Improv shows at the Magnet including The Made-Up Musical, and currently Premiere: The Improvised Musical on Fridays. I also teach Musical Improv Levels 1 and 2 at the Magnet! So I like it a lot.

I have met so many amazing people through the Magnet Musical Improv Program. They are so talented and have the best personalities and they all have Musical comedy in their heart and soul, so that’s a great creative energy to be around.

This is a variety show! What can we look forward to seeing?

Variety is right. Every show will be different but there’s a few staples to look for.

You’ll see a one night only mash-up cast perform a long-form fully improvised narrative musical. But before they do that, they will play short form games, perform musical sketches and characters, share videos they’ve made, and sing all sorts of types of songs, some improvised and some not. The cast is always changing and each new cast is encouraged to bring something they are excited about sharing with the world, whether its a video, sketch, song, or whatever else.

Can you share a highlight from the first show?

There were too many to name just one. I think seeing this nine people cast collaborate together as amazingly as they did for the first time ever on stage was a definite highlight. Balancing a nine person cast in a narrative is not easy (our Tuesday teams have a maximum of seven people), but they made it look effortless because they are all-stars.

What inspired you to create the Spectacular?

I was amazed by the amount of talent we had performing every Tuesday and wanted to showcase them, their musical improv skills, but also their other creative endeavors; Video Work, Original Songs, Characters. People were doing interesting things and I thought it’d be fun to put them all together.

Then I really enjoy those mashup improv shows that crop up every holiday season, where they put people from various teams onto one super-team, and said let’s do that too.

Then I wanted it to have a little more audience engagement so there’s a short form game in the show.

Then I put other things in the show that I love, like “Solo Spot Songs” and “having a host” and “an element of surprise for the cast.”

Finally, I wanted the audience to get to know the performers in a different way than a long-form piece alone allows. So that’s part of it too. The audience will get to know these players and then they’ll see them perform an amazing Musical Improv Long-form Narrative.

If you don’t know much about musical improv, can you still enjoy the show?

Yes. We will have a host who will introduce each act so no one will be lost. There’s singing and dancing. If you hate singing and dancing, there’s comedy. If you don’t like any of those three things, then it’s not for you.

We’ve heard a scandalous rumor that the name of show may be changing soon.

Yes. The Magnet Musical Improv All-Stars Spectacular is getting a new name. I think it will be revealed at our next show. Something a little peppier, although I do love how descriptive this first title was.

 


Be dazzled and/or bedazzled at The Magnet Musical Improv All-Stars Spectacular! on Friday, February 23 at 7:00 at Magnet!

Thursday February 8, 2018, 10:00am - by Promo Team

Welcome to Magnet’s “Getting To Know” series! We’re using our blog to highlight our fabulous performers and writers and we can’t wait for you to meet them. Want to see them all? Click here.

What’s your name?

Marie Denny.

Which team or show are you on?

SNACKS!

Where are you from?

I was born and raised in London, England, then Chicago, IL.

How did you get into improv/sketch comedy?

I moved to New York 8 years ago as a dramatic actor associating improv with comedy-which felt out of my league. After a few years here I decided to take an improv class to book more commercial auditions so I could be somewhat poor instead of all the way poor. I didn’t really know what long form improv was before that but I was hooked immediately. Sketch felt like a natural progression a few years after that.

How long have you been performing/writing?

Since high school but it wasn’t something I thought I would do with my life until after college.

Who in all the world would be your ideal scene or writing partner?

Michaela Coel. Chewing Gum was one of the most brilliant, weird, authentic and original shows I’ve seen in awhile.

Who would you most like to impersonate or write for?

I’d love to write for Robin Thede on The Rundown. The show has a voice and perspective you won’t find anywhere else in late night and she brings a fun energy to our current, nightmarish news cycle.

What makes you laugh the hardest?

Silly wordplay and inventive physical comedy.

Describe the soundtrack to your life!

Well I’m a big old 80’s baby so it would start with some manic 80’s pop and then move into some smooth 90’s RnB. Throw in some Snoop and Riri for good measure.

What’s something you’d ask when meeting someone for the first time?

“How’s it going?” Practicality won out.

Where can we find you on a Saturday night?

Probably slinging drinks in a bar dreaming of one day being an old, eccentric hermit.

Would you ever consider keeping a rodent as a pet?

Only if it could do useful stuff like bring me the remote and make my bed. That would actually be pretty dope, I might be into that.

