Author Archives: Rodney

Milwaukee Comedy Fest Intro: Rob Christensen

Like the Dodgers of baseball renown, Rob Christensen is based in Los Angeles but started in Brooklyn, N.Y.

As his bio explains of Rob Christensen:

“He’s been a skateboarder, rapper, graffiti artist, and Air Force Sergeant; but failing at all of that lead him to comedy. Rob’s inexcusable behavior as a kid helped him develop a sharp, smart, and urban sense of humor.”

(Click here to read what Steve Kabelowsky wrote about Rob Christensen for

Rob Christensen’s well-developed humor has earned him superlative comedy credentials on stage and screen. Last year, he won the Westside Standup Showdown in Santa Monica, Calif. The year before that, he wrote and starred in the TV pilot “Low Lifes.”

This year, among his many appearances nationwide, Rob Christensen is performing at the Milwaukee Comedy Festival.

See Rob Christensen in the 8 p.m. show, Saturday, Aug. 9 along with:

Tickets are $15 in advance by clicking here or $20 at the door. For $50, you can get an All-Access Pass admitting you to each and every one of the nine Milwaukee Comedy Festival shows, Aug. 7-10, at Next Act Theatre, 255 S. Water St.


Blonde ambition

GreendaleThose folks at Greendale Community Theatre are at it again with another ambitious musical with an overachieving cast.

The latest production: Legally Blonde – The Musical.

From the website:

“Watch Harvard Law’s beloved blonde take the stage by sparkling pink storm in this fun, upbeat show starring some of Southeast Wisconsin’s most talented vocalists and dancers.  This much fun shouldn’t be legal!  (See what we did there?)

Based on the movie, this award-winning musical stays true to form with a playful score and clever script. But it’s not all silver stilettos, perfectly coordinated skirt suits, Fendi bags and false eyelashes, as the story is rich in clever wit and a message of self-discovery.”

Legally Blonde begins Thursday, July 24 and runs through the next two weekends. That includes July 25, 26, 27 and 31 as well as Aug. 1 and 2.
All performances are at 7:30 p.m., except for the July 27 Sunday matinee at 2 p.m.

Legally Blonde is appearing at Greendale High School, 6801 Southway, Greendale. 

Tickets are $15.

Goodnight Milwaukee, Hello Fest

If you have had the misfortune of missing the Goodnight Milwaukee Show with Jake Kornely and Tyler Menz, we pity you. Because you have missed out on jokes and jokey bits and amusing interviews and Milwaukee roulette and Chris the Intern and original music and cooking demonstrations and videos, including this number by Ryan Lowe and Robby McGhee.

Lucky for you, like the Postman, the opportunity to see Goodnight Milwaukee rings more than once. Follow this innovative late-night live-theater comedy show on Twitter (@GoodnightMilwaukee), friend it on Facebook and check back on for updates.

The next Goodnight Milwaukee show is part of the kickoff of the 9th annual Milwaukee Comedy Festival. Catch them in the Milwaukee Comedy Showcase at 7 p.m., Wednesday, Aug. 6, at the Next Act Theatre space, 255 S. Water St. Also in the kickoff:

  • After School Special – another reunion performance by the Milwaukee-based improv students who split up to go off to college
  • Crouch Comedy – the Milwaukee sketch group that helped launch the 8th annual Milwaukee Comedy Festival and has performed shows at Milwaukee’s Arcade Theatre and at a fund raiser at ComedySportz

The whole kickoff is $8 in advance and $10 at the door. Get tickets here.

Milwaukee Comedy Fest – Wisconsin’s biggest comedy event – Aug. 7-10!

Tickets are $15 a show in advance ($20 at the door) or $50 for an All-Access Pass, including admission to all the events and priority seating.

Milwaukee comedy weekend: $1 an act

Earlier, we informed you of the Saturday, July 19, Sketch 22 show, where you can see 10 original Milwaukee comedy sketches for $10 – which amounts to $1 apiece.

Coincidentally, on Friday, July 18, you can watch seven original stand-up comedians perform for $7 – also $1 apiece.

