Author Archives: Rodney
A once-in-a-lifetime event: Eight hand-picked intrepid women and men of Milwaukee. Each singularly adept at telling stories and joking into microphones. One by one, they shall stand before a live audience and submit their comedic powers to the unforgiving scrutiny of advanced recording technology. Together, they are destined to forge a permanent record of their individual performances. And it shall be called:
Comedic Release Vol. 2.
At 8 p.m., Saturday, May 31, eight comedians will perform a show at the Underground Collaborative, 161 W. Wisconsin Ave., lower level (thus, Underground!). And the show will be recorded and released free to audience members as an honest-to-goodness CD, including the eight-minute comedic stylings of each of the Milwaukee comedy artists.
Comedic Release Vol. 2 follows the success of the sold-out pilot show, Jan. 31. Entertainers for the sequel include:
- Greg Bach, your host
- Josh Ballew
- Liza Marie
- Mario Robinson
- Eric Thorson
- Allison Dunne
- Jason Hillman and
- Shawn Shelnutt
In other words, if you saw the first Comedic Release, you’re not seeing any repeats.
Tickets are $10 at the door and $8 online.
This time last year, pretty much the only sketch comedy in Milwaukee were two tried-and-true favorites: The all-female broadminded Comedy, begun in 2006; and Patrick Schmitz’s semi-annual crowdsourced Sketch 22, which celebrated a birthday this week and is gearing up for its 13th show July 19.
Since then, we’ve had the additions of the Good Night Milwaukee Show with Jake Kornely and Tyler Menz, which had another raucous performance this past weekend.
The latest addition to the Milwaukee sketch comedy continuum is Sketch Marks. Conceived by veteran comedy performers volunteering at the Milwaukee Comedy Festival last summer and encouraged by fest founder Matt Kemple, Sketch Marks had such a successful sold-out debut in March that they have created an all-new one-time show they’re performing this Thursday, May 22.
Including individuals you’d recognize from ComedySportz, The Improvised Musical (T.I.M.), Bye Bye Liver, The Dinner Detective, Tall Boys and Racine’s Over Our Heads Players, members of the Sketch Marks even played roles in recent productions from Comedy Hour, the Retro Comedy Night and Goodnight Milwaukee.
From the ingenious mind of Ryan Lowe comes another form of comedy – Stand-Up Cinema.
As he did last month, Ryan Lowe is bringing together some of Milwaukee's funniest talent and showing them alongside a classic movie – this time, it's Back to the Future – for a mult-dimensional performance that combines the silver screen, standup, improv, sketch and video comedy.
From the web;
This is a cinematic experience unlike anything in the history of ever. We take your favorite movies and show them to you in a way they were never meant to be seen. Ryan Lowe has assembled a team of the very best stand-up and improv comedians and given them complete license to "enhance" a classic movie that was perfectly fine to begin with.
Expect the unexpected as we provide live commentary during the film, replace movie scenes with live-action substitutes, and even insert pre-taped segments into the film, itself! There will be contests, special guests, audience participation and more.
The shows are at 10 p.m., Thursday and Friday, May 15 and 16, at the Times Cinema, 5906 W. Vliet St., Tickets are $10 and available by clicking here and then selecting the date you want.
As long as you have read this far, see Tyler Maas's craftily written article about Ryan Lowe in Milwaukee Magazine.
Final exams taking their toll on you? Too stressed out by all the political conflict, the NFL draft, the TV sweeps period? All those nasty weather fronts been giving you migraines?
Consider the benefits of meditation. And then, take the shortcut: Laugh.
As the Los Angeles Times reports, brain scientists have found that a good laugh has similar to expert meditation. From the article:
"The research was presented in San Diego this week by Dr. Lee Berk, a psychosomatic medicine specialist at Loma Linda University's School of Medicine. Berk told the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology's 2014 meeting that, for 31 university students whose scalps were rigged up with listening electrodes while they watched videos either distressing or comical, unfettered laughter was the thing that brought their brain waves most consistently into a mock-meditative state."
So, with your mental health in mind, Milwaukee's Arcade Theatre is presenting not one but two comedy shows Saturday night, May 17.
7:30 p.m., Retro Comedy Night
One of your favorite TV sitcoms will be performed live by some of Milwaukee's funniest actors. From Facebook:
"This month's show features Stand Up from Sammy Arechar and a classic sitcom episode performed live on stage by Amanda Carson, Gretchen Mahkorn, Jared Stepp, Marcus Beyer, Jacob Woelfel, Kelsey Whitford, Erik Koconis, Vince Figueroa, Liz Whitford and Amanda Eaton!"
8:30 p.m., The Goodnight Milwaukee Show with Jake Kornely and Tyler Menz
"The Goodnight Milwaukee Show is a Milwaukee centric variety show that mixes local humor with the traditional talk show template. Join Jake and Tyler as they interview crazy guests, play super-fun games, and tell jokes, lots of jokes! "
Tickets are $12 at the door; $10 online.
Both shows are at 161 W. Wisconsin Ave., lower level. It doesn't take a brain scientist to find it. It's downstairs from TJ Maxx.
It's the third week of May, which means Thursday is another T.I.M. (The Improvised Musical) show. Because T.I.M. plays the third Thursday of every month. That's why.
At T.I.M., for only $5 cash, Milwaukee gets to experience a Broadway-style musical complete with singing, dancing and a six-piece band. It's all live. And it's all made up before your very eyes (and ears and whatever other sensors you care to engage). T.I.M. is a musical that's improvised.
And you can eat and drink during T.I.M. because the ComedySportz Howie's Restaurant is open during the hour-long performance.
