Greetings from Amsterdam: Dave Buckman talks Boom Chicago

Dave Buckman, ColdTowne’s Executive Producer and co-owner is in the middle of a two month gig in Amsterdam where he is directing a comedy show for the world renowned Boom Chicago. In addition to its famous alumni (see your faves below), Boom Chicago also has a couple of Austin performers as alumni including: Ace Manning (The Knuckleball Now), Cene Hale (Loverboy, Damn Gina) and now Tyler Groce (Missed Connections) who is in the current cast. Dave took some time from his intensive rehearsal schedule to clue us in on what the hey-ho is going on out there.

What is Boom Chicago?

Boom Chicago is an english speaking comedy theater in Amsterdam, NL that just celebrated its 25th year this summer. The alumni of Boom Chicago include Seth Meyers (Late Night with Seth Meyers), Jason Sudeikis (SNL), Jordan Peele (Get Out), Nicole Parker (MADtv), Alison Silverman (The Office), Jessica Lowe (Wrecked), Pete Grosz (The President Show), Heather Anne Campbell (Whose Line is it Anyway?), Ike Barinholtz (Mindy Project, Blockers), Colton Dunn (Superstore) Liz Cackowski (Forgetting Sarah Marshall), Kay Cannon (Pitch Perfect), Matt Jones (Breaking Bad), Amber Ruffin (Late Night with Seth Meyers) and about 100 more comedians, writers and actors… and me! They perform revues that include short form improv, long form improv, musical improv as well as live and filmed sketch comedy.

Why are you in Amsterdam?

I am directing their new MainStage revue. It’s a devised process, which means the show does not exist yet and we are currently writing it and previewing it at the same time. It’s a two month process and I am only in week 3 right now.

What do you do all day?

We rehearse all afternoon (noon until 5:30pm), writing and improvising, refining and re-improvising, blocking and running through transitions, game intros and pitching ideas to each other. We take a dinner break for a few hours and then meet up an hour before the show to go over any new parts or new sketches so we are all on the same page as to who does what including when and what the end of the sketches will be. We make sure everyone who is in an improv game knows how to play it and everyone introducing a game knows how to run it. The show is in two acts with a brief intermission and then we perform a third act for anyone who wants to stick around of sketches and games that are too raw and undeveloped to be in the actual show. We grab a cocktail or beer and do notes for about an hour until about midnight, go home, and then meet up at noon again the next day to start all over again. That’s Tuesday through Saturday. We have off Sundays and Mondays (although a lot of the cast coach and teach on their off days for extra $$). There is no show on Tuesday, that’s an extra night off when I catch up on laundry, grocery shopping, ColdTowne, SketchFest and Out of Bounds.

What’s the show going to be?

Unlike The Second City that writes for a few months and then figures out a title and theme a month before opening, Boom usually picks a theme and title first based on news and economic trends and then writes towards that centralized idea. This year’s show will be called “The Future is Here, and It’s Slightly Annoying” It’s about technological advancements and the automation of the workforce. We have sketches about Siri and Push Notifications and Data Privacy encroachment from Loyalty programs, delivery drones, etc. We’re working with a few A.I. companies here in Amsterdam on developing intuitive software to incorporate into new improv games. It’s really exciting stuff. I mean were not even halfway done yet, but that’s where we’re at so far. Anything can change in the next 5 weeks.

Is Rachel Madorsky (your wife and ColdTowne co-owner) going out there to visit?

Yes! This is the longest Rachel and I have been apart since our first year of dating in 2003. We Skype each other everyday. It’s super hard but we make it work. Rachel is coming out the weekend before we open to see the opening. We’re going to go to Rome to catch up for a few days, then back to Amsterdam for a weekend, a two day hang out in London where we will likely perform a show with some of our friends there and then back to Austin by late April.

And then what?

I start rehearsals right away for BigFoot: The Musical. It’s a new musical written by Boom Chicago Alumnus Amber Ruffin & David Schmoll premiering at Austin SketchFest in late May and running Saturdays at ColdTowne in June. It had a run in Los Angeles and Las Vegas and we’re only the third production of this musical. Amber is headlining the festival and will be there for opening night. Can’t wait for that night. Rehearsals have already started with Will Cleveland and Ammon Taylor. By the time I get there all the singing and choreography will be down pat, so I can just focus on about blocking, acting and transitions.

