ColdTowne Anniversary Weekend is October 18-20!

A word from co-host of this year’s ColdTony awards, Javier Ungo

It’s October baby! It’s spoopy season, the winds are changing, there’s a slight chill in the air and like every October it’s time for the ColdTowne Anniversary Weekend! Our home away from home is turning 13 (Spoopy!) and like every year we have a weekend full of activities to celebrate!

Our resident queen Dylan Garsee is taking to the big stage at Spider House Ballroom to present their masterpiece Dylan Garsee: Live For One Night Only, For Two Nights”. Two evenings of comedy from the twisted and relentlessly gay mind of Dylan Garsee that will be part sketch, stand up and of course the return of demented and chaotic “Gayme Show” that will leave you asking “do gays deserve rights?” (Editor’s Note: a gay wrote this copy). Also featuring the relentlessly homosexual musings of sketch group Martini Ranch! Join Dylan Friday AND Saturday night at Spiderhouse Ballroom at 7pm.

 

Speaking of chaos, swing by ColdTowne Theater afterwards to experience the late night madness of the 13th Anniversary 

Lock In Show! What happens when the ColdTowne community of comedians is asked to sign up for 10 minute slots to do whatever they want on stage? Madness, pure and utter madness. Will flags be burned? Will people be waxed? Will ghosts from our past return to haunt the theater? Probably not because all that stuff has already happened so who knows what the hell will happen on stage this year! It will be hilarious! It will be insane! It will question your taste level on a deeply profound level! Join the madness Friday night at 11:30pm and Saturday at 11pm with FREE BEER courtesy of Thirsty Planet Brewing Company. Before the lock-in, you can peep the main stage shows: Echolake: Midsommar (spoopy af) and Angola: A Comedy (listen to the KUT Arts Eclectic interview here). 

And finally capping off the weekend will be the ColdTony Awards on Sunday night!  A night of glitz and glamour where the ColdTowne community comes together to celebrate and recognize a year of comedic excellence at ColdTowne Theater. This year ColdTowne finally had the good sense to ask gay people to run their awards show so hosting this year’s award show is the above mentioned queen Dylan Garsee and ColdTowne’s third favorite gay Javier Ungo! So pull out your good dress and kindly turn a look because you will be called out by the gays on stage if you just wear a plaid button up and jeans. Join us for the ColdTony Awards Sunday night at 8pm at Spider House Ballroom!

Vote for ColdTowne in Austin Chronicle’s Best of Austin 2019 poll!

Vote for ColdTowne in Austin Chronicle’s Best of Austin 2019 poll!

ColdTowne Theater is nominated in this year’s Best of Austin poll in the comedy club/venue category. We’ve been doing this for 13 years and we’re thrilled Austin has nominated us alongside our friends at Fallout Theater and Cap City. We’re also SUPER excited for the nods our talented performers received. Here’s our voting guide, for your consideration…

Obviously, we would love for you to vote for ColdTowne in the comedy club/venue category, but more than that, we’d love for you to join us for comedy any night of the week. 

Carina Magyar AND Ky Krebs, co-hosts and producers of Live at ColdTowne are both nominated for Best Stand-Up Comic this year! Both Carina and Ky have albums out for you

We have two amazing comedy troupes nominated this year. Y’all We Asian has performed sold out main stage runs at ColdTowne and often sell out their monthly show Last Friday Night at ColdTowne. Their next show is happening October 11. 

Girls Girls Girls is also on the ballot and while we’re not GGG’s forever home (these gals can be seen all over ATX), we love having them grace the ColdTowne stage regularly with their improvised musicals complete with choreo made up on the spot. Catch them on October 18 at ColdTowne

You may know Stephanie Thoreson from Loverboy on Friday nights at 8:30, but did you know she’s also an actress? Like many of our talented performers, Stephanie’s improv skills have lead to acting opportunities. Stephanie recently starred in “Good Feels On Wheels,” a feature film making its festival rounds this year. Stephanie is currently nominated for Best Actress in the Best of Austin poll and we fully endorse this multi-talented queen!

We hope these #FYCs help! Voting closes on October 7, so be sure to fill out your Best of Austin ballot ASAP. Vote in at least 40 categories, and you’ll be entered to win a badge for SXSW Film or SXSW Music, your choice. We’d like to give a special shout out to the Austin Chronicle for supporting local businesses like ColdTowne and for their continued support of ColdTowne main stage productions and weekly house shows and to YOU for being here. Y’all really are the best.

VOTE BY OCTOBER 7

Announcing ColdTowne Theater’s 25th Main Stage Season

From Will Cleveland, Artistic & Academic Director

Folx, we’re so thrilled and honored to have these creative teams bringing their shows to the ColdTowne Main Stage starting this fall. 

Echo Lake Midsommar 
October 04 – Nov 02
Produced by Echo Lake

A stay at a drug-filled pagan commune in rural Sweden might not be everyone’s ideal vacation, but Echo Lake knows you could use a good trip. After the opening series of seemingly incongruous sights, sounds and movements, “Midsommar” is a comedy of manners. Inspired by the recent Ari Aster film, comedians Courtney Hopkins, Lisa Jackson, Cortnie Jones & Valerie Ward create a festival of organic thoughts, movements and noises that dive deep into the unknown of folk horror, enhancing the dread in organic improv, and playing with our perceptions through a number of devices. Many things are possible in “Midsommar,” but the surest is that there’s nothing else like it. You all will be invited to participate, and who knows, you could be their next Queen.

Get Tickets on Eventbrite

Angola: A Comedy
October 05 – November 09
Directed by Ryan Darbonne & Frank Netscher, Produced by Amy Knop

Set in the Louisiana State Penitentiary (aka ‘Angola’), true stories – told by those directly affected by incarceration – inspire a satirical, yet grounded, look at our judicial system and the prison industrial complex. Told from the perspective of the people who inhabit its walls, Angola explores the minutiae of prison life and its relation to present day America.

Starring Joseph Juarez, Will Sitters, Yola Lu, Tauri Laws-Phillips, Kevin Anderson, Nathan Sowell, Stephanie Vasquez Fonseca, Quinn Buckner, Keylan Haynes and Lisa Jackson 

Get Tickets on Eventbrite

Hunnicut on Holiday
November 02 – November 23

One of ColdTowne’s first Monday Mash Teams, Hunnicut is moving to the weekend with a little help from some new friends. Hunnicut on Holiday explores some of the nation’s lesser known holidays like National Kitten Day, Middle Child Day, and the hilarious Earth Day. Thanks internet.

Hunnicut is Morgan Goetz, Julia Ham, Lisa Michelle Jackson, Matt Shirley, Jason Burnett, Adam Protextor, Audra Schroeder, Emmy Silak

Martini Ranch’s TBA 4th Sketch Review!
November 16 – December 21
Produced by Mase Kerwick and Directed by (B. Iