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New York Musical Improv Festival


Feel a song coming on? If not, you should, because in less than a week, Magnet Theater presents the third annual New York Musical Improv Festival from November 1 - 6, 2011.

Over 150 performers from across the country will be converging on the Magnet Theater - from San Francisco, Chicago, Boston, Washington D.C., Minneapolis, Austin TX, and across NYC - to create fully improvised musical performances, from traditional musical theatre to the cutting edge. The Magnet Theater is recognized as the center for musical improv study and performance in the U.S.

On Sunday, November 6, 2011, the Festival presents a performance to benefit Gilda's Club New York City to raise funds and awareness for people living with cancer.

Performers include:

A/C (the P.I.T., NYC) - Ashley Ward and Chris Grace have been sequestered away, putting the finishing polish on a two-person musical improv group featuring thrilling songs, hilarious scenes, and the fun and familiarity that only two long-time friends could bring to the stage.

Aquarius (Magnet Theater, NYC) is a musical house team at the Magnet Theater. From a single suggestion, Aquarius spins a musical tale full of heroes and villains, highs and lows, dreams and nightmares, something and its opposite. Delight in their fantasies! "Water" you waiting for?

Baby Wants Candy (NYC) has established itself in New York and Chicago as the only musical improv group to perform a fully-improvised one-act musical with a full band. Based on a single audience suggestion of a title, the actors and musicians work together harmoniously to deliver a hilarious evening's entertainment.

The BEATDown - featuring Chris "Shockwave" Sullivan and Victor Varnado (UCB, NYC) - Bringing freestyling to the next level, Chris "Shockwave" Sullivan (Freestyle Love Supreme, The Electric Company) and Victor Varnado host some of New York City's finest comedians and one audience volunteer in "The BEATdown." It's a freestyle rap face-off decided by the audience - with badass one-on-one rap battles. You saw 8 Mile, right? Like that, but funnier.

BEEES!!! (Magnet Theater, NYC) - As a Musical Megawatt house team at the Magnet Theater, BEEES!!! spontaneously creates a longform narrative musical based on an audience member's suggestion. Every song, line and hip gyration is improvised on the spot as BEEES!!! brings you to a world full of melodrama, complex relationships, and fun times.

Choral Rage presents: The Rock Opera (Magnet Theater, NYC) - Belonging to one of the Magnet Theater's maiden voyage Musical Megawatt Teams, Choral Rage creates an out of this world musical journey into the depths of your imagination. Through their masterful harmonies and comedic colloquy, they create an entire Rock Opera based on the suggestion of a location.

Clown Car to Sicily (Chicago) - Comprised of graduates of the Second City Training Center's Musical Improv Conservatory program in Chicago, Clown Car to Sicily is an improv and sketch comedy group that will make'a you happ-ay! Using various music improv forms, genres, and styles, we combine long form improvised musicals and short form games with stylistic sketches and meta-theatrical satire. We constantly push the limits of mainstream and walk the line of what is sacred and what is...hilarious!

Diamond Lion (UCBeast, NYC) - Some of New York's top improvisors create a fully improvised musical out of thin air. Its more awesome than a lion - it's a Diamond Lion. The added twist - one talented improvisor with NO musical improv experience joins the cast for that one show only - and keeps up with the pros.

Girls Girls Girls Improvised Musicals (Austin, TX) - Founded in 2002, is Austin, Texas' oldest all-female improvisation troupe. Their specialty is creating long-form improvised Broadway musicals from a single audience suggestion. The Girls and their live musicians make up the songs, dances, characters, and stories all on the spot to create one complete story.

And more...

(visit for a full list)

The NYMIF I.P.O. (Initial Public Offering) features new and emerging performers:

ALFRED (Columbia University, NYC) is a college musical improv troupe all the way from Columbia, at 116th and Broadway, that focuses on long form musical improv. We have no connection to Alfred Hitchcock, Alfred Molina, Alfred the Butler, or Alfred Lord Tennyson - or do we?

