Improv

Local Improvisers, Don’t Miss This Opportunity at DIF 2017

Posted by on Jul 14, 2017

The opening performance of the Detroit Improv Festival is one show you shouldn’t miss because it includes everything that makes improv awesome. It is a show full of spirit, community, and laughter. The troupe includes new talented improvisers as well as hilarious seasoned professionals, all working together to create magic on the stage and in our city.  They always have a local celebrity or two participate as well. You’re intrigued aren’t you? What amazing group is this you ask? Have you seen them before? Well, you’ve probably seen different troupe members in groups around Detroit and even Los Angeles. Where did the members train? A number of them are Second City alums, Planet Ant Home Team members, as well as Planet Ant and Go Comedy folk. And the new, but no less talented, are up and coming improvising students from the Detroit Improv Project. Yep, I am talking about the Detroit Creativity Project Fundraiser Show. Through your attendance you can support arts programing in underserved Detroit area schools. The Detroit Creativity Project, in partnership with Y Arts Detroit, provides middle and high...

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Sketch

Review: Young Americans at Tipping Point

Posted by on Jul 26, 2017

By Brian Titus July 26th, 2017 On Friday night I went to a preview of the play Young Americans, a world premiere performance at the Tipping Point Theatre in Northville, Michigan.  Young Americans is the latest play by David Wells, a Michigan-based playwright who is a graduate of the University of Michigan and is no stranger to the trade.  This is my first time to the Tipping Point Theatre, an absolute treat with a cozy seating arrangement and very friendly staff!  Full disclosure, I came on the wrong night.  I was supposed to be there on Saturday night but for some reason thought it was Friday; the staff didn’t blink an eye and accommodated my absent-minded self. The story of Young Americans is a tale of two generations meeting, both seeking their identity and their purpose.  Owen Lovejoy (played by Michael Brian Ogden) or more popularly known as the 80’s mega rock star Caesar Moon is coming to a crossroads in life.  As we come to find out this character has more layers than a schizophrenic wedding cake, but the story...

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StandUp

You’ll want to be his neighbor: McCaffrey’s Neighborhood Comedy

Posted by on Jun 6, 2017

By Matt Daly, June 6th, 2017 Jon McCaffrey could arguably be described as a local comedy mob boss. He shouldn’t be, but he technically could be. As a divorced father of three and mailman during the day, that title rings a little strange. However, once you get to know what he actually does, it won’t. Basically, he is the ringleader who brings together a colorful group of unique comedians who perform at several different venues in the Metro Detroit area on a (usually) regular basis. A native of Berkley, McCaffrey got his start in comedy several years ago by taking improv classes at Go Comedy in Ferndale. His first taste of what he’s doing now came when a friend of his was looking for performers to do acts at O’Mara’s Pub in Berkley. He then asked him to return weekly, and that’s how McCaffrey’s Neighborhood Comedy was born. McCaffrey ran it himself at O’Mara’s for about six months, and then handed it off to some friends for a while. After being away from the scene for a little bit, he got the...

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Laugh Louder

Posted by on Feb 13, 2017

Schadenfreude – Pleasure derived by someone from another person’s misfortune… enjoy. *no animals were harmed in the making of this video Video Credit: Jim Films by Jim Harper Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)MoreClick to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Tumblr (Opens in new...

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Recent Posts

Review: Young Americans at Tipping Point

Review: Young Americans at Tipping Point

Jul 26, 2017

By Brian Titus July 26th, 2017 On Friday night I went to a preview of the play Young Americans, a world premiere performance at the Tipping Point Theatre in Northville, Michigan.  Young Americans is the latest play by David Wells, a Michigan-based playwright who is a graduate of the University of Michigan and is no stranger to the trade.  This is my first time to the Tipping Point Theatre, an absolute treat with a cozy seating arrangement and very friendly staff!  Full disclosure, I came on the wrong night.  I was supposed to be there on Saturday night but for some reason thought it was Friday; the staff didn’t blink an eye and accommodated my absent-minded self. The story of Young Americans is a tale of two generations meeting, both seeking their identity and their purpose.  Owen Lovejoy (played by Michael Brian Ogden) or more popularly known as the 80’s mega rock star Caesar Moon is coming to a crossroads in life.  As we come to find out this character has more layers than a schizophrenic wedding cake, but the story goes that Owen Lovejoy was the off-stage persona for Caesar Moon (after all, every Batman needs a Bruce Wayne).  A decidedly frustrated Owen Lovejoy makes plans to kill his creation Caesar Moon following one last performance, but his plans go south when a dressing room meeting with super-fan CeCe (played by Katie Terpstra) threatens to engulf his already complicated identity crisis.  Secrets are revealed, many a “squee” takes place (you’ll know what I’m referring to when you see the show), and for brief moments two generations find they are not so different.  Now full disclosure, I was invited to review this play on the context that it was a comedy but feel it falls more in the “drama, with light showers of comedy” category.  As Seinfeld would say “not that there is anything wrong with that” but I felt the show had much more honest moments of raw emotion than bails of laughter.  Subtle bits of laughter were given by the audience throughout the production of Young Americans but I would hardly bill this as a comedy. All that being said the production...