Because Milwaukee’s Caste of Killers Comedy Collective is presenting its Stand-Up Comedy Showcase at 8:30 p.m. at Karma Bar & Grill, 600 E. Ogden Ave.

The lineup this month includes:

  • Eric Thorson
  • Mario Robinson
  • Jason Hillman
  • Damon Millard 
  • Timmy Brochu
  • John Eide
  • and Suze Bischoff as emcee

From Facebook:

“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.”

(How do you like that? We don’t have even one vaganza, and they have an extra.)

This isn’t to suggest you’ll be observing cheap tricks this weekend. But you are going to be laughing all the way to the bank for the bargains you’ll be getting.

Besides the $7 tickets (excluding fees), you can get a $12 VIP admission that lets you watch from the Karma’s couch. Now that’s a cushy deal. Click here for details.

MKE Follies seeking acts

Hey, Milwaukee performing artists, Dance Revolution Milwaukee is prospecting for acts for its next MKE Follies variety show, which is scheduled for Sept. 19.

The MKE Follies is a one-night-only show catering to Milwaukee artists. It’s been going on for two years, and the next one is set for The Box, 628 N. Broadway St.

From the Dance Revolution Milwaukee publicity release:

“DRM is seeking local artists to perform their work in the show… We are currently looking for actors, dancers, musicians, comedians, and more! In total, we will take 6-8 acts per show that encompass as much variety as possible.

To participate, artists, and their casts (if applicable), must be available the evening of the Follies show, as well as the Thursday evening prior to the show for a dress rehearsal.”

Ticket sales proceeds are split among the participating artists.

The selection process is first-come, first-served, so interested artists should not hesitate to contact Katie and Karen at with information such as:

  • your name
  • form of art you would present
  • your contact information

T.I.M.: Improvising musicals since 2011

On the occasion of T.I.M. turning 3, let’s remember way back to the summer of 2011:

Meanwhile, after years of dreaming and months of planning, a plucky group of performers and administrators affiliated with Milwaukee-based ComedySportz kicked off what they hoped would be a monthly improvised musical called T.I.M. (The Improvised Musical).

Click here to see our first 2011 coverage of T.I.M. 

Three years later, gas costs about the same, the Brewers are barely in first, Congress is still dysfunctional and T.I.M. is stronger than ever.

T.I.M.’s one-hour on-the-spot improvised musicals, inspired by audience suggestions, continues to evolve. Among the cast, only co-founder Jacob Bach and Mary Kelly remain from the first show in July 2011 – although Mary is leaving for Chicago. Patricio Amerena moved to the cast from the original T.I.B., The Improvised Band, which has doubled in size in three years. Steven Baird has continued as T.I.B.’s guitarist since the beginning, and co-founder Mary Baird remains the show’s producer.

After three years, T.I.M. maintains its third-Thursday-of-the-month performance schedule, meaning that its third anniversary show will be at 7 p.m., Thursday, July 17, at ComedySportz, 420 S. 1st St. Tickets still cost only $5 cash at the door.

But for all that hasn’t changed for T.I.M. since 2011, its popularity has. Consider reserving tickets by calling ahead on weekdays at (414) 272-8888.




Umbrella Group Milwaukee debuts

Newcomer Umbrella Group Milwaukee has successfully opened with its production of the dark comedy “God of Carnage.”

Under the direction of Milwaukee theater veteran Bo Johnson, the cast featuring Anna Figenshtaler, Matt Wickey, Libby Amato and Jason Will is presenting Milwaukee’s premier of the Tony Award-winning play through Sunday, July 20.

OnMilwaukee.Com calls the work “an impressive debut for Umbrella Group.”

A review by Mike Fischer in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel calls the 70-minute play “short, extremely funny and – best of all – adept at tracing how easily alliances can shift once the rules by which we’ve lived get trashed.”

At its website, Umbrella Group describes itself as:

“a theatrical production company aiming to challenge and inspire its audiences through a broad spectrum of creative talents and performance styles.

The company provides a framework of artistic, technical, and fundraising support to performance projects in the Milwaukee area that might otherwise go unrealized.

We strive to provide a creative environment for artists to learn, develop, broaden, and practice their craft, by establishing and maintaining a non-profit arts organization dedicated to the production of high quality performance experiences for both artists and audience.”

See “God of Carnage” at 7:30 p.m., Thursday through Saturday, July 17-19, and at 2 p.m., Sunday, July 20, at Tenth Street Theatre, 628 N. 10th St. Click here for tickets at $20 each, with discounts for groups of 10 or more.

Free Open Improv - Wednesday

Free Open Improv happens every other Wednesday night, beginning July 16. 

Milwaukee Comedy is opening the Arcade Theatre, in the Underground Collaborative, for free sessions of open improvised comedy. Members of Sketch Marks will run the 7 p.m. open improv free-for-alls in the lower level of the Plankinton Building, 161 W. Wisconsin Ave.

From Facebook:

Wednesday, July 16th Sketch Marks will be hosting Open Improv at 7:00 at the Underground Collaborative….and get this, it’s free! We look forward to playing with newbies and veterans alike! Come on down (literally the basement) and join us for some fun!!

Free Open Improv tip:


Street parking in downtown Milwaukee usually runs until 6 p.m. So if you can find a place near the Plankinton Building (Try Michigan Street between Plankinton Avenue and 2nd Street.), you don’t have to pay for parking.

Free Open Improv and free parking. Can’t beat that.

Sketch 22 July 19

One of our favorite Milwaukee comedy community collaborations happens Saturday, July 19. It’s the 13th installment of the semi-annual Sketch 22 extravaganza, masterminded by Patrick Schmitz.

Beginning at 7 p.m., in the garage theater of ComedySportz, 420 S. 1st St., 40 Milwaukee comedy actors will present 10 original comedy sketches created only the night before by 10 teams of Milwaukee comedy writers.

There’s a lot of serendipity involved, with 10 directors randomly selecting the scripts and actors they’re working with at noon on Saturday. Most of the collaborators have never performed together before, which helps build camaraderie and chemistry in the Milwaukee comedy community.

And it all happens in 22 hours – thus the name, Sketch 22 – from the time the 10 writing teams get their assignments until the show goes on. So what the audience sees is about the freshest version of sketch comedy they could experience without the show being improvised.

Seating is limited, but the ComedySportz bar and Howie’s Cafe are open, so it pays to get there early and get your $10 ticket at the door. Do the math. That’s $1 for each fresh, original Milwaukee comedy sketch.

And there’s more

Right after Sketch 22, you can catch the hilarious Goodnight Milwaukee Show with Jake Kornely and Tyler Menz. Seating begins right after the Sketch 22 audience clears out, and the show starts at 10 p.m. Tickets are merely $5.

If you haven’t seen it yet, Goodnight Milwaukee is a smartly written variety show modeled after late-night television.

From Facebook:

Ever wonder what would happen if the competing late night talk show hosts were forced to come together and host a show together? Of course you have! 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! 

goodnight Milwaukee


T.I.M. waits for no one

Milwaukee’s ComedySportz arena is still humming from the World Championship and 30th anniversary festivities there last weekend.

On Thursday, June 26, The Improvised Musical (T.I.M.) channels that momentum into a full-blown song-and-dance story that’s never been sung or danced before.

Yeah. We know. T.I.M. always performs on the third Thursday of the month. Well, never say always. Because the ComedySportz World Championship and 30th anniversary festivities occupied the arena last Thursday. That’s why.

Anyway, the show goes on – just a week later – at 7 p.m. Thursday at ComedySportz, 420 S. 1st St.

Admission is a cheap $5, for which you get a one-hour improvised musical with intermission and all the fine food and refreshing beverage you can pay for.

Yes, it’s NBA draft night, and the Milwaukee Bucks have the No. 2 pick. OK, it’s Summerfest, and Lady Gaga is playing. You can read about all that after the fact. T.I.M. is one-and-done live musical theater, made up on the spot and never shown again. And it has sold out in the past. To reserve tickets, call 414-272-8888.


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