American Idlez (The P.I.T., NYC) is a musical improv team of the highest caliber. Born out of American Spirit, the mind of Simon Cowell, and the love of all things musical improv, the Idlez perform fast and furious montages of new musicals the likes the world has never seen before or since.

Dumpster Tequila (NYC) Dumpster Tequila warms your heart with an off-beat brand of musical improv, from one audience member suggestion, they create scenes, stories, and musical numbers on the spot. They have performed at every major improv theater in NYC and improv festivals across the country! Come see what everyone is singing about.

Hit 'N Run Musical Improv (Voodoo Comedy Playhouse, Denver, Colorado) Colorado's ONLY improvised musical! Based on multiple suggestions from the audience, Hit 'N Run Musical Improv creates a fully improvised musical with complex harmonies, a satisfying story, and really catchy songs.Meaningfül Touch performs an improvised musical monoscene that seamlessly blends scene work and song. The rag-tag crew felt the love when they met in an historic Magnet Theater class taught by Tara Copeland, and couldn't get enough of her "meaningful touch" pre-performance embrace (and thus named themselves in her honor).

10£ Ally brings you their refreshing musical monoscene featuring the stylings of Oscar Montoya, Lorraine Cink and Ryan Dunkin. The first and only improv team to ever be invited to join Nato; we'll pick you when you are down, send you rations when you are starving and help you overthrow whoever is getting you down all through the medium of song and dance.

All other pertinent information may be found at .

New York Musical Improv Festival

November 1-6, 2011

Magnet Theater

254 W. 29th Street, ground floor

(between 7th and 8th Avenues)


Performa 11 Opens

ming wong-500

Performa 11, the biennial of new visual art performance presented by Performa, will be held in New York City from November 1–21, 2011. The three-week event will showcase new work by more than 100 of the most exciting artists working today, in an innovative program breaking down the boundaries between visual art, music, dance, poetry, fashion, architecture, graphic design, and the culinary arts.

Presented in collaboration with a consortium of more than 50 arts institutions and 25 curators, as well as a network of public spaces and private venues across the city, Performa 11 ignites New York City with energy and ideas, acting as a vital “think tank” linking minds across the five boroughs and bringing audiences together for brilliant new performances in all disciplines.

Read more: Performa 11 Opens

Curtain Goes Up Again for NY Musical Theatre Festival

The 8th annual New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF) 2011 is taking place nymusical-Madame-XSeptember 26 - October 16, 2011 at several venues in Manhattan, New York City.

New York Musical Theatre Festival is the largest annual musical theatre event in America and is widely regarded as the essential source for new material and talent discovery. NYMF provides a launching pad for the next generation of musicals and their creators to ensure the continued vitality of one of America's greatest art forms.

Only 30 new musicals are selected to perform during the three-week festival, so one can be sure they are among the very best. Some of them are:

Date of a Lifetime
Book and Lyrics by Carl Kissin
Music by Robert Baumgartner Jr.
Directed by Jeremy Dobrish
With Farah Alvin, Jamie LaVerdiere
During a speed date, both parties fantasize about what life might be like with that person.

Read more: Curtain Goes Up Again for NY...

Philly Fringe & Live Arts Festival

The 15th annual Philadelphia Live Arts Festival and Philly Fringe is being helphilly-fringe-LadyMd September 2 - 17, 2011 at the Prince Music Theater, Independence Black Box, The Rotunda, and numerous other venues in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

The Philadelphia Live Arts Festival and Philly Fringe supports artists in a wide array of projects, performances and presentations in a something-for-everyone event.

The Philadelphia Live Arts Festival is "a curated festival of the world’s most cutting-edge, high-quality performing arts groups," with more than 13 Live Arts shows being presented.

The Philly Fringe is "an unfiltered festival, where a platform is provided for new and established artists to present their work free of a selection process. For some it’s a once-a-year, or once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to create a show; for professional companies, it can be an opportunity to try something new."

