Posts Tagged ‘woody fu’
Did you grow up feeling different? Woody Fu did too. His one-man show Asian Gracefully is about growing up Chinese-American and tackles such topics as internecine racism and how the straight Asian male is the most marginalized group on PornHub. “Asian Gracefully” began its January-February run last Thursday, and will play again February 2 and 9 at 7:00. You only have two more chances to catch the hilarity, so don’t miss out! (And, Woody wants you to know that the last show on Feb 9 has a promotion where anyone can see it for free if they say “I’m Chinese” at the door. It’s a true thing.)
How many times have you performed “Asian Gracefully” and how has it changed over its various runs?
I’ve done this show… almost 10x? It’s gone up at the Magnet, PIT, UCB and Annoyance, plus I’ve taken it on tour to comedy festivals. It’s gone through about 4 major iterations, and for each of those I gutted about 40% of the pieces and put in new guts. That’s so it doesn’t get stale and can grow. It’s changed so much in the last year and a half: it’s gone from a traditional personal one-man show, to full blast gamey-game sketch show, to a weird mishmash of unrelated bits. I think this most recent one is the most cohesive and satisfying one. It’s certainly the most… Asian?
In taking the show from a half-hour to a full hour, it looks like you added some other cast members. Does that mean you’ll only be playing yourself, or will you explore other characters as well?
Did your experience with improv and musical improv affect your creative process for “Asian Gracefully”?
Yes and no. Improv is 100% surprise. But writing is such a solitary act and it’s basically impossible to surprise yourself. There’s a little room for improv when putting sketches on their feet with directors but for the most part I keep the two disciplines separate. I think in binary: everything’s yellow and white. Maybe because I’m… Asian?
You’re a DJ and a game designer–do we get to see you use those skills in the show?
Is there anything the audience should know ahead of time?
Don’t miss out on Asian Gracefully, Friday February 2 and/or 9 at Magnet!
Boom Chicago cast member and former Magnet baddie, WOODY FU, visits from Amsterdam to talk about building Second City style sketch shows, living abroad, and his comedy ambitions. It’s his first time stateside since moving to the Netherlands and we are thrilled that he decided to spend some time talking with us about his experiences with Boom Chicago as well as his recent reunion with Metal Boy. If you’re not interested in sketch comedy or improv, stick around for Woody’s winning personality, which he describes as, Extremely neurotic and Chinese.
Woodys been gone for nine months and his first trip back to the Americas has been filled with tropical sunshine, winter snow, and Metal Boys. Confusing, you say? more
It’s been over a month here at Boom Chicago in Amsterdam!
I am proud to say I am neither a skeleton nor a terrible blubbering mess. My inherent neuroses have slowly acclimated to the beautiful weather, brutally practical Dutch people, and performing sketch and shortform 5 nights a week.
Occasionally the audience has drunken screaming British bachelor parties that only yell “dildo” as suggestions!
Mint Condition is one of the two longest running teams a part of Musical Megawatt at the Magnet Theater. Their full roster is filled with incredible musical improv strength, passion, and a very strong bond making them a Giant of Tuesday night. I (Amanda Ariel Peggy Xeller!) got a chance to sit down with the whole team in an attempt to capture their relationship not only with their comedic art, but with each other. Mint Condition is Angela DeManti, Ryan Dunkin, Woody Fu, Melissa Gordon, Sarah Puls, Chris Simpson, and Douglas Widick.
What attracted you to the Magnet to begin with?
Sarah Puls (SP): I wanted to do musical improv and this was the only place that was offering classes and also being on house team.
Melissa Gordon (MG): Same. This was the only theater that had a specific Musical Improv Program.
Angela DeManti (AD): I think that the Magnet’s teaching style was something I could relate to and latch onto.
Ryan Dunkin (RD): I came here for musical improv. I also knew about Armando. I used to live in Chicago so I would go to see those shows and heard about him. That’s how I got interested.
Douglas Widick (DW): Musical improv. more
“The Blackout” is the newest installment of The Director Series, a 5-week series of performances wherein a Director selects a cast and presents a different form. This month Louis Kornfeld is directing The Blackout, featuring Phoebe Tyers, Alexis Lambright, Ely Aina Rapoza, Rebecca Robles, Charlie Whitcroft, Rob Penty, Eli Itzkowitz, and Desiree Nash.
This past Thursday saw the premier of “The Blackout”, a unique and refreshing improv show relying solely on scenework. The cast, proficient in subtlety and poise, performed the series of scenes in two and three person combinations that came together naturally and comfortably to fill the hour with standalone vignettes and thematic revisitations under the direction and technical expertise of Director Louis Kornfeld.
