Posts Tagged ‘variety show’
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!
Looking for a fun, female-focused show inspired by the backup dancers from a popular 90’s sketch comedy show? Lucky you– Fly Gurlz hits the Magnet stage Friday January 12th! We knew you’d be thirsty for more details, so we spoke with the show’s creators Meredith Paul, Nanie Méndez, and Lida Darmian to learn more.
What was the inspiration for Fly Gurlz?
Fly Gurlz began when we all competed in a character competition called Face Off. We had an all-female team. We wanted a space to lift up women’s voices- particularly women writers, so we created Fly Gurlz to be that space. Our intention is an inclusive, party vibe that, hopefully, creates an atmosphere where women feel safe to embrace the weirdest parts of themselves and strengthen their voices.
How has the show changed since it started last year?
We have had the same format since pretty much the beginning. One amazing addition (brain child of Fly Gurl Nanie Mendez) was our semi-annual Fly Gurlz Sketch Fest. We accept open submission for female sketch writers and female performers, and create an all new sketch show written for women, by women. This has been an extremely fun and enriching experience! You can check out our next one 1/12, 11:30pm at the MAGNET!!! YA HEARD OF IT???? (Plug)
How do you choose performers to highlight in this variety show?
We choose women of all types who write and create their own material. We love weird shit especially. (Can I curse in this? if no please change shit to ‘lil foodle doodles’)
What are some of your favorite moments from previous Fly Gurlz shows?
This is so hard to say because we’ve been doing our show over a year and there have been so many amazing moments. Right after the election, Nanie, Lida and I improvised together as Michelle Obama, Melania Trump and Hilary Clinton which was a cathartic and weird and emotional set! We did an all musical show in support of Puerto Rico (Nanie’s home!) and raised over $1,000. Probably my personal favorite moment (again this is Meredith Isabel Paul) was when my mom came to the show and said it was “ok”. (huge)
Your poster is inspired by the iconic “jazz” solo cup design from the ’90s. What’s your favorite piece of ’90s nostalgia?
Meredith:I LOVE POLLY POCKET!!!!!!!!! I follow multiple instagram accounts that feature old salvaged Polly Pockets. I think I always thought I’d end up living inside a Polly Pocket but instead I live in Midtown Manhattan.
Lida: My favorite is Pound Puppies because I wasn’t allowed to have pets.
Nanie: My Tiger Beat posters of my top two heart throbs– Johnathan Brandis (RIP), star of Ladybugs and Sidekicks & Andrew Keegan who now runs his own church.
Make sure to catch Fly Gurlz: Sketch Fest this Friday at 11:30 pm. It’s gonna be a riot.
- Andrew Keegan
- Face Off
- female comedians
- Fly Gurlz
- Hillary Clinton
- In Living Color
- Jonathan Brandis
- Lida Darmian
- magnet theater
- Melania Trump
- Meredith Paul
- Michelle Obama
- Nanie Méndez
- new york
- new york city
- Polly Pocket
- Pound Puppies
- Puerto Rico
- sketch comedy
- Tiger Beat
- variety show
How many of your friends are tarot readers, yogis, witches and sexually active humans? Oh, all of them? Great! So is Alessandra Calderin, creator and host of the new show Sex Magic :: A Taboo Busting, Sex Positive, Magic Making Event. On Sunday, January 7th (6 pm), she’s assembling a delicious lineup of performers to put on a taboo busting, sex positive and magic making event featuring true stories, confessions, education, burlesque and even a spell or two. We talk to Alessandra about sex, magic, and putting together the show!
What’s the inspiration for your show Sex Magic?
We all love sex, but we seem to have a hard time with it. As a sexually obsessed AND repressed society, there are all these conflicting messages about what’s acceptable coming from what feels like a million different directions. I could literally go on for days about how the complexity of all this messes us up, but suffice it to say, it feels very unsexy, unfun and at worst, dangerous.
This manifests itself in every community in its own ways, including ours, whether it’s a creepy scene partner, or a fear of ever broaching the subject both on and off stage.
Sex magic itself is the practice of using the energy of sexuality and orgasm to set intentions and manifest desires and goals, and so this show is my manifestation of a free fun and safe space to talk about sex!
How did you assemble the team of amazing performers featured in this show?
I’m very lucky to have amazing friends and fellow performers who say yes to me. It was a lot of texting and Facebook messages just saying “hey do you want to talk about sex on stage with me?” And some folks were just like yeah just tell me what you want me to do. Other folks, like the lovely Chris de la Cruz, had their own amazing ideas to add to the show. So, in short, luck and friendship.
What is Boneseed and how did you create it?
Boneseed is my moniker for the work I do with tarot, yoga and intuitive healing. I quit my corporate job about a year ago and have been building my private practice ever since. Actually, my first public workshop was called Creating Sex Magic and was a yoga and writing workshop that focused on the Sacral Chakra, which is the area around the pelvis where we store our creative and sexual energy. It’s kind of my favorite part of the body and sexual exploration and freedom is where I’m really able to offer a lot of ideas and insight since I’ve studied the pelvic floor and cycled through my own range of issues with regards to both physical and emotional blockages down there.
You can learn more about Boneseed and what I do at www.boneseed.co.
What’s the best way to build space for sex positivity in the improv community?
Literally just talking about it in a real way. I feel like sex in scenes can get awkward because people feel forced to do things they don’t want to do, but the beauty of improv is that you get to make shit up. You don’t have to rub yourself against your scene partner. Maybe sex in this world is rubbing elbows like in Rocky Horror Picture Show.
There’s also a hypersensitivity right now, which is not unwarranted. People have real reasons for fearing abuse in our culture and society, but sometimes we jump to conclusions during teachable moments, or turn people into villains without considering how to reintegrate offenders. I’m talking about the world at large here, but it all applies. The tricky thing is I’m on both sides. I want people to feel protected, but I also LOVE to flirt and exchange that dynamic energy with people. It’s the most fun, but it’s also gotten me into situations that I haven’t wanted to be in. For me, this journey has been about no longer blaming myself for situations I couldn’t control, but simultaneously taking responsibility and, in turn, reclaiming my own power.
And this journey is constant, right? I think we just need to be able to make mistakes as long as we’re not hurting anyone. I think we need to be honest with each other. Ask questions. Choose curiosity over judgement. All easier said and done, especially when it comes to sex since we all have hitched a lot of baggage to that wagon. (And if you’re reading this and thinking, “I don’t have any baggage around sex,” I bet you have extra baggage that you don’t even see.)
If you had to choose between sex and magic for the rest of your life, what would you choose?
Impossible. Sex is magic. Magic is sex. If I can have sex, I’m making magic. If I can practice magic, there’s alchemical and sexual energy in motion. It’s all life force. It’s all the sparks that connect us and keep us reaching for one another. It’s what we write and draw and create for. It is what we are.
Make sure you don’t miss Sex Magic :: A Taboo Busting, Sex Positive, Magic Making Event this Sunday, 1/7, at 6 pm. Your pelvic floor will thank you!
Our community is filled with people who have an insane amount of comedic talent, but maybe they’re also good at other things? Have you considered that? Long-time Musical Megawatt performer Olivia Petzy sure has! That’s why she’s putting together THE BIG TALENT SHOW! this Friday, 11/17, at 11:30 pm. It’s going to showcase our performers’ other talents and well, let’s just have Olivia tell you about it herself…
What is your experience with talent shows in the past?
I have never been in a talent show, but I love the idea of people wanting to show off their special skills and gifts — something about that is so sweet and wonderful to me! I attended the Miss Pennsylvania pageant almost 15 years ago and I swear to you that I think about it once a week. It was so incredibly bizarre but the participants took it SO SERIOUSLY and I loved it.
I feel like most performers have special skills we always hope we’ll get to use but don’t, so I wanted to put on a talent show to give everyone a chance to show off. I also wanted to give people who aren’t on teams a chance to perform on the Magnet stage.
Will this show feature strictly Magnet Theater members or will outsiders be involved as well?
This edition features all Magnet community members!
What are some non-comedic talents can we expect to see at the show?
I don’t want to give anything away but audience members can expect to be blown away by people’s hidden skills and talents! We’ll see people dancing like no one is watching, singing like they’re in the shower, playing instruments like they’re in fifth grade band and more!
What does your role consist of as the host of the talent show?
As the host, I am the mama bear to all our talented people, helping everyone feel loved and safe to shine bright like a diamond. I’ll announce everyone, help the audience get to know every performer, facilitate the judging of the “winner” and dazzle with a talent of my own.
Catch THE BIG TALENT SHOW! this Friday, Nov 17th, at 11:30 pm!
Don’t you DARE call for a car home just yet because you *have* to stick around for One More Drink. This Friday, your best friends Megan Meadows and Hannah Wright are hosting a variety show that, for real, you can’t afford to miss. We chat with the show’s hosts about what’s in store, what they like to drink, and other hot goss. You’ll have to join them this Friday, 11/10, at 11:30 pm for the full scoop though.
Can you tell us a little bit about your show?
H: Our show is like a topical variety show meets a fun Friday night party! We are basically just being our ridiculous selves, discuss recent events in the ALWAYS HILARIOUS/TERRIBLE NEWZ, and highlight a bunch of different kinds of talent (drag queens, “experts”, etc.) It’s a good time!
M: You know how you go to like the best party of the year and nobody ever stops talking about that party because the hosts are so beautiful and the hosts are so hilarious and and the hosts are actually Princesses disguised as paupers? That’s our show. With a bean dip.
H: We might not have a dip this time though because Megan proved she could not handle the responsibility and lost it last time.
Both of you have experience with sketch comedy — how does that compare to putting on a variety show like One More Drink?
H: It’s totally different! When I was on sketch teams at the Magnet, I got really comfortable writing and performing a certain way, and always playing a different character. With this show, I’m basically just being myself and trusting my OWN comedic voice. It’s scarier but more rewarding!
M: We get to be drunker. And heckle the audience. ( I went to school for PR, so I know how to sell a show.)
What are some new things you’re hoping to bring to your upcoming show compared to the previous One More Drink show?
H: We have a bunch of different performers in this show, an amazing drag queen who will be performing, and a bunch of new REASONS TO PARTY. Last show we thought we were all gonna die because of climate change, and now we realize we will all die from nuclear war long before that!
M: Wait. Do you think we need to bring something different? Did you see the interpretive dance we did to Ke$ha last time? Bc… it was honestly pretty great. Should we get a blow out this time? Will the Magnet pay for it? Does Quinton do hair?
H: I’m honestly considering wearing that same jumpsuit though do you think that people will judge me???????? Chrissie Gruebel said I should wear it every time. She like, is good at fashion I feel like.
M: Yes. And. Do it. – IMPROV. I can’t wear my outfit again bc you can see my cucu. Haha and I wanna be able to DANCE THE SHIT OUTTA THIS. Ok, I’ll wear my jumpsuit too. You’ve talked me into it.
H: To answer your question, YES, we will be wearing jumpsuits.
What sorts of drinking games will you be playing during the show?
H: We play a game called “I’m Sorry What???” where we play clips from something like the Bachelor, and drink every time the awkwardness of it makes us say, obviously, “I’m sorry, what?!”
M: I dunno, we just copy what Andy Cohen does and pretend we made it up. Or, just watch the news and cry. That’s our fav drinking game.
H: Also Ru Paul.
How do you think alcohol affects each of your performing abilities?
H: Wait. Who told you to ask this? Are you judging us? We literally only have pinot grigio every time Trump says or does something horrifying. Or, if we have a date. But like, we never do.
M: Full disclosure: once Hannah had a dream she was drinking wine at 8:30am at work though. WE ARE FINE!!!
H: Mego I told you that in confidence. Honestly though, I could have a bloody mary right now.
What is your drink of choice – while performing?
H: WE’RE FINE!!!!!!!! (vodka)
M: Sorry, what was the question? Yes, George, another mimosa please.
You gotta see One More Drink this Friday, 11/10, at 11:30 PM – I mean, ya gotta!
Gather around, friends! For this episode, we’ve got Carly and Justin from Now We Are Friends, a monthly variety show in New York City that features improv, sketch, and live music. They sit down with our host Louis Kornfeld to talk about their show, which is celebrating its second anniversary this Sunday, February 8th. The show’s host, Justin Morgan, and show creator/performer/producer, Carly Monardo, get into what the show means to them and we all learn the value of friendship in the arts. They discuss the long history of comedy and music sharing performance spaces, plus, Louis endorses NWAF as a refreshingly douche-free show! Huzzah!
Catch their 2nd Anniversary Show this Sunday, February 8th, at The Parkside Lounge at 9PM!