Tag: comedy

Songstock 2014: Musical Improv Comedy by BIG

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BIG

catch of the day fish (2)Winter doldrums, anybody? Flu season, much? Well, if laughter is the best medicine—and I guess, technically it must be the best medicine for feeling blue at least—get yourself a major dose at on of Baltimore Improv Group (aka BIG)’s multiple performances this weekend. Think you could use a double dose? Make it a marathon with more than one, since it’s never the same show twice (because, you know, it’s improv).

Local Boy Done Good: Brian Levin Makes it Happen in Hollywood

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McDonogh grad Brian Levin just wrapped his first movie, due in theaters next spring.

Westminster native Brian Levin makes his feature film debut as writer and producer of the comedy Flock of Dudes next spring, and his journey into the entertainment industry should give ambitious prospective filmmakers encouragement:  Talent, hard work and stick-to-it-tive-ness really do pay off.

After graduating from Towson University and getting his master’s degree at American University in D.C., the 1998 McDonogh School grad headed to New York.  It was there that his online comedy show “The Post Show,” which he co-created with friends Bob Castrone (who he met at Towson) and Jason Zumwait (who he met in NY at a comedy show), got him noticed. (Click here to view some of the episodes.)

“That got our foot in the door in the film and television industry,” Levin says.  A move to Los Angeles followed and since then he and his partners have written and produced television pilots and sold screenplays. Flock of Dudes is the first screenplay they’ve had in production, which Castrone directs and Levin produces.

Event of the Day: BIG Intro to Improv

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The comedy juggernaut known as Baltimore Improv Group teaches the fundamentals of quick thinking and spontaneous theater at the Creative Alliance. Last class is a showcase for family and friends. 7-9pm. Adv Reg $170, $150 mbrs. Walk-in $190, $170 mbrs.

BIG Improv will also offer two days of intensive workshops Saturday, August 3 and Sunday, August 4 in conjunction with the 7th Annual Baltimore Improv Festival. Please check http://www.baltimoreimprovfestival.org for details and prices.

    SNL Visits Maryland: Seth Meyers at Stevenson on Sunday

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    We all have our natural talents.  Michael Phelps is intrinsically aquatic, Penelope Cruz in unfairly beautiful, and Seth Meyers is inherently hilarious.  Meyers began his comedic career in college at Northwestern where he was a member of the improv group “Mee-Ow.”  From there, he went to do comedy in Amsterdam, drawing the attention of the Saturday Night Live producers.  After five short years with SNL, he advanced through the ranks to become a lead writer and a co-anchor for the popular Weekend Update segment.  Having written and costarred with comedic geniuses such as Tina Fey, Amy Poehler and Andrew Steele, Meyers is no stranger to greatness.  He’s spoken at the White House, and probably has the only humorous video up on the CSPAN YouTube account.

    A BIG Introduction to Improv

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    I had my first introduction to the Baltimore Improv Group, affectionately known as BIG, this past Saturday at their second performance of 2013 at the Mobtown Theater.  They were an absolute delight and oh how I envied the unadulterated joy on all the performers’ faces as they were in their complete element.  Every joke, every movement, every slight change in intonation was noted by fellow performers, and executed masterfully, right on the spot.

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    Luckily, BIG looks out for all of us who may wish to test the improvisational waters.  Their introductory improv classes begin tonight at the Creative Alliance and take place every Tuesday night from 7-9pm through February 19th.  Advance registration is $170, $150 for Creative Alliance members. Walk-ins are $190, $170 for members.  The final show is a culmination of all things learned in the weeks prior, in a showcase for your friends, family, and any nemeses to which you may want to rudely show off your newfound talent.  Follow in the footsteps of such improv geniuses as Tina Fey, Steve Carrell, Amy Poehler, Bill Murray and Amy Sedaris.

    When:
    Tuesdays from 7:00p – 9:00p

    Where:
    The Creative Alliance
    3134 Eastern Ave
    Baltimore, MD

    Why:
    To loosen up a bit and learn just how capable you may be to make others laugh.

    Cost:
    Tomorrow?  $190.  Which comes out to $27/week if you don’t miss a week.  Skip happy hour a few times, and you’re golden.  No excises!

    Baltimore Video Collective Launch Party

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    Earlier this year, Baltimore lost a friend. One March evening, devotees of the Charles Village Video Americain gathered on the patch of grass outside and held a vigil as the video store shut its doors for the last time. Attendees wore black; candles were lit. And with the passing of this lonely outpost of brick-and-mortar video store culture, many of us resigned ourselves to joining the ranks of Netflix subscribers—those very same who everyday walk the streets with Video Americain’s blood on their hands. So it goes. But wait! Here come the cavalry! And what are they bringing? A worker-owned, collectively run space that will provide video rentals, archives, and educational events to the Baltimore community.

    In the wake of the Charles Village location closing (yes, the one in Roland Park is still open), a dedicated group of Americain employees joined forces with local Maryland Film Festival big wigs and set about hatching plans for the Baltimore Video Collective. So far, the collective has amassed about 1000 titles (including most of the Criterion Collection). Right now, they’re looking to grow that collection to about 5000 while finding a space to call home. This Saturday the BVC will host their launch party—a sort of coming out—at the Windup Space. The event includes comedy performances, DJing, and of course, video screenings by local artists. If you want to support this worthy endeavor and rub elbows with other Netflix holdouts, this is absolutely the place to be this weekend. Also, you can grab a DVD off your shelf and donate it at the event for a discount on admission; because as we all (even film nerds) know—it takes a village.

    The Baltimore Video Collective launch party will take place on Saturday, December 1st at 8pm at the Windup Space (12 W. North Ave. in Baltimore). Admission is $8, or $5 if you bring a DVD to donate.

    The Wire: The Musical?

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    Funny or Die has posted a video spoof of something we hope never happens: a musical version of Baltimore’s much-loved HBO hit “The Wire.”

     

    Another Made-in-Maryland Movie: Olivia Wilde and Sam Rockwell to Star in “Better Living Through Chemistry”

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    Actress Olivia Wilde will star in "Better Living Through Chemistry"

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    Sam Rockwell, Olivia Wilde and Ray Liotta will come to Maryland in the coming months to begin shooting the film “Better Living Through Chemistry,” a movie about a pharmacist’s affair with one of his trophy-wife customers. Filming of the comedy will take place in Anne Arundel and Baltimore counties, Baltimore City and the Eastern Shore. The production has the potential to create 340 jobs for local crew, actors and extras.

    The film will be co-directed by Geoff Moore and David Posamentier from their script, and will be produced by Felipe Marino and Joe Neurauter of Occupant Entertainment (“The Wackiness”, “Peep World”).

    “Better Living Through Chemistry” is the latest in a series of recent projects that are choosing to film in Maryland. Last month, the Netflix series “House of Cards” began shooting in various locations around the State and independent film “Jamesy Boy” wrapped production.  The HBO film “Game Change” which also shot in Maryland, premiered on the cable network in March, and HBO series “VEEP” premiered in April to rave reviews.

     

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