Anything else?
I’ve been thinking a lot of about tribes since I’ve been here. Visiting and training with this old tribe of mine that has a lot of the same elders but being led by new warriors. And missing my tribe at ColdTowne terribly, where we have dozens of new warriors every year or so. I am also learning a lot about what it takes to get ColdTowne to that next level of live comedy venue. Boom is so much more than a comedy theater with a bar now, whereas 20 years ago that’s all it was. I think we can get there too. Evolution is good. Challenges are good. I can’t wait to get back and use everything I gained while I am here.

DAVE BUCKMAN has directed, taught and performed at some of the world’s leading improvisational comedy institutions. After several years studying and teaching improv in Chicago, Dave served as Artistic Director of Boom Chicago in Amsterdam for 2 years, where he was fortunate to work with and direct some of the funniest people working in television and web-based sketch comedy today. He culminated his run in Europe with directing “Boom Chicago: RockStars” the second stage-swap with The Second City’s Main Stage in its 50 year history.

Don’t miss Dave’s return as the director of Bigfoot the Musical opening Saturday May 25 at Austin Sketch Fest featuring a stellar cast:

Bigfoot, Mike DiChello
Francine, Tauri Laws-Phillips
Doctor, Adam Protextor
Joanne, Arielle LaGuette
Mayor, Kyle Romero
Ensemble / Understudies, Sophia Sherman, Jennifer Rosario, Ben Bazán, Scarlett Alexandra, and Chris McKeever

Written by Amber Ruffin (Late Night with Seth Meyers, ASF19 headliner)

Directed by Dave Buckman with Musical Direction by Ammon Taylor.

“Starring Y’all We Asian” Hits the ColdTowne Main Stage

Y’all, We Asian’s latest show proves that Asians are more than just the sidekick.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 2/1/2019

Austin, TX: After a sold-out run last summer at ColdTowne Theater, the B. Iden Payne-winning improv troupe “Y’all, We Asian” is back with a new hour-long production that refocuses the narrative of Hollywood whitewashing by empowering diverse voices and re-imagining films by inserting Asian leads. “Starring Y’all We Asian”, which pays homage to the #StarringJohnCho movement, will feature snappy, character-driven improv comedy inspired by movie trailers. It will also showcase local Asian-American stand-ups, such as Tai Nguyen, Nikita Redkar, and Sahana Srinivasan, as opening comics.

 

“Y’all, We Asian” and ColdTowne Theater are highlighting diverse voices in improv comedy, an artform that has traditionally been dominated by mostly-white and mostly-male perspectives. The success of Asian-led films like Crazy Rich Asians and all-Asian comedy showcases like “Asian AF” at UCB has proven that audiences are craving more art that reflects their experiences and more multi-faceted portrayals of what it means to be Asian-American. “Starring Y’all We Asian” is a celebration of how far Asians have come in Hollywood and a reminder of how many more diverse stories there are to be told.

 

At “Starring Y’all We Asian”, the audience will enjoy improvised comedy from some of Austin’s most talented improvisers, including: Yola Lu of “Stool Pigeon” (ColdTowne Theater), Virgil Shelby of “The Megaphone Show” (Fallout Theater), G-Su Paek of “Missed Connections ATX”, and more. The show runs for 8 weeks, every Saturday from February 16 to April 6 at 8:30pm at ColdTowne Theater. Tickets are $10 online and $12 at the door. For more information, contact coldtowne@coldtownetheater.com, call (512) 814-8696, or visit www.coldtownetheater.com

 

Tickets

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/starringyallweasian-improv-tickets-54098087837?ref=ecal

 

About “Y’all, We Asian”

Comprised of experienced performers from all five Austin improv theaters, “Y’all, We Asian” is Austin’s (and definitely Texas’) first all Asian-American troupe. The troupe is comprised of 7 members, all ranging in age, gender, and ethnicity. In 2018, “Y’all, We Asian” won the B. Iden Payne “Ethel Hinkley Award for Outstanding New Improv Troupe”. The troupe has performed the Del Close Marathon (NYC) and Out of Bounds (ATX) comedy festivals. “Y’all, We Asian” is on Facebook @YWAImprovATX.

 

About ColdTowne Theater

ColdTowne Theater is Austin’s main stage for alternative comedy. Running shows 7 nights a week and featuring the smartest, brightest, and hardest-working comedians in Central Texas. For phone reservations or more information, call (512) 817-TOWN, or visit www.ColdTowneTheater.com

 

PRESS CONTACT:
Lilli Lopez, Marketing Director
ColdTowne Theater
lillianallopez@gmail.com
956-683-5067

 

Y’all We Asian: When We First Saw Ourselves Represented On-Screen

Y’all, We Asian” is back with a new hour-long show that refocuses the narrative of Hollywood whitewashing. We’re empowering diverse voices and re-imagining films by inserting Asian leads. “Starring Y’all We Asian”, which pays homage to the #StarringJohnCho movement, will feature snappy, character-driven improv comedy inspired by movie trailers. Catch the show every Saturday night at 8:30pm from February 16 to April 6 at ColdTowne Theater!

Before Crazy Rich Asians was released, the last major Asian-American film was The Joy Luck Club, 25 years prior. 2018’s “Asian August” brought a lot of progress for Asian-American representation on the big screen – we’re finally getting more multi-faceted portrayals! We’re not just the goofy best friends! We’re #notsidekicks! “Starring Y’all We Asian” is a celebration of how far Asians have come in Hollywood and a reminder of how many more diverse stories there are to be told. We asked some members of “Y’all We Asian” about the first time they felt represented on-screen.

https://www.theroot.com/in-living-color-cast-then-and-now-1790867994

Steve Park was a standup and performer on the hit television show “In Living Color” during the 1991 season. Having loved comedy and watching performances from a young age, seeing someone that represented me on that big stage allowed me to have the dream that it WAS possible for an Asian to be on TV anywhere.” – G-Su Paek

https://maxlinkinfo.blogspot.com/2018/08/awkwafina-single-woman-seeking-manwich.html

“I remember Googling ‘asian female rapper’ when I was college. That’s how I found out about Awkwafina. This was in 2015, before Crazy Rich Asians, before she hosted SNL, back when she was just a scrappy rapper-comedian in Brooklyn making her own web-series called “Tawk”, which I remember binge-watching and screaming about for days. Awkwafina was loud, messy, and relentlessly funny. In her, I saw the weird parts of myself that didn’t fit into any mould that I grew up with. She is boldly herself at all times, and it has been so exciting to watch her rise.” – Minda Wei

“My first Jet Li movie was Hero. I quickly became obsessed with the talented, stone-faced, eagle eyed martial artist, and tore through as many movies as I could. He became my favorite actor and kung fu movies became one of my top favorites. I even started taking Tang Soo Do lessons and had an embarrassing trist as collector of swords and other martial weapons. Jet Li had it all! Strength, skill, cool as a cucumber, and looked dope as hell whether he’s rocking the long queue hair or the tac gear and black shades. Li was the pinnacle of my early concepts of “manliness”, a strong lead who could go toe to toe with the Stathams and Stalones. Even though I would later come out as a Non-Binary individual and re-evaluate all of my concepts of masculinity, Jet Li was no less important a figure in the grand tapestry of influences on my life and ultimately on my identity.” – Virgil Shelby

https://www.inverse.com/article/19390-fast-and-the-furious-tokyo-drift-is-on-netflix-instant-streaming

“I’ve seen other Fast and Furious movies, but there was no F&F that my friends and I were more excited about than Tokyo Drift. Despite the fact that the movie is set in Tokyo and stars a white guy, we watched it over and over again because we felt like “omg, Asians are on the map!” We looked cool, raced cars, and were tough and handsome and hot. It was exciting, even if we were mostly the background characters in the movie. But who cares! The title has Tokyo in it!” – Yola Lu

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0132yz7

“The first time I saw somebody in a lead role that represented me was when Bend It Like Beckham came out. There were a bunch of movies dealing with kids and sports like The Mighty Ducks, The Sandlot, Like Mike, and Rookie of the Year that were so popular at my school. Parminder Nagra as the central character of a sports comedy movie that blew up in popularity really helped me feel represented, especially with growing up in the only Indian family in my city for a majority of my life up to then. Back then, I definitely didn’t understand all of the social commentary in the movie, but I am proud they added depth to make it more than another typical sports comedy film.” – Faraaz Ismail

https://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2017/05/hasan-minhaj-homecoming-king-interview

While I had seen various Asian Americans on screen before, the first stand-out moment where I was like “wow, yeah I strongly feel and relate to this in a way that really plugs into my identity” was just a little over a year ago when I watched Hasan Minhaj’s “Homecoming King”. He captured part of the “Asian child of immigrant parents” experience in a way that I had never experienced and made me feel seen and laugh and cry. It was so truthful and heartfelt and funny and he never sacrificed any pain for a laugh.” – Kim Tran

Martini Ranch heads to San Francisco Sketch Fest!

Martini Ranch, a “mostly” queer sketch comedy group you know well from the ColdTowne main stage,  has been putting on sold out shows in Austin for over two years. Now they’re taking their best sketches to the 2019 San Francisco Sketch Fest happening January 10-27.

Joining the lineup with comedy favorites like CAROL FREAKING BURNET, Margaret Cho, Janeane Garofalo, Sasheer Zamata and more, Martini Ranch will have two performances at the festival. Also, joining Martini Ranch from Austin is Hail to the Queen.

If you’re in San Francisco for SF Sketch Fest, check out Martini Ranch, Austin’s only all LGBTQIA-identifying sketch comedy troupe. Described by the Austin Chronicle as “a delight,” their sketches range from emotionally gut-wrenching to explosively absurd. Whether addressing the difficulty of coming out to an aging Catholic abuelita or the conspiracy theories surrounding the death of JonBenet Ramsey, Martini Ranch can be found at the intersection of delightful premises and hard jokes.

 

 

 

Former star of L.A. Law and The Nanny, Lauren Lane joins Stool Pigeon this Sunday!

Lauren Lane will be telling stories at Stool Pigeon on Sunday, 12/16 at 8:30 p.m.

In a single decade in Los Angeles Lauren starred in three award-winning television series; The Nanny, L.A. Law and Hunter. Her work in the theatre garnered the LA Critics award, Austin Critics Circle award and multiple B Iden Payne awards. While filming fulltime in Los Angeles Lauren was invited to become a company member of The Actors Gang-
Tim Robbins award-winning theatre company. At the Actors Gang she worked with some of our countries most well known directors: Oskar Eustice (Artistic Director of The Public Theatre) Brian Kulick (Artistic Director of Classic Stage Company 2012-2016) and Lisa Peterson (nominated for Drama Desk, Lortel and Obie awards) among others. In addition to continuing her work as a professional actress, Lauren is a tenured Associate Professor and coach to actors nation-wide. Her student’s work extensively in every media form, nationally and internationally. Lauren graduated from the MFA program at The American Conservatory Theatre. Her favorite job is being Kate’s mom. She is stoked to be invited to play tonight and will probably sweat a lot.

Don’t miss Lauren Lane tell stories at Stool Pigeon this Sunday, 12/16 at 8:30 p.m. for FREE! Stool Pigeon is ColdTowne Theater’s flagship show, featuring an all-star cast and a different monologist each week. For a whopping $0 (free), you’ll enjoy a unique, hilarious show based on true experiences of the guest storyteller. Seriously, folks, there’s no better way to spend your Sunday (unless you’re real rich).

Register on Eventbrite to reserve your seat for Sunday at 8:30: bit.ly/2PzsrCJ

ColdTowne Theater is Austin’s main stage for alternative comedy. Running shows 7 nights a week and featuring the smartest, brightest, and hardest-working comedians in Central Texas. For phone reservations or more information, call (512) 817-TOWN, or visit www.ColdTowneTheater.com or just stop by! ColdTowne Theater is located at 4803-B Airport Blvd. behind I Luv Video. A map to our lovely theater has been provided by the hardworking nerds at Google.

4803 Airport Blvd, Austin, TX 78751