The audience watched childhood friends discussing the ups and downs of having two mothers, a needy secretary fail to grasp the humor of a screen-saver, a married couple deal with three years of built up frustration and resentment, teens peeping on their “girlfriend” undressing in her bedroom, and a man out himself to passengers on his plane during a recreational flight, among many other episodes. Never a dull moment, while all of the energy of this show flowed steadily and with intention.
There are four more opportunities to catch “The Blackout” – August 8th, 15, 22 and 29th at 9:00pm at The Magnet Theater!
This was a re-blogged review from Charlie Whitcroft.
GAY BOMB: THE MUSICAL will be having its final show this Friday night, June 29th at 8:30pm at the Magnet Theater. Tickets are going fast, so get them now before the show sells out! Psssst … if you want discount tickets for $7, use the code “POTUS Felching” when you buy your tickets HERE.
Directed by Michael Martin, with music by Frank Spitznagel. Book and lyrics by Chris Friden and Steve Whyte.
Starring: Andrew Fafoutakis, Dreagn Foltz, Ben Jones, Michael Lutton, Jen Sanders, TJ Mannix, Oscar Montoya, Dave Tomczak and Woody Fu.
In case you’ve missed the earlier installments of the Magnet Blog’s interview with GAY BOMB co-writer, Steve Whyte, here they are: Part 1 and Part 2. And now, our third and final installment of the interview.
As New York City Pride kicks off this weekend, the Magnet Theater is proud to present Pride Night 2012! We’ve got a sparkly line-up of shows tonight that highlight LGTBQ issues and LGBTQ performers, with lots of sketch, music, and improv. Lets take a walk across the rainbow, shall we?
At 7pm, we have the one-man show, Cock of the Walk. Written and performed by Athos Cakiades, and directed by Kelly Haran, Cock of the Walk introduces you to five characters that explore masculinity and the male psyche in ways that will tickle your funny bone. It promises to be pretty dirty and rather gay, which is our idea of a good time at the Magnet Theater on a Friday night. Also, it’s a Time Out New York Critics’ Pick!
At 8:30pm, Gay Bomb: The Musical returns to the Magnet stage for its June run. Check out all the media attention, from the featured article on the front page of EDGE New York, to the blurb in Chelsea Now. There are only four shows left, so if you havent gotten GAY BOMBed yet, it is highly recommended that you come see the show very soon. And (shhhhh!) weve got a secret discount code for $7 tickets. Please enter POTUS Felching when you buy your tickets here.
Friday, 6/15, 8:30pm
Monday, 6/18, 8:30pm
Friday, 6/22, 8:30pm
Friday, 6/29, 8:30pm (Closing Night)
Directed by Michael Martin, with music by Frank Spitznagel, and book and lyrics by Chris Friden and Steve Whyte.
Starring: Andrew Fafoutakis, Dreagn Foltz, Ben Jones, Michael Lutton, Jen Sanders, TJ Mannix, Oscar Montoya, Dave Tomczak and Woody Fu.
At 10pm, we have a special Made-Up Musical with a cast of LGBTQ performers, all from Musical Megawatt house teams: Melissa Gordon, Oscar Montoya, Andrew Fafoutakis, T.J. Mannix, Michael Lutton, and Catherine Wing. You can’t have a full night of LGBTQ comedy without musical improv, right?
All the singing and dancing and Broadway jazz hands will get you nicely warmed up for the final show of the night.
At 11:30pm, There’s No Place Like Home presents a GLTBQ All-Star Improv Event. Andrew Fafoutakis hosts a special night of homo hilarity with a cast of improv superstars: Bianca Casusol, Kevin Gilligan, Melissa Gordon, Scott Lawrie, Michael Lutton, T.J. Mannix, Michael Martin, Oscar Montoya, Louie Pearlman, Nathan Peterman, Emily Schorr Lesnick, Emily Shapiro, Steven Slate, Lauren Ashley Smith, Catherine Wing, and a Super Special Guest! It’s a fantastic and fun way to end Pride Night 2012. But don’t just take our word for it. Check it out — There’s No Place Like Home is a Time Out New York Critics’ Pick! Come on by and celebrate Pride with us tonight!
- andrew fafoutakis
- Athos Cakiades
- Ben Jones
- bianca casusol
- Catherine Wing
- Chris Friden
- Cock of the Walk
- Dave Tomczak
- Dreagn Foltz
- Emily Schorr Lesnick
- Emily Shapiro
- Frank Spitznagel
- Gay Bomb
- Jen Sanders
- Kelly Haran
- Kevin Gilligan
- Lauren Ashley Smith
- Louie Pearlman
- Made-Up Musical
- Melissa Gordon
- Michael Lutton
- Michael Martin
- Nathan Peterman
- Oscar Montoya
- Pride Night 2012
- Scott Lawrie
- steve whyte
- Steven Slate
- There's No Place Like Home
- Time Out New York Critics' Pick
- TJ Mannix
- woody fu
GAY BOMB: THE MUSICAL opened to a sold-out crowd last Friday, May 4th. The plot was full of twists and turns that we cannot divulge, and the action was so hot that we were unable to obtain pictures of the show from the actual opening night. Instead, an anonymous source supplied us with clandestine photos from a secret GAY BOMB dress rehearsal.
Here is Part 2 of my interview with GAY BOMB: THE MUSICAL co-writer, Steve Whyte.
Magnet Blog: How do you and your co-writer, Chris Friden, know each other?
Steve Whyte: Chris and I met at UC-Berkeley. A couple of years after we graduated, we started a weekly comedy/sports TV show on Cal Football and Basketball. It ended up getting picked up by SportsChannel (now FoxSports), and going national. We ran for three years and won an Emmy, and since then we’ve both been involved in various aspects of video production.
MB: Did you find that your musical improv skills came in handy while writing Gay Bomb?
SW: Absolutely. I think it definitely guided the rewriting of the screenplay to fit the musical format. Additionally, before we started the rewrite, we ran several improv sessions with members of the cast. Almost everybody in the cast has come up through all of the Magnet’s musical improv classes. So improvising both scenes and songs was something that comes naturally to them, and something that they do every week. It was helpful to see what elements might work well by improvising them first, before sitting down to do the rewrite. It also gave the actors time to get familiar with their characters, so that they had a head start in that department when finally getting a chance to work with the book.
MB: Neither you nor your co-writer, Chris, identify as LGBTQ. As straight allies, what compelled you two to write GAY BOMB?
SW: Being a white, straight male, try as I may, I have no idea what it’s like to deal with the injustices that others go through on a daily basis. While both Chris and I have close family members and friends who are LGBTQ, and we try our best to empathize, we don’t truly know what it’s like to experience life as an oppressed minority in a prejudiced society. However, I don’t think that should stop one from trying, and I certainly don’t think it should stop one from speaking out and doing what they can to address these faults in society.
With regards to casting, I cast the people that I thought would fit the roles best, and who were exceptionally funny and talented. There was no thought put into trying to cast all straight or all gay or a certain percentage mix of cast members. As it turns out, I think our cast is close to 50/50. I think it has been nice to have this mix of performers, as it provides helpful feedback and input for the piece from various viewpoints. Interestingly, four of our gay actors play straight characters, and at least two of our straight actors play gay characters. At the end of the day, it’s a bunch of funny, talented improvisers who have been performing together at the Magnet for years, and who are just looking to put on a fun, funny, entertaining, and perhaps even meaningful show.
Thanks, Steve! Wed like to think that GAY BOMB was one reason why President Obama finally decided to support marriage equality. Go, President Obama!
Catch GAY BOMB on select Mondays and Fridays in May and June at 8:30pm. Tickets can be purchased here. Use the code POTUS Felching to get half off the regular ticket price, for all shows, including tonight’s! The code is only good for today, so buy those cheap tickets now!
Fridays: 5/11, 5/18, 5/25, 6/15, 6/22, 6/29
Mondays: 5/21, 6/11, 6/18
Directed by Michael Martin, with music by Frank Spitznagel, and book and lyrics by Chris Friden and Steve Whyte. Starring Andrew Fafoutakis, Dreagn Foltz, Ben Jones, Michael Lutton, Jen Sanders, T.J. Mannix, Oscar Montoya, Dave Tomczak and Woody Fu.
If you are unable to attend the show, or wish to offer continued support, please consider donating to the GAY BOMB kickstarter fundraiser. The creators of the show have accrued significant debt to put this show together, for set design, costumes, rehearsal space, and many other necessities that arise as the show continues its run. The hope is to raise $2,000 more dollars in a week, for a total of $7,000. Please go to the GAY BOMB kickstarter page for more information on the excellent pledge perks.
Stay tuned for the next installment of my interview with Steve Whyte!
Photo credits: Steve Whyte and Woody Fu
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 Americas 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 StoneTeam 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!