Tag Archives: Improv

The Last Hurrah – Mysteries of the Unknown

Kick off your week in style with the newest Last Hurrah in podcast form!

88 – Goodbye Nicky Costanza

This week on The Last Hurrah we delve into some of the world’s greatest mysteries, earth like planets, ecto-plasma-like residue, spectral visitations and more! Plus we bid a fond farewell to a longtime friend of the show, Nicky Costanza!

Subscribe and review the show on iTunes or stream it on LastHurrahLive.com

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Join us at the Maryland Ensemble Theatre on Sunday Sept 4th for a new adventure!

Last week we said goodbye to a good friend, but this week we welcome back the incredible Two-Human Family (but not by blood) Funtime Band! Plus, a special tribute to Gene Wilder. Don’t miss it this Sunday at 7pm.

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Open Those Doors and Enjoy What You’ve Made – Checking in with Sea Tea Improv

A few years ago, Briana Haynie compiled a series of oral histories about the founding and development of Sea Tea Improv. Over the past year they ran the most successful kickstarter for a comedy theater ever and on August 20th they officially opened their doors to the public! We spoke to Julia Pistel, a founding member and managing director of Sea Tea Improv, in the fleeting calm that would follow opening weekend…

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As a founding member of Sea Tea, how does it feel to come this far?

Amazing. It has been so intense for the last year—the founders and owners are just trying to catch our breaths and enjoy what we’ve done. It’s funny, I was going through some old emails—someone was asking us for milestones—and I don’t remember this, but some of our founders were talking about opening a theater one day. Back in 2010 that was unrealistic, so it’s really something we’ve been working slowly but very steadily towards for seven years. It’s really exciting to have those doors open and get to work.

I imagine the role of Managing Director changes from theatre to theatre depending on size and content. Describe your role as the Managing Director for those who may not know what that is.

Let me start by not answering your question and describing the Artistic Director first, and then I’ll describe the difference between the two, because that’s where it gets interesting.

The Artistic Director, as we see it, is to make sure that everything that is happening within the theater is excellent. Of course, that can mean a number of different things. It can be the best improv you’re ever going to see, it can be some really experimental stuff, it can mean including a lot of people. His job is basically to make sure what happens on the stage is reflective of the quality that we want to see and bring to Hartford and Connecticut.

My job as the Managing Director is very different. It’s to keep the doors open, keep the place running and make sure we stay alive. What my job covers right now is a really interesting question because I’m in transition. Until last week, the main focus of my job was to make sure the construction project got finished. Now that it is done, my job is managing the staff that’s working and running the theater; building community relationships and connections to help build out the audience; to keep an eye on the big picture, making sure everything under the umbrella is getting done; and making decisions about what our priorities are as a company to make sure we are fulfilling our mission.

Continue reading Open Those Doors and Enjoy What You’ve Made – Checking in with Sea Tea Improv

The Last Hurrah Presents: METLab Presents: Secret Teen Baby!

Kick off your week in style with the newest Last Hurrah in podcast form!

85 – Secret Teen Baby

Teaming up with Jesse Marciniak from the Maryland Ensemble Theatre’s METLab program, a panel consisting of Isabel and Helena Duarte and Christine McQuaid plus a little help from The Last Hurrah’s Two Human Family (but not by blood) Band put together the next great METLab script: An original musical entitled Secret Teen Baby!

In it, we learn the story of Tatiana Veronica, a woman of all races except for white and how she came to love Janice, a secret teen baby. But when tragedy strikes (or more so, crushes) can their love prevail in a world that hates Teen Babies? Goo-goo Gah-gah, bitch!

Subscribe and review the show on iTunes or stream it on LastHurrahLive.com

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Then, join us at the Maryland Ensemble Theatre on Sunday July 31st for a new adventure!

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This Week on The Last Hurrah – VHS Virtual Reality

Kick off your week with the newest Last Hurrah in podcast form!

80 – VHS Virtual Reality

This week, knowing that Thom has lived the virtual reality experience, we try to relay that feeling to those in the audience. Kevin and Christine dish on their troubled history with video games and things take an explosive turn when we play a new game!

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Then, join us at the Maryland Ensemble Theatre on Sunday June 12th for a new adventure!

Live from the MET, this week Karli finally returns to the Two Person Family (But Not by Blood) Band! There will be slam poetry, there might be hot dogs, who knows? You will, when you join the fun this Sunday!

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This week on The Last Hurrah: Prom Nights and OedipusROX!

Kick off your week with the newest Last Hurrah in podcast form!

73 – After Prom Night

Giovanni Kavota, James McGarvey and Cal Holderbaum entertained the audience with a thrilling recap of their prom escapades, questionable trendsetting, and high-stakes interactions with their female peers. The trio topped off the evening with a hilarious longform improv set.

Subscribe and review the show on iTunes or stream it on LastHurrahLive.com

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Then join us at The Maryland Ensemble Theatre for more fun on Sunday at 7pm!

Kevin Cole returns to host the show with one-man-band-leader Thom Huenger! This week it’s OedipusTALX as Kevin and Thom explain their hiatus for the show and attempt to make up for it with some of team from the MET’s newest original production OedipusROX!

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The Last Hurrah Returns on Sunday!

Back from the Easter hiatus, The Last Hurrah with guest hosts Giovanni Kavota and James McGarvey! Gio and James are bringing the improv and the love to The Last Hurrah in a post-prom episode! Whether you spent the night prior rocking out Retro Prom, or your own prom, or even if you skipped prom be sure to join us at the Maryland Ensemble Theatre from some free comedy.

The fun starts Sunday April 3rd at 7pm!

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The Last Hurrah’s Bad Neighbors

 Podcasts aplenty for Hurrah listeners!

72-Bad Neighbors with Christine McQuaid

Christine McQuaid returns from a long hiatus (2 months) to step up to the hosting plate and she brings her A-game. She also bring Lisa Burl, James McGarvey and Giovanni Kavota. The dish on bad neighbors/roommates they’ve had through the year and James & Gio perform some improv!

Subscribe and review the show on iTunes or stream it on LastHurrahLive.com

See every chair imaginable at The Last Hurrah - Sundays at 7pm Maryland Ensemble Theatre
See every chair imaginable at The Last Hurrah – Sundays at 7pm Maryland Ensemble Theatre

Skip the Maryland Ensemble Theatre this weekend and join us for the return of Frederick’s Free Comedy Chat Show on APRIL 3rd!

There’s no way in hell we’re going up against Easter. It’s not that we’re not cool enough to skip church, it’s that we know there won’t be hearty crowd that night. Instead, join us in two weeks! Will James McGarvery return to the role of host? Only time will tell!

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The Greatest Debate with James Adomian & Anthony Atamanuik

Over the phone I heard two voices I had gotten to know quite well through a series of political inspired debates on Youtube, now set on touring the nation in an ultimate display of our polarized popular ideologies and universal absurdity. Within the first few seconds, I was hooked. And by the end of it I felt the surge of political revolution, and the increasing momentum of the triumphantly original and iconic Trump vs. Bernie 2016 Debate Tour. If soon there is to be a sibling to Mt Rushmore constructed in out time, may the faces of Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump, James Adomian, and Anthony Atamanuik loom over the forests of the American Midwest.

How did the the first debate come about?

Anthony Atamanuik: I was doing Trump in New York, and I knew James had been doing Bernie for a while. We’d been friends for years, and we’d always done impressions and characters around each other in New York and LA. Actually, James texted me one day and said, “Hey, man, we should try to do this together.” It ended up that we had a good synthesis of a show we could do it at, Whiplash. From there it sort of snowballed because there was a lot of interest.

James Adomian: [Anthony] had the great idea to film the show at Whiplash and have [Anthony Sneed] filming it. It was a pretty popular video on YouTube and from there people were like, “We want to see the whole hour!” or “When are you gonna put it on TV?” So we’re doing what we can, which is a big tour.

I love how you guys are marketing it. I’ve been following closely and a lot of my friends have been as well. I know you guys are going to D.C. Where else are you excited be touring?

JA: Well, we’re very excited to be doing New Hampshire. We’re doing two different cities right before the primary, and we’re going to be right there at the New Hampshire primary.

AA: In the heart of it, right where it all happens, in Manchester.

JA: I think there’s a good chance both Trump and Bernie will win their primaries that night. And that will be perfect.

AA: That will prove that we can finally get our plan of starting the Psychic Friends Network back up and running.

How long have the two of you known each other?

AA: 2008?

JA: Something like that, yeah. It’s been eight years.

AA: Yeah, eight years. Both Obama terms.

How did you meet—just gigging in similar places?

JA: The Del Close Marathon happens at Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in New York every summer, and they have all the craziest, funniest shows late at night. I think we met at a 2 a.m. show called Match Game 76.  

AA: He was Orson Welles, and I was a young John McCain who was just freed from Vietnam.

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Continue reading The Greatest Debate with James Adomian & Anthony Atamanuik

Two Distinct Holidays: Celebrating Secular Xmas with Connor Ratliff

Connor Ratliff is a writer and improvisor in New York City. He is best known as a member of The Stepfathers, the warm-up comic for The Chris Gethard Show and the host of The George Lucas Talk Show. Ratliff’s holiday special (made with the help of Chris Gethard Show cohorts Keith Haskel and Rob Malone), The Spirit of Ratliff, goes online December 21. Ratliff is agnostic and perhaps the most passionate fan of Xmas I’ve ever met.

In your Tumblr post detailing the origins of the Spirit of Ratliff EP, you never spell out the word “Christmas.” When we transcribe this interview, should we do the same?

I think so. It’s funny, I was talking to someone last night and they were asking me about the whole special and the EP—I remember as a kid, people would say they didn’t like it when people spell “Christmas” with an X. I don’t know what the actual origin of it is, but I remember hearing so much the people didn’t like it because they felt it was X-ing out Christ, and they felt it was sacrilegious. That seems like a hostile act, whereas we were writing the songs I was making a point of what I celebrate being secular Xmas rather than the religious holiday. Even though they’re obviously connected, I do believe they are two distinct holidays that people celebrate.

It’s a visual shorthand, even though they’re pronounced the same way. I never say “Xmas” as a word. The X in Xmas is pronounced “Chris.”

The Spirit of Ratliff special is a spin-off of the Spirit of Gethard specials. In the past it has felt as though Chris [Gethard] was at the whim of whatever Keith Haskel and Rob Malone had planned, will this special have a similar feel or will it be entirely different?

I was making a joke that the first three Spirit of Gethard movies were like the first three movies in the Bourne Identity trilogy, and this one is like that fourth Bourne movie that Matt Damon wasn’t in and Jeremy Renner was. It’s of the world, but clearly not the same. Not a straight continuation.

Continue reading Two Distinct Holidays: Celebrating Secular Xmas with Connor Ratliff