Local Improvisers, Don’t Miss This Opportunity at DIF 2017

Local Improvisers, Don’t Miss This Opportunity at DIF 2017

Jul 14, 2017

The opening performance of the Detroit Improv Festival is one show you shouldn’t miss because it includes everything that makes improv awesome. It is a show full of spirit, community, and laughter. The troupe includes new talented improvisers as well as hilarious seasoned professionals, all working together to create magic on the stage and in our city.  They always have a local celebrity or two participate as well. You’re intrigued aren’t you? What amazing group is this you ask? Have you seen them before? Well, you’ve probably seen different troupe members in groups around Detroit and even Los Angeles. Where did the members train? A number of them are Second City alums, Planet Ant Home Team members, as well as Planet Ant and Go Comedy folk. And the new, but no less talented, are up and coming improvising students from the Detroit Improv Project. Yep, I am talking about the Detroit Creativity Project Fundraiser Show. Through your attendance you can support arts programing in underserved Detroit area schools. The Detroit Creativity Project, in partnership with Y Arts Detroit, provides middle and high school students with improv training right at their school and free of charge.  This past year the program expanded to offer workshops to ESL and adult education students as well. Margaret Edwartowski, Y Arts Detroit’s Executive Director and Planet Ant Home Team member (and Planet Ant instructor) explains why she feels it is important for local improvisers to attend this show: “Our community has its very own cause and we’d love to get everyone’s support in developing this next generation of improvisers.” If you’ve taken improv classes, you know just how empowering improv skills can be in your everyday life. Now imagine how much you would have benefitted from taking those classes when you were an awkward adolescent. For a mere $15 ticket you can help a young person in our community feel more confident and self assured. You can share the secrets of learning to fail and the power of “Yes, and.” Heck, you can possibly save them some of the awful angst you endured when you were a silly teenager. But don’t attend out of charity, attend because this is a...

Wet Hot American Bummer

Wet Hot American Bummer

Jun 26, 2017

By Matt Daly, June 26th, 2017 If you’re looking to start your weekends early this summer, Go Comedy! In Ferndale might be the best place to do that. Wet Hot American Bummer is a live sketch comedy show that offers a satirical critique of the crazy political culture that we currently live in. Covering a wide array of controversial political topics such as abortion, religion, healthcare, environmentalism, and marijuana, this hour-long show leaves nothing untouched. You’ll hear from some national political figures like Paul Ryan, Nancy Pelosi, and Mitch McConnell, as well as some faces familiar to the Michigan political scene such as Debbie Stabenow and Debbie Dingell (apparently a requirement for being a female politician in Michigan is having the name Debbie). Many of the sketches are on the short side and the eight actors on stage seamlessly transitioned from scene to scene with ease, which really shows how talented they all are. Some of the topics covered were specific to Michigan, like the problem of automation in technology replacing human jobs with robots. In one sketch, two characters get into a driverless uber, only to have it get pulled over by a driverless cop car, and hilarity ensues. One interesting segment is a “weekend update” style news show that takes place in the middle of the show. Each week will feature current news stories, and because news today is always rapidly changing week to week, there will really never be two of the same shows. The focus of the stories is news ‘you probably haven’t heard about’ which is an added bonus because you’ll probably learn new things about what’s happening in the world around you! There were truly countless laugh out loud moments that kept my face aching from smiling too much. If you’re even remotely interested in the current political climate of the United States and Michigan, this is a show that you will not want to miss. The politics of the show leans to the left (it is in Ferndale), but there were more than enough jokes cracked about both sides of the political spectrum to leave even the most conservative person with at least a chuckle. Wet Hot...

CRISTINA NO h

CRISTINA NO h

Jun 13, 2017

So you only have three chances this week to see an amazing one-woman show called CRISTINA NO h. It is written by and starring Cristina Orlando. If you don’t know Cristina’s work, you should. She is a delightful human being with a surprising sense of humor. Her humor is surprising because you just can’t pigeonhole it. Although in real life she is a sweet and generous friend, mother, and kindergarten teacher, her humor can be dark, satirical, sarcastic, caustic, and self-depreciating. At other times it is full of physical slapstick fun and whimsy, while also being totally relatable and honest. I imagine we will get a glimpse of many of these elements in her show this weekend. Don’t miss this international talent and her gifted cast this weekend at Planet Ant Theatre. Here is the official info you need to know to make your plans and book your tickets: All The Details: The Planet Ant Theatre in Hamtramck, MI, will feature a three day run of CRISTINA NO h.  The fun and endearing one-woman show follows a determined full-time working married mother of two who decides to take a chance to reach her dream of becoming a famous actress.  This true comedic version of Cristina’s story is full of tears, laughter, twists and turns and inspiration to not wait for opportunity but to create it yourself. What: CRISTINA NO h, written by and starring local Windsorite, Cristina Orlando   Who: Written by and Starring Cristina Orlando Directed by Lauren Bickers Guest Starring Quintin Hicks                         Simone Orlando                         Estelle Orlando   When: Thursday June 15, 2017  8 PM  (Doors open at 7:30 pm) Friday June 16, 2017       8 PM  (Doors open at 7:30 pm) Saturday June 17, 2017   8PM  (Doors open at 7:30 pm)   Where: The Planet Ant Theatre (Blackbox) 2357 Caniff St. Hamtramck, Michigan USA www.planetant.com 313-365-4948   About: Cristina Orlando, a 41 year young local Windsorite who, on the verge of giving up on her dream, captures the moment when she took a leap to follow her dreams.  This show will inspire others to dig deep and create opportunities for themselves.  This is the true, fun and endearing story of a...

‘The Legend of Georgia McBride’ Debut’s at Theater Nova

‘The Legend of Georgia McBride’ Debut’s at Theater Nova

Jun 11, 2017

By Brian Titus,  June 11th, 2017 Levity personified and all the heart you can muster radiated from the Theatre Nova in Ann Arbor Friday night as ‘The Legend of Georgia McBride’ made a triumphant return to the stage after a successful run at The Ringwald Theatre.  A poignant story of a young man named Casey (played by Nick Yocum) who finds out his entire world is about to change, transform would be a better word, in the form of a sparkly dress and pumps.  Casey’s love for performance is challenged when his dismal gig as an Elvis impersonator flops and gets replaced with a B-level drag show.  For the love of his pregnant wife Jo (played by Meredith Deighton) and the thought that he needs to make ends meet, Casey decides that performing in drag is the only way to provide financial security and still allow him to express himself musically.  Enter the fabulous Miss Tracy Mills (played by Vince Kelley), the gender-bending Yoda who puts Casey through drag queen boot camp.  To find out what happens I encourage you to go see for yourself, from now until July 2nd. The overall theme of this show is discovery, in the sense that Casey discovers what it is like to be a husband, father, woman, performer, and a success all in one hour and 45 minute event.  This show is wildly entertaining and gets enormous laughs, playwright Matthew Lopez makes that possible with topical humor and larger than life characters.  I won’t play favorites because when you have a cast this good it is very difficult to single anyone out of an ensemble.  Still it must be noted that I rarely see talent as bold and bright as Vince Kelley (Miss Tracy Mills), Nick Yocum (Casey) and Richard Payton (who plays duo roles as Rexy and Jason).  Comedy timing and the suspension of disbelief are two of the most challenging things an actor has to manipulate; all three of these tremendously talented performers demonstrated their star power in ‘The Legend of Georgia McBride.’  Equally talented cast members Joe Bailey (Eddie) and Meredith Deighton (Jo) have an undeniable stage presence and have the difficult job of...

You’ll want to be his neighbor: McCaffrey’s Neighborhood Comedy

You’ll want to be his neighbor: McCaffrey’s Neighborhood Comedy

Jun 6, 2017

By Matt Daly, June 6th, 2017 Jon McCaffrey could arguably be described as a local comedy mob boss. He shouldn’t be, but he technically could be. As a divorced father of three and mailman during the day, that title rings a little strange. However, once you get to know what he actually does, it won’t. Basically, he is the ringleader who brings together a colorful group of unique comedians who perform at several different venues in the Metro Detroit area on a (usually) regular basis. A native of Berkley, McCaffrey got his start in comedy several years ago by taking improv classes at Go Comedy in Ferndale. His first taste of what he’s doing now came when a friend of his was looking for performers to do acts at O’Mara’s Pub in Berkley. He then asked him to return weekly, and that’s how McCaffrey’s Neighborhood Comedy was born. McCaffrey ran it himself at O’Mara’s for about six months, and then handed it off to some friends for a while. After being away from the scene for a little bit, he got the itch to return, but this time he branched out to other venues and not just O’Mara’s. One thing that is immediately apparent from meeting McCaffrey is his passion for comedy in general. He even said it essentially saved his life and he wouldn’t know what he would be doing without it. Keeping his shows accessible to as many people as possible is also a personal mission of McCaffrey’s. He never charges for his shows and he says he never will. He never wants cost to be a barrier that stops people from having a good night. “If you’re having a crappy day, going out and laughing could feasibly save somebody’s life… People need to get out of their heads, and comedy is a great way to do that.” McCaffrey said to me during our interview. McCaffrey’s Neighborhood Comedy brings to life a unique cast of comedians who each bring their own style, flare, and types of jokes. Within the span of the show, I heard jokes about things as mundane as how rednecks park their cars and things as out there as John...