The event encourages artists to "give expression to and develop their talents and artistic visions in total artistic freedom without any curatorial barriers in bringing that work to an audience; to help artists become successful independent producers; and ensure the growth and continued health of the local and regional performing arts community." More than 200 shows are expected to perform.

This Event promises a lot, and definitely delivers. The range of unusual, off-beat and downright groundbreaking performance pieces is staggering.

The Live Arts Shows include:philly-fringe-traces

  • A collaborative new work that "captures the wonder of the ineffable" by choreographer/director John Jasperse and company
  • A play in 3 acts, with Act 1 online, Act 2 as part of a free walking tour, which reveals the secret location of Act 3
  • a lecture performed entirely in dance
  • a play combining dance theater, art installation, silent films, vintage Donkey Kong, and Mars
  • a trio of illusionists in collaboration

The Fringe productions include such innovations as

  • the one-night mini-festival that is the Alternative Theatre Festival
  • theatre meets therapy as Angry People encourages the audience say what makes them angry and then channels that rage into improv
  • a treasure hunt with teams of 4-6 audience members
  • an audio podcast with live stage show
  • 5-minute plays
  • black light theatre, a popular, innovative Czech style rarely performed in the States

In addition to a wealth of new and original material are works by such established playwrights as:philly-fringe-lord-flies

  • Shakespeare (Coriolanus and Henry IV)
  • Edgar Allan Poe
  • H.P. Lovecraft
  • Bram Stoker
  • James Baldwin
  • Sam Shepard
  • Neil LaBute

there are performances of such tried and true offerings as:

  • The Bacchae
  • The Dutchman
  • Woyzeckphilly-fringe-slaying-dragon
  • Ubu Roi
  • Debbie Does Dallas, the Musical
  • Eurydice
  • The Scarlet Letter
  • Lord of the Flies
  • Max Frisch’s The Arsonists (The Firebugs)
  • Kathryn Watterson‛s Not By the Sword rendered as opera, Slaying the Dragon
  • Georges Rodenbach‛s 1892 novella Bruges-la-Morte
  • Carlo Goldoni’s The Servant of Two Masters
  • another rendering of Jason and the Argonauts
  • the only surviving play from Eugene O’Neill’s Obit Cycle, which O’Neill said was meant to be read, not performed
  • oh, yes -- and The Bible

Other events include

  • Gender Reel, the East Coast’s first and only multi-media festival
  • Symposium: Conversations on Cross Cultural Identity in 21st Century Performance – A discussion of inter-border influences and collaborations with dancers and artists Ralph Lemon, Nora Chipaumire, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Shantala Shivalingappa, Jayachandran Palazhy
  • a Dance Flash Mob

The dazzling -- one could say exhausting -- array of performances cover so many mash-ups: dance with film, music with art, theater with acrobatics, tap dancing to heavy metal, and so many more. Two weeks is not enough.

For more information, go to

Philadelphia Live Arts Festival and Philly Fringe
September 2 - 17, 2011

Prince Music Theater
Independence Black Box
1412 Chestnut St.
Philadelphia, PA 19110

The Wilma Theater
265 S. Broad St.
Philadelphia, PA 1910

Plays and Players Theater
1714 Delancey Place
Philadelphia, PA 19103-6715

Live Arts Studio
919 N. 5th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19123

Arts Bank at the University of the Arts
601 S. Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19147-1811

Emerald Street Park
2317 Emerald Street
Philadelphia, PA 19125

Philadelphia Museum of Art, east staircase
26th & Franklin Parkway
Philadelphia, PA 19101

The Shubin Theatre
407 Bainbridge Street
Philadelphia, PA 19147

Columbus Memorial
South Columbus Boulevard at Dock Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106

William Way Community Center
1315 Spruce Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107-5601

The Rotunda
4014 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-3514

Walnut Street Theatre-Studio 5
825 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 1910

plus other venues in and around Philadelphia

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