July 12, 2013
WHAT IS Philly's longest-running show (not counting the "City Council Follies," which has run forever and seems destined for immortality)? If your answer was "ComedySportz," feel free to give yourself a well-deserved pat on the back. The odd-duck mashup that brings an athletic format to improvisational comedy celebrates its 20th anniversary July 27 with two shows at World Cafe Live. More than just a commemorative gig, the event also will serve as an alumni homecoming. "The thing we're really excited about for the 20th anniversary is, we were able to invite back a number of performers who haven't performed with us for a while," said ComedySportz Executive Director Don Montrey.
June 26, 2013 |
She's in the middle of rehearsing for Love, Loss and What I Wore, and Kate Flannery is talking about the beauty of the femme-centric comedy running at the Suzanne Roberts Theatre. There's Nora and Delia Ephron's rich humor ("such a touching, funny play") and the visceral reaction it's been getting from Off-Broadway audiences since 2009 ("when I did it a few years ago, I couldn't believe how vocal audiences were during our monologues"). This would be typical chatter for a working stage actress.
June 7, 2013 |
THE SUNDANCE hit "The Kings of Summer" is a drama about teen runaways, but don't look for their photos on milk cartons. Its about three boys (Nick Robinson, Gabriel Basso, Moises Arias) who run away, but not too far away. They're always within walking distance of a Burger King, in case living off the land proves too much of a chore, which of course it does - the movie makes a semi-joke about their contradictory teen yearnings for freedom and reassurance. Their summer away from home is like a ramshackle scout camp - clearing in the woods, makeshift clubhouse, junk food, basketball hoop.
May 24, 2013 |
BREAST-CANCER romcom - there's a phrase you don't hear every day. Or a movie you might never expect to see, although Danish director Susanne Bier makes a brave attempt in "Love is All You Need. " It's the bilingual (mostly English) story of a Danish hairdresser Ida (Trine Dyrholm) whose empty nest may soon be empty of her husband - he has a wandering eye and lately has been making eyes at his trashy bookkeeper. The least of her problems. She's just finished chemotherapy, and although her physicians say she is cancer-free, they are clumsily candid about her chances to remain so. (Bier has a knack for social awkwardness that flourishes during these scenes.)
May 13, 2013 |
Got a minute? I've got 10 people you should meet. Exactly a minute. Six seconds for each. You can do it on Vine, Twitter's mobile app that lets people make and share six-second video loops known as "vines. " You could get a superfast introduction to the glories of this video-looping app via some of its budding auteurs, people like: Pete Heacock, proprietor of First Capital Pictures in North Philadelphia. His vines are suspense stories, jokes, self-portraits in the windows of passing trains . Three of his vines were nominated for awards at the Tribeca Film Festival in April.
May 10, 2013
THE END of the world has been very good for Craig Robinson, but, then, everything's been good for the actor these days. The suddenly red-hot Robinson has his first leading-man role in the rom-com "Peeples," opening today, and has his second (as the Antichrist!) this fall in a comedy called "RapturePalooza. " Robinson is also part of the ensemble for "This Is the End," playing himself in a comedy about a bunch of actors (including Seth Rogen and Danny McBride) who happen to be at James Franco's apartment when the world ends.
April 18, 2013
Mickey Rose, 77, a childhood friend of Woody Allen's who cowrote his movies Bananas and Take the Money and Run , died of cancer April 7 at his home in Beverly Hills, his daughter, Jennifer, told the Los Angeles Times. Mr. Rose and Allen met in high school in Brooklyn, N.Y., and became friends. They shared a love of jazz and baseball. Mr. Rose met his late wife, Judy, through a blind date arranged by Allen. Mr. Rose became a TV comedy writer. He wrote for Johnny Carson and Sid Caesar and for shows including The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour , All in the Family , and The Odd Couple . Allen said Rose was one of the funniest people he has known - and a "wonderful first baseman.
March 31, 2013 |
Sunday Life lessons Michael Whistler's comedy The Prescott Method: Easy Steps to Perfect Bread Baking Every Time , set in 1966, limns the friendship of university wives as they gather to knead some dough. The show goes on at 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. Sunday at the Walnut Street Theatre's Independence Studio on 3, 825 Walnut St., and continues on a Tuesday-through-Sunday schedule to April 14. Tickets are $30 to $40. Call 215-574-3550. . . . In Theresa Rebeck's comedy Seminar , four aspiring novelists endure unorthodox weekly workshops with a famed literary lion who proceeds to mercilessly rip their work to shreds.
March 22, 2013
JUST AS the caveman comedy "The Croods" hits theaters, there is breaking Neanderthal news. This just in: Scientists at the Natural History Museum now believe that our cousin the Neanderthal, whose brain was as big as ours, died out because too much of his brain was dedicated to vision and physical ability, and not enough to socialization and thinking. Thus, he was unable to "cope with environmental change and competition. " This is, rather shockingly, the precise story line of the new 3-D animated comedy "The Croods," though with an upbeat spin.
February 22, 2013 |
Stop me if you've heard this one: Philly is finally fully funny. There's Helium Comedy Club, where top national acts fill the room alongside such notable local stand-ups as Chip Chantry, Juliet Hope Wayne, and Doogie Horner. Spaces from PhilaMOCA to the Trocadero host comedy affairs of varying scale. We've got valued sketch troupes, improv crews and collectives with regular gigs - Comedy Sportz, Secret Pants, Philly Improv Theatre, Sideshow Presents, and the N Crowd - and more open mikes for them than you can throw a stick at, if throwing a stick is your idea of fun. "So many locals are working to make improv, stand-up, and sketch accessible," says Alison Zeidman of WitOut.net, a two-year-old info-packed comedy zine created by Luke Giordano and Aaron Hertzog.