 

Thursday February 1, 2018, 10:00am - by Promo Team

Welcome to Magnet’s “Getting To Know” series! We’re using our blog to highlight our fabulous performers and writers and we can’t wait for you to meet them. Want to see them all? Click here.

What’s your name?

Brian Rodriguez.

Which team or show are you on?

I’m on the musical improv team Honeymoon, part of Musical Megawatt.

Where are you from?

The Dirtiest Parts of Jersey, NJ.

How did you get into improv/sketch comedy?

I started doing competitive solo improv on my high school forensics team when I was a freshman and loved having it as an outlet for creating characters and following patterns and calling back to earlier beats.

How long have you been performing/writing?

I played Touchstone in an 8th grade production of As You Like It, and have mostly felt trapped performing that role ever since.

I’m sorry, that answer is a little too pretentious! What about: I started playing the trombone and performing in the 4th grade, mostly because I could make it look like I was jerking the instrument off? Is that better?!

Who in all the world would be your ideal scene or writing partner?

I just want to be in a scene with Beth Slack again. That would be ideal.

Who would you most like to impersonate or write for?

Neither of those things interest me, but I would most like for more Magnet talent (not me) to write for more Magnet Podcasts ???? There is just such amazing talent here that I wish I could carry around on my phone and listen to.

What makes you laugh the hardest?

That thing when babies are scared by their own farts. It’s such a raw visceral reaction.

Describe the soundtrack to your life!

Lots of Math Rock, Chillhop, and anything Sufjan Stevens does.

What’s something you’d ask when meeting someone for the first time?

I’d ask them not to make eye contact.

Where can we find you on a Saturday night?

At home, watching everyone else’s night out on snapchat.

If you could only wear one color for the rest of your life, what would it be? (You can wear different shades of the same color.)

 I’m so stressed out by this question, I may never leave the house again. Gray?

Thursday December 28, 2017, 10:00am - by Promo Team

Welcome to Magnet’s “Getting To Know” series! We’re using our blog to highlight our fabulous performers and writers and we can’t wait for you to meet them. Want to see them all? Click here.

What’s your name?

Hi, my name is Amanda. “Bless my soul!”

Which team or show are you on?

Drama. We’re new to Megawatt. “Herc was on a roll!”

Where are you from?

Middletown, New Jersey. “Person of the week in every Greek opinion poll!”

How did you get into improv/sketch comedy?

By accident. I thought I submitted for a paying gig and I wound up in an improv class. “What a pro!”

How long have you been performing/writing?

As a child, I lied a lot. My mom put me in theater classes as an outlet for my persuasive imagination. “Herc’ could stop a show!”

Who in all the world would be your ideal scene or writing partner?

Samantha Bee. “Point him at a monster and you’re talking SRO!”

What makes you laugh the hardest?

People who are good at losing. “He was a no one, a zero, zero!”

Describe the soundtrack to your life!

“Now he’s a honcho
He’s a hero
He was a kid with his act down pat
From zero to hero in no time flat
Zero to hero just like that
When he smiled
The girls went wild with
Ooh’s and ah’s
And they slapped his face
On every vase
(On every ‘vahse’)
From appearance fees and royalties
Our Herc had cash to burn
Now nouveau riche and famous
He could tell you
What’s a Grecian urn?
Say amen
There he goes again
Sweet and undefeated
And an awesome ten for ten
Folks lined up
Just to watch him flex
And this perfect package
Packed a pair of pretty pecs
Hercie, he comes
He sees, he conquers
Honey, the crowds were
Going bonkers
He showed the moxie, brains, and spunk
From zero to hero a major hunk
Zero to hero and who’da thunk
Who put the glad in gladiator?
Hercules!
Whose daring deeds are great theater?
Hercules
Isn’t he bold?
No one braver
Is he sweet
Our favorite flavor
Hercules, Hercules (my man)
Hercules, Hercules
Hercules, Hercules
Bless my soul
Herc’ was on a roll
Undefeated
Riding high
And the nicest guy
Not conceited
He was a nothin’
A zero, zero
Now he’s a honcho
He’s a hero
He hit the heights at breakneck speed
From zero to hero
Herc is a hero!”

What’s something you’d ask when meeting someone for the first time?

Where are you from? “Now he’s a herooooo!”

Where can we find you on a Saturday night?

Transcribing the lyrics to Hercules. “Yes indeed!”

What’s your favorite movie quote?

“Indifference is the most awful thing in the world, Armand,” and the rest of The Birdcage.

Thursday December 21, 2017, 10:00am - by Promo Team

Welcome to Magnet’s “Getting To Know” series! We’re using our blog to highlight our fabulous performers and writers and we can’t wait for you to meet them. Want to see them all? Click here.

What’s your name?

Amy Charowsky

Which team or show are you on?

SNACKS!

Where are you from?

New Milford, NJ

How did you get into improv/sketch comedy?

I started a short-form group in college with my friend Noah, because short-form was all I was aware of at the time. And then when I moved to NY, I started in long-form classes, and then after years of that, I tried musical improv classes.

How long have you been performing/writing?

I started in dance classes when I was 2, which I eventually learned wasn’t my strong suit. I started acting and singing about 10 years after that.

Who in all the world would be your ideal scene or writing partner?

I suppose because my natural tendency is to be a grounded straight man type, a more high energy partner would be the best fit. So… maybe like… Melissa McCarthy — if I could keep a straight face!

Who would you most like to impersonate or write for? 

Oooh, I love acting but I don’t love doing impersonations. The only ones I’ve ever been even halfway decent at are of Karen from Will & Grace and Celine Dion, and you’d have to ask really nicely for them… and maybe give me a glass of wine.

What makes you laugh the hardest?

Either really spot-on observational comedy, or just pure silliness. It’s really situationally specific for me.

Describe the soundtrack to your life!

It’s a wide range! I keep a Spotify playlist of a random bunch of songs I like… it’s a mix of singer/songwriter stuff, folk rock, bluegrass rock, pop, and so on. There’s even a little bit of classical in there. But I also have a showtunes playlist I put on a lot too. Can’t help it.

What’s something you’d ask when meeting someone for the first time?

What’s your name? LOGICAL QUESTION (also I’ve probably forgotten it so realistically I am asking this question twice)

Where can we find you on a Saturday night?

Probably working, because I don’t have a normal schedule and sadly “Saturday night” doesn’t usually mean anything social for me. That’s what other nights are for!

What’s your favorite time of day and why?

Generally, I love the nighttime, like 10-12. I tend to function better then, like my brain is sharper or something!

Thursday November 2, 2017, 10:49am - by Promo Team

Welcome to Magnet’s “Getting To Know” series! We’re using our blog to highlight our fabulous performers and writers and we can’t wait for you to meet them. Want to see them all? Click here.

What’s your name?

Samara Breger

Which team or show are you on?

Kittyhawk

Where are you from?

NYC

How did you get into improv/sketch comedy?

I was very sad and living in Boston, which I hated, so I decided to try out improv and aerial silks. The improv stuck. I didn’t get into musical improv until I got back to New York, and that’s when it all really clicked for me. Thanks, Magnet Theater!

How long have you been performing/writing?

Kind of always–I did musicals as a kid and then focused on classical voice and opera from high school until my early twenties, when it wore me out. Musical improv really reminded me how much I love performing. Thanks again, Magnet Theater!

Who in all the world would be your ideal scene or writing partner?

Judy Blume.

Who would you most like to impersonate or write for? 

I would love to write zesty little one-liners for RuPaul for when the queens come down the runway. I like to impersonate the devil or animals doing people jobs. I used to celebrate my college’s official annual “Julia Child Day” by terrorizing my friends with my Julia Child impression. STEAK DIANE!

What makes you laugh the hardest?

When my buddies on stage surprise themselves. That look of shock commingled with delight and a tiny bit of terror gets me right in my sweet spot. Also, I’m always tickled when people can’t get through telling a joke without laughing. They’re laughing, I’m laughing, we’re all having a very good time!

Describe the soundtrack to your life!

Short answer: Liza Minnelli. Long answer: LIIIIIIIZAAAAA MINNELLLIIIIIII! WOOO!

What’s something you’d ask when meeting someone for the first time?

Are you Liza Minnelli? Oh, you’re not? Get the fuck out of here.

Where can we find you on a Saturday night?

Standing in my kitchen, debating whether or not I want to go to a geographically inconvenient party.

If life were a video game what would some of the cheat codes be?

If you pretend to be confident for a while, it can lead to actual confidence.