Because it's improvised, you never know what you'll be seeing at T.I.M., but after nearly three years of shows, latecomers have had a harder time of finding a seat, if that tells you anything.
The next T.I.M. is at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, May 15, at 420 S. 1st St.
To reserve a ticket, please call Mary at (414) 272-8888 weekdays.
A fan favorite at the Milwaukee Comedy Festival, standup Sarah Gallagher returns from Chicago to grace the intimate confines of the Arcade Theatre on Friday, May 9.
Sarah Gallagher will be headlining the Comedy Arcade Show, hosted by Steve Breese of Say Cheese Comedy, and also featuring Ramie Mahklouf. As for Sarah Gallagher, she is outrageous. Watch the video above to catch her act in last year's Milwaukee Comedy Fest. And you can follow her hilarity on Twitter @EffingGallagher.
Tickets are $7 in advance and $10 at the door. The Arcade Theatre is 161 W. Wisconsin Ave., lower level.
Speaking of the Comedy Fest, the 9th annual is coming quickly: Aug. 7-10 at Next Act Theatre.
The vastly talented, multidimensional and prolific Milwaukee comedy artist Jason Powell has another project about to hit the stage.
As reported in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the Wisconsin Gazette and Shepherd Express, Milwaukee Opera Theatre is reviving "Fortuna the Time Bender vs. The Schoolgirls of Doom!" The 2-year-old musical tale, written and composed by by the very mentionable Jason Powell, launches a three-week run with a preview at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 7, at The Alchemist Theatre and Lounge, 2569 S. Kinnickinnic Ave.
Fortuna is back in all its primary-colored glory, fully restored and digitally re-mastered! (We also laundered all the costumes.) Filled with witty rhymes and catchy tunes by Jason Powell, Fortuna is a delightful night of theatre, whether you're seeing it for the first time or as a returning fan. Featuring the all-star cast the Milwaukee Examiner called an "intrepid troupe of highly-talented singer-dancer-actor-comedi
Fortuna runs through May 24. Tickets are $22.
Meanwhile, Jason Powell's original '80s pop-style music is moving the Danceworks Performance Company's show, "Plugged In," which runs through a sold-out finale Saturday, May 10. Thursday and Friday tickets are still available.
And if that's not enough Jason Powell for you, check out the sketch he co-wrote above, featured in last summer's Sketch 22 show, the next edition of which is scheduled for Saturday, July 19.
Plans for Mother's Day Eve? Didn't think so.
Well, here's something you didn't get your mom (or the mother of your children) last year. It's one-size-fits-all. And you can enjoy it too.
Allen Edge is a nationally featured comedian based in Milwaukee, a recognizable performer in films, TV and on stage. And he's delivering his 90-minute comedy special "The Edge of Sanity with Allen D. Edge" at 8 p.m., Saturday, May 10, at the Arcade Theatre, 161 W. Wisconsin Ave., lower level.
"Allen has performed his special brand of humor at Zanies in Chicago, Barrel of Laughs, All Jokes Aside, Jokes & Notes in Chicago, U Got Jokes Chicago, Comedy Central's "Comic Justice", The Comedy Café in Milwaukee, The Apollo Theatre in New York, and as the opening act for Pattie La Belle, Aretha Franklin, Smokey Robinson, and The O'Jays. Allen's stand-up is always clean and fresh."
So the night before your siblings trot out their sorry old greeting cards or wilting floral bouquets, treat your mother to an evening of laughter with a Milwaukee treasure. Tickets are $15 – but only $10 if you have an AARP card. Click here for more information.
Hurry now to take an acting workshop with Allen Edge on developing character: 2-6 p.m., Sunday, May 4. Click here.
Funny people! We know how you are with deadlines. That's why it's worth reminding you that time is running out to apply to perform in the 2014 Milwaukee Comedy Festival, which runs Aug. 7-10, at the Next Act Theatre space.
The festival features standup, improv and sketch comedy acts from all over the country (including Canada, which might as well be the 51st state) and showcases some of the best homegrown Milwaukee comedy performers as well. The fest provides a big stage for local talent and lets them rub elbows and swap notes with fellow travelers. But you have to pipe up and signal that you're interested.
Milwaukee Comedy Fest Applications are online. It couldn't be easier. You just have to answer some questions, provide a link to video of you performing and pony up the entry fee – $25 for standups, $30 for sketch or improv groups.
Comedy Fest applications have been streaming in since February. The last ones are allowed May 15. That bears repeating:
Milwaukee Comedy Fest applications Due May 15.
So what do you do after four solid years of standup comedy in Milwaukee, of talking your way into new venues, of organizing open mics, of encouraging others – some who have never performed standup before – to join you, of running sometimes four or five shows in a week? What's next?
Well, if you're Milwaukee's Caste of Killers Comedy Collective, obviously, you keep on joking.
Exhibit A: The Caste of Killers' Comedy Showcase, at 8:30 p.m., Friday, May 2, at Karma Bar, 600 E. Ogden Ave. From Facebook:
It's been peer reviewed and verified through stringent scientific experimentation: Karma Bar and Grill is home to Milwaukee's best underground comedy showcase. This comedian-run, independently-produced comedy show that started with a couple of funny guys and a microphone has grown into a full-fledged professional comedy extravaganza. The Caste of Killers showcase only the freshest and brightest comedy acts. From new, local, up-and-coming comics to nationally-touring headliners. The Milwaukee Stand-Up Comedy Showcase is the hidden jewel and the cornerstone of the Milwaukee comedy scene.
Here's this month's lineup: