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New York City's finest improvisers join forces with the city's finest poets in a unique format: part comedy, part poetry, part theater, part UNPREDICTABILITY. It all begins with an exquisite corpse (aka poem) written collaboratively by the audience. After that the improvisers delve in, building a world around the themes and imagery of the poem, populating it with a cast of characters who are funny, tragic, and in between. Fueling the proceedings is the work of published poets, national slam champions, and up-and-comers from around the world. (Among the cast are performers and poets featured on This American Life, the Onion, and Chicago's Second City.) The whole shebang ends with the performance of a poem inspired by the show and written on the spot.
Obnoxious strangers, overbearing bosses, and unrequited high school crushes are about to get a piece of your mind. The Friday Night Sh*w invites audience members to anonymously write down their repressed rants, cursing-outs, and sultry confessions. Improv performers then use that writing to fuel a fast-paced brawl of hilarity. The cast includes a fistful of New York City's best improvisers with credits on 30 Rock, Comedy Central, MTV, Chicago's Second City, the Onion, and NPR — and at least one Primetime Emmy Award loser.
Grand Theft Musical is a boisterous, bawdy, bang-bang, world-premiere musical comedy, which openly purloins from some of the greatest examples of the genre to hilarious effect. The diverse cast of 17 zany characters relate to, deal and double-deal with, fall in and out of love and in and out of bed with each other, all while singing and dancing up a storm. Grand Theft Musical is a sophisticatedly silly, satirical lampoon yet a warm embrace of Broadway and all things theater...with three choreographers. Based on Robert Sickinger's 1994 musical Platinum Taps, it was written by Lissa Moira, who also directs. John Taylor Thomas composed the music.
The Infinite Wrench is a mechanism that unleashes a barrage of two-minute plays for a live audience. Each play offers something different, be it funny, profound, elegant, disgusting, topical, irrelevant, terrifying, or a song; all are truthful and tackle the here-and-now, inspired by the lived experiences of the performers. With new plays every week, The Infinite Wrench is the Neo-Futurists' ongoing and ever-changing attempt to shift the conventions of live performance and speak to audiences, including those unreached or unmoved by traditional theater.
Kyle is a dark comedy by Hollis James, inspired by his knock-down-drag-out battle with drug addiction. It's about a guy named Jack, his friend Kyle, and Kyle's friend cocaine. Thanks to his new friends, Jack's life quickly begins to spiral out of control. He loses his job, his girlfriend, his health, and all sense of personal hygiene. Will Jack find the strength to get his life back on track, or will Kyle ultimately win?
Stephen Adly Guirgis' play The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, directed by Academy Award winner Estelle Parsons and performed by members of the Actors Studio, is being revived as part of the Studio's 70th anniversary celebration.
History's most famous double-cross is under the microscope in this provocative and irreverently funny work. Urban night court in "Hope — a ghetto of purgatory" is the backdrop, with Judas on trial for his betrayal of Christ, his soul left in the balance. A trove of historic witnesses — among them Freud, Mother Teresa, and Pontius Pilate — deliver their testimony with raw honesty and scathing humor. As the play unfolds, audiences are forced (along with the characters) to examine their ideals and ideas of love, divine mercy, free will, and forgiveness, including the notion that evil may not be the presence of hate but the absence of compassion.
Five people wait in line for an unknown event, each trying to get to the front. Through their shoving and conniving, Line dramatizes the absurdity of everyday life.
The length of the show's run is a testament to its interminable relevance. Line has been running — or rather, standing and waiting — since 1967. Among those stuck in the original production was Richard Dreyfuss, then almost as unknown as the event his character awaited. Today the rotating cast continues to feature emerging young actors. Tradition also lives on in the play's director, Jay Michaels; he studied with Carol Ilson, who directed Line in 1974. The playwright is still Israel Horovitz.
Set against the backdrop of the turbulent 1970s, Loose Ends follows the relationship of Paul and Susan, who first meet on a beach in Bali. Paul, a recent Peace Corps dropout and Susan, an aspiring photographer, later marry in Boston. There the young couple struggle with their conflicting opinions on the importance of having a career versus having a family.
Each week, the Magnet Theater's resident ensembles converge for a night of improv comedy. The night might include anything from monoscenes to Harolds (long-form improv acts that begin with a suggestion from the audience). Because Megawatt's format gets changed more frequently than a lightbulb, returning audience members can expect to be dazzled every time.
All the talent New York City has to offer is on more than the Broadway stage. But who are the next generation of Big Apple stars? Get a sneak peek at the area's best during New York's Got Talent. The thrilling result of an all-ages talent search, NYGT showcases performers from across the region in a variety-style production. Featuring a colorful array of singers, dancers, magicians, jugglers, pet training tricks, burlesque, bands, guitarists, drummers, comedians, weird acts of all kinds, ventriloquists, drag queens, lip-syncers, cirque, tappers, tumblers, gymnasts, balance acts, impersonators, a cappella groups, and virtually any other alternative performance art form you can think of, this is a show that lets you decide who moves on to the next of six total rounds. Cast your vote at the Elektra Theater in Times Square.
This was the story of a king who is actually a queen, who is sent in exile, imprisoned in Athens, and found 45 years later in Argentina at a tomb contest. But then, major historical events disrupt the process revealing that nobody is dead.
The ghosts of totalitarian past return to haunt the story. The narrative that got us here no longer serves us. We have to respond to the urgency for resistance and survival, and create a theatrical language of dissent and pleasure. In this witty and funny magic realistic play, Susana Cook redefines presence, the energy of the people who inhabit our life, and the ghosts of our past following us everywhere.
Saturday at 6pm: the perfect time to get your jaded mind blown by four improv ensembles. Will the neighborhood kids be driven wild by their new forms and structures? Yes. Will you?
The Rundown features different groups at each performance that unite veteran performers with up-and-comers ready to bring it.
A fully improvised comedy show featuring a live musical act, The Sense-ations! is a cross between a Saturday morning cartoon and a favorite superhero. The Sense-ations save the world from giant robots and death-ray attacks, breaking hearts at the same time as they fight evil. This outrageous improv show deals with all things extraordinary.
In Show Up, award-winning solo show performer, producer, and SOLOCOM creator Peter Michael Marino (Desperately Seeking the Exit) uses his decades of solo performance expertise to turn the often vilified tropes of the genre on their head. Marino exploits an arsenal of Post-it notes to compile and transform the challenging and enlightening real-life experiences of the audience into a single vibrant life-story that is familiar, completely fresh, and unique each time. Chance elements are increased as audience members are engaged to cue lights, design the set, and direct. Show Up provides a wild, unpredictable ride for the audience as Marino navigates this high wire, simultaneously commenting on social anxiety and performance challenges. Ultimately, Show Up demonstrates that the value of truth in autobiographical performance is totally subjective.
Nick Kanellis and Peter McNerney (Statues of Liberty) team up with Magnet Theater veteran Leslie Korein to form a brand-new improv trio with one purpose: rockin' a seamless, high-energy, character-driven, free-form improv set every week.