Monday October 16, 2017, 7:41pm - by Magnet Theater

The New York Musical Improv Festival (NYMIF), now in its ninth year is making its return to the Magnet Theater this Thursday, October 19 – 22.

Showcasing more than 230 of the biggest and brightest musical comedy performers from around the U.S, Canada and Germany, this year’s festival will feature everything from traditional musical theatre fare à la Sondheim and Andrew Lloyd Webber, to adrenaline-pumping rap battles and Hamilton-esque- style improvised historical “Hip-Hoperas!”

Festival favorites such as Baby Wants Candy (with cast members whose credits include Saturday Night Live, The Daily Show, 30 Rock, The Colbert Report and Broadway’s “Bloody, Bloody Andrew Jackson,” sensational improvisational vocalist, Mikki Hommel who toured the US and Europe with Dweezil Zappa, and Improvised Sondheim Project (comprised of performers and faculty from legendary improv training ground The Second City in Chicago) will return alongside North Coast! – fresh off their Off-Broadway run at The Connelly Theater.

New additions to this year’s festival include, LA’s award-winning team, Robot Teammate – (creators of #TURBULENCE running Off Broadway at the SoHo Playhouse, ) Your Love, Our Musical , ( who recently appeared on Bravo’s “Million Dollar Listings” ) and American Immigrants, feat. Anthony Veneziale, (known for his work in Freestyle Love Supreme with Lin Manuel Miranda and other Hamiltonians.

Ticket information, show schedules and other event details can be found at www.nymif.com.

Full list of performers…

Baby Wants Candy (NYC), The Improvised Sondheim Project (Chicago), American Immigrants (SanFrancisco), NORTH COAST Presents ANYBODY: An Improvised Historical Hip-Hopera (NYC),Your Love, Our Musical (NYC), The Armando Diaz Experience: Musical Edition (NYC), Robot Teammate and the Accidental Party (L.A.), Vox Pop (Washington, DC), Mansical (Chicago), Mikki Hommel (NYC), Murder ‘Til Death (San Diego), Olivia Benson (NYC), Wonderland (NYC), Hot Mess (Kansas City/Chicago), Good Catch (NYC), ImprovBoston (Boston), Premiere: The Improvised Musical (NYC), PYROS (NYC), IMMIGRANTS, THE MUSICAL! (PART 1) (Austin, TX), VERN (NYC), RoboPop (NYC), After Hours (Oklahoma City), Public Pool (NYC), Bookends: A Musical Journey (NYC/San Francisco), COMMITMENT PANTS (Chicago), Mr. Kitty (NYC), Hansbury and Slack Present THE MOMENT: An Improvised Musical Play (NYC), Oh My Lanta (Chicago), Girls Girls Girls (Austin, TX), Warm Blooded (NYC), James and Then Also Stoddy, Too (NYC), Pitch, Please!!! (L.A.), Grammalot (Pittsburgh), Eastwood (Chicago), SideCar (International Ensemble) and Trudy Carmichael’s Musical Mixer (Las Vegas).

The New York Musical Improv Festival will also be featuring up and coming performers in the NYMIF I.P.O. (Initial Public Offering). Performing this year are Door #3 (Washington, DC), Large Mouth Bass (Providence, RI), Noice! (NYC) and Redshirts (NYC).

SPECIAL EVENTS:

Armando Diaz Experience: Musical Edition – On Thursday, October 19 at 9:00pm, a musical edition of the classic “Armando” form which originated at the iO (formerly known as ImprovOlympic) in Chicago. Musical improvisors will work off of the words of a special guest Monologist to create a fully realized One Night Only musical!

Musical Inspirado – On Thursday, October 19 at 11:00pm, the only MUSICAL improv competition in the world! This year four musical improv teams: Warm Blooded (Magnet, NYC), Hot Mess (Kansas City/Chicago), Oh My Lanta (Chicago), Mr. Kitty (PIT, NYC) will each accept one challenge and battle it out for the audience’s approval. Once all of the votes have been tallied, one victor shall be awarded the highly coveted Dale North Memorial Trophy. Don’t miss your chance to see what will be the best competitive meeting of improvised musicals of the century!

SideCar: International Ensemble – On Saturday, October 21 at 7:00pm, a team of improvisers from all over the U.S., Canada and Germany, will come together from their corners of the earth to create an exciting, (possibly multi-lingual,) One-Night- Only, completely improvised musical performance! Directed by Nikita Burdein

Trudy Carmichael’s Musical Mixer – On Saturday, October 21, 2017 at 11:30pm, this late night festival favorite, now in its ninth year, challenges you to try your lady (and manly) luck at making up music with some of the finest Musical Improvisers in the country. Anyone can sign up to perform – even if it’s your first time! Keep your bankroll stashed because admission to the Mixer is 100% FREE! Hosted by Las Vegas Lounge Legend and lush, Miss Trudy Carmichael and her trusty sidekick, T.J. with The Magnet Musical Mixer Orchestra, a 5-piece band led by the incomparable Frankie Keys, providing improvised musical accompaniment throughout the night!

Thursday October 12, 2017, 5:22pm - by Megan Gray

The Magnet is excited to announce the first all-musical Circuit! Three teams of six performers each will be created and receive a run of five shows at the Training Center on Saturday nights, starting November 11th.

Musical Circuit teams will be created by lottery. Anyone who has completed Musical Level 3 and is not currently on a Musical Megawatt team is eligible to apply. For more details and to put your name in the hat, fill out THIS FORM!

Monday October 2, 2017, 11:57am - by Megan Gray

Magnet Theater is pleased to announce the new teams and additions for the Fall 2017 season of Musical Megawatt, debuting this Tuesday, October 3rd, 7pm and Megawatt, debuting this Wednesday, October 4th, 7pm.  We hope to see you there.

Names with a caret^ are new to Megawatt. Names with an asterisk* are returning to Megawatt.

***MUSICAL MEGAWATT***

NEW TEAM ELVIS
Michael Bird^
Amy Charowsky*
Marie Denny^
Natasha Gleichmann*
Collin Gossel^
Veronica Lowry^
Adam Payne

 

***MEGAWATT***

NEW TEAM GOUDA
Alex Braslavsky
Jarreau Carrillo
Princess Gibbs^
Patrick Grizzard
Amanda Rothman^
Keith Rubin*
Ryan Shams^
Danielle Wessler^

NEW TEAM ASIAGO
Justin Anderson
Bianca Casusol
Chris De La Cruz^
Ali Fisher*
Ellen Matthews^
Abby Russell
Emily Shapiro
Justin Torres*

NEW TEAM CHEDDAR
Matt Abedi^
Kim Brown
Alan Fessenden*
Molly Kiernan
Michael Kroll
Devin O’Neill*
Xavier Padin^
Dede Tabak

Some of our existing teams have received new members. Names in italics are joining a preexisting team.

more

Thursday August 31, 2017, 10:00am - by Promo Team

Welcome to Magnet’s “Getting To Know” series! We’re using our blog to highlight our fabulous performers and writers and we can’t wait for you to meet them. Want to see them all? Click here.

What’s your name?

Jessica Coyle

Which team or show are you on?

Captains

Where are you from?

Cincinnati, Ohio

How did you get into improv/sketch comedy?

When I was living in Korea, I saw a posting in a meetup group about doing comedy in English. I showed up a week early by mistake, I was so excited! It was great. I performed with them in Korea, China, the US, and Canada for 5 years. Most expat improv is short form, but after watching a show on a vacation to NYC that blew my mind I tried to teach myself long form techniques by reading books and watching YouTube videos. Trust me, it’s better to learn that stuff in a class. (Fun fact about that time: I accidentally said “improvist” instead of “improviser” for YEARS without anyone correcting me.)

How long have you been performing/writing?

My first big role was as a child bride Mrs. Claus in the 4th grade, so about 975 years now?

Who in all the world would be your ideal scene or writing partner?

Paul F Tompkins, though I’d probably faint on him and get his fancy suit all rumpled.

Who would you most like to impersonate or write for? 

A small goat.

What makes you laugh the hardest?

My sister – is she a what? Otherwise, certain Magnet performers I won’t mention here for fear of appearing too obsequious.

Describe the soundtrack to your life!

A low droning moan, interspersed with the crack of fresh carrots being snapped in twain.

What’s something you’d ask when meeting someone for the first time?

Oh God, we’ve actually met before, haven’t we. please forgive me.

Where can we find you on a Saturday night?

Are you hunting me? Are you HUNTING ME? I AM DIONYSUS, GOD OF MASKS, AND YE SHALL NEVER FIND ME, WOODSMAN!

What, in your opinion, is the worst starburst flavor?

Burnt Foot (tied with Hot Wings Burp)