Monday, August 25, 2008

A Comprehensive Guide To Comedy At The 2008 Philadelphia Fringe Festival

The Philadelphia Live Arts Festival & Philly Fringe begins this Friday and we've got to admit: the sketch, stand-up and improv scenes are representin'. Thanksfully, in the midst of modern dances and off-the-wall plays, there will be some laughs to be had. Below is our carefully constructed and comprehensive list of comedy at the festival.

NOTE: The unOfficial Fringe Late Nite Cabaret 2008 will also be going on at the same time that includes some comedy shows, most notably a special edition of Die, Actor, Die

24 Hour Comedy Marathon Walking Fish Theatre (2509 Frankford Avenue) Sun. 8/31 11:59PM - Mon. 9/1 12:00AM, $5
This Labor Day, let the comics do all of the work.  Dozens upon dozens of local stand-up comedians will perform between midnight to midnight and the audience will have opportunities to go up on stage as well.

A Comedy With No Message Best Western Independence Park Hotel (235 Chestnut St.) Fri. 8/5 8PM & 10PM, Sat. 9/5  7PM & 9PM, Fri. 9/12 8PM & 10PM, Sat. 9/13 7PM & 9PM, $10
Eric Van Wie, a twelve-year ComedySportz veteran, presents a comedy variety show with multiple characters in search of the funny. If you want touching stories, sentimental journeys, and personal pain, this is NOT the show for you.

The Audition The Old Academy Players (3540-3544 Indian Queen Lane in East Falls) Sat. 8/23 8PM, Fri. 8/29 8PM, Sat. 8/30 8PM, Sun. 8/31 2PM, $10
What happens when an aspiring actor tries to make it big? Who tries to help him? Who doesn't? How does he confront the occasionally nagging flirtation with musicals, which he hates? Come see this physical comedy filled with bizarre characters and their zany ideas about the meaning of showbiz success.

Bedtime Stories Shubin Theatre (407 Bainbridge St.) Wed. 9/10, 8PM, $10
Although the monthly sketch and storytelling show Bedtime Stories is usually based around one specific topic, this special Fringe edition is more of a free-for-all highlighting the best bits from the past year. Check out our past Bedtime Stories coverage and an interview with host Gregg Gethard

Ben Affleck Judges You The Philadelphia Shakespeare Festival (2111 Sansom St.) Thurs. 8/28 9PM, Fri. 8/29 9PM, Sat. 8/30 9PM, Sun. 8/31 3PM, $15
An evening of sketch comedy brought to you by the unfiltered minds of Two For Flinching, a fledgling group whose comedic view of the world is more sharp than artistic, with a tone of contagious mockery.

Comic Energy Sketch Comedy Show 2nd Stage at The Adrienne (2030 Sansom St.) Sat. 8/30 11PM, Sat. 9/6 11PM, Sat. 9/13 11PM, $10
Comic Energy, winner of the MyFox Philly Hot List for top comedy club in Philadelphia, presents award-winning sketch comedy to the Philly Fringe. Featuring parodies, impersonations, and starring a cast straight from Philly, the troupe brings it to the Fringe right before their ninth season debut.

Dangerous Fools 2nd Stage at The Adrienne (2030 Sansom St.) Tues. 9/9 8:30PM, Wed. 9/10 8:30PM, Fri. 9/12 7PM, Sat. 9/13 7PM, $10
“Better than any improv group I've seen” (City Paper). A fool from LA... a fool from script. With nothing but a blank stage, a single suggestion, and two twisted minds, Thomas Fowler and Mary Carpenter take you on an improvised ride that is hilarious, unique, and dangerously unpredictable.
The Don and Julie Show!!! Upstairs at the Khyber Thurs. 9/11 8PM, Fri. 9/12 8PM, Sat. 9/13 8PM, $10
The Don & Julie Show!!! is Philadelphia's fifth best variety show. Part Mike Douglas Show, part Regis & Kelly, part "whatever they want it to be," Don Montrey, Juliette Pryor, and pianist Alex Bechtel present a fun-filled extravaganza with music, comedy, and celebrity guests. Check out our interview with Don a few months back

God Can Help You With That Character Defect Comedy Cabaret (11580 Roosevelt Blvd.) Fri. 9/5 9PM, Sat. 9/6 9PM, $15
Comedian Alan Marx shares a semi-autobiographical journey to the intersection of spirituality and real life. Be ready to laugh in this bizarre mash-up of stand-up comedy and faith in a language we can all understand.

The Hoppers Hit the Road The Adrienne Mainstage (2030 Sansom St.) Thurs. 8/28 8:30PM, Sat. 8/30 3PM & 7PM, Thurs. 9/4 8:30PM, Sat. 9/6 3 & 7PM, Sun. 9/7 7PM, $15
Follow Benny and Martin Hopper (The Hopper Brothers) as they search for a record contract, true love, and their Ocean City music pier gig. Similar in spirit to A Mighty Wind, Glenside's most lovable home-schooled sibling folk duo star in this improv-to-script musical that proves Philadelphia's top comedians can sing! Check out our interview with Philly Improv Theater's Greg Maughan in which he talks about The Hopper Brothers

Illegal Refill The Adrienne Mainstage (2030 Sansom St.) Sun. 8/31 7PM, Tues. 9/2 7PM, Sat. 9/6 10:30PM, Mon. 9/8 8:30PM, $10
One of Philadelphia's newest and most exciting long-form improvisational comedy troupes makes its Festival debut! Illegal Refill is barely one year old, but boasts thirty years of combined improv experience among its six young members. See daring long-form improv comedy sets, complete with special guest openers from around Philadelphia. Check out an Illegal Refill set we filmed

Improv and Sketch Comedy from Rare Bird Show & Meg and Rob, Respectively The Adrienne Mainstage (2030 Sansom St.) Fri. 8/29 10PM, Sun. 8/31 9PM, Wed. 9/3 8:30PM, Thurs. 9/11 8:30PM, Sat. 9/13 10:30PM, $10
Two Philadelphia's top comedy groups, Meg and Rob and Rare Bird Show perform live comedy that you will love. Check back later this week for an interview with M& R.

LunchLady Doris The Adrienne Mainstage (2030 Sansom St.) Thurs. 9/11 7PM, Fri. 9/12 10PM, $10
LLD returns after eleven sold-out Fringes! LunchLady creates spontaneous theater that is funny, smart, strange, and utterly breathtaking. City Paper and Philadelphia Weekly say "these five improvisers are uncanny;" "the best of the bunch;" "satisfying and impressive." Featuring veteran improvisors Bobbi Block, Kevin Dougherty, Karen Getz, Dave Jadico, and Kelly Jennings.

The Maguffin 2nd Stage at The Adrienne (2030 Sansom St.) Sat. 8/30 7PM, Sun. 8/31 7PM, Mon. 9/1 4PM, Fri. 9/5 7PM, Sat. 9/6 4 & 7PM, $10
Stone Soup Theatre Arts’ riotous political comedy imagines the gay marriage movement is dead this election season. So why would right wing mastermind Cy Mason fight to resurrect it? Find out in the production that NYC's Gay City News declared "what satire should be...shrewd, sassy, topical and just plain fun."

Mister Mister Mister Mister and Others
The Urban Saloon (2120 Fairmount Ave.)
Thurs. 9/4 7 & 9PM, Fri. 9/5 7:30 & 9PM, Sat. 9/6 7:30 & 9PM
The Raven Lounge (1718 Sansom St.)
Thurs. 9/11 7:30 & 9PM, Fri. 9/12 7:30 & 9PM, Sat. 9/13 7:30 & 9PM
The best stand-up comedy show in the Fringe Festival returns for its second year! Come see four comedians who are teachers who are comedians. There will also be special guests, selected from among the funniest comics in the city!

The N Crowd Double Feature The Actors Center (257 North 3rd St.) Fri. 8/29 8 & 10PM, Fri. 9/5 8 & 10PM, Fri. 9/12 8 & 10PM, $10
The N Crowd is a short-form improv comedy troupe that has been performing weekly in Philadephia since 2005. Each hilarious scene starts with a suggestion from the audience. They promise you won't legally have this much fun in ninety minutes for ten dollars.

One Funny Mother: I'm Not Crazy Society Hill Playhouse (507 South 8th St.) Fri. 9/12 9PM, Sat. 9/13 2:30PM, $20
Dena’s perspective on marriage, motherhood, and unrealistic perfection is hilarious! Through stand-up and videos, Dena describes a life you will swear is your own. If you’ve ever gone un-showered for days, stayed up with a sick kid, or had one pee on you, then this show is for you!!!

Participant Awards Ceremony O'Neals Irish Pub (611 3rd St.) Wed. 9/10 8:15PM, Thurs. 9/11 8:15PM, Fri. 9/12 8:30 & 10PM, Sat. 9/13 8:30 & 10PM, $10
Great shows do come in small packages! Catch Philly Improv vetrans Rick Horner and Cubby Altobelli perform in their two-man long-form team: WhipSuit. A single suggestion from the audience will launch a full-length bonanza of comedy.

Rated-G Walking Fish Theatre (2509 Frankford Avenue) Fri. 8/29 9PM, Sat. 8/30 9PM, Thurs. 9/4 9PM, Sat. 9/6 9PM, $10
High Dramma will destroy your loins with our distinctive humor! Guaranteed to have you laughing for all the right reasons, but mostly the wrong ones! We're sketch comedy, so you know we're fugitives. High Dramma: Come for the sketch comedy, stay because we locked the doors and threatened your children!
The Sixth Borough presents: "World Crisis" The Adrienne Mainstage (2030 Sansom St.) Fri. 8/29 8:30PM, Sat. 8/30 10:30PM, Tues. 9/2 8:30PM, Thurs. 9/4 10PM, $10
War in the Middle East. Disasters in Asia. Refugee crisis in Africa. Escalating food and energy prices worldwide. The rise of Tila Tequila in America. Sketch comedy group The Sixth Borough plans on making light of everything that makes life so absolutely shitty as they present World Crisis. Check out our interview with The Sixth Borough earlier this year

Tongue & Groove The Adrienne Mainstage (2030 Sansom St.) Wed. 9/3 7PM, Fri. 9/5 10PM, Sun. 9/7 5PM, Wed. 9/10 7PM, Fri. 9/12 8:30PM, $10
This unique realism-based improv ensemble is “emotionally charged…very physical…often hilarious!" (Philadelphia Weekly). Inspired by personal information anonymously shared by the audience, T&G "effortlessly riffs on all aspects of modern relationships, both comedic and dramatic," (City Paper) creating one-of-a-kind productions that reflect the particular mood and spirit of each audience.

Vote Ninja in 2008! Lisa M. Reisman Gallery (1714 Rittenhouse Sq.) Thurs. 9/4 9PM, Fri. 9/5 8 & 9:30PM, Sat. 9/6 8 & 9:30PM, Sun. 9/7 7PM, Thurs. 9/11 9PM, Fri. 9/12 8 & 9:30PM, Sat. 9/13 8 & 9:30PM, $10
Join the Ninjas for an evening of Chicago-style improv based on audience suggestion. No scripts and no props, it’s a totally custom-made comedy show every performance! See the jazz of theater from the deadliest improv group in Philadelphia!

Waitstaff Wit' L'Etage Cabaret (625 Bainbridge St.) Tues. 9/2 9PM, Wed. 9/3 9PM, Thurs. 9/4 9PM, Sun. 9/7 9PM, Tues. 9/9 9PM, Wed. 9/10 9PM, $15
You like The Onion newspaper? Then you’ll love Waitstaff Wit’, because this year The Waitstaff serves up something deliciously different: monologues written by TWS in the style of The Onion newspaper read by your favorite Waitstaffers and surprise guest artists. Cher? Maybe. Charlton Heston? He’s dead. WHO? COME SEE!


Chip Chantry said...

I might have missed it, but Bob McCormick is also putting on a great show (I'm on it, that's why it's great). He is doing a whole bunch of shows, some at Raven Lounge and some at Urban Saloon.

Pruneface said...

Wow! There's a lot going on! Great to have the whole list in one place like this.

The Ninjas said...

Thanks for the plug, CvA!
Your friends,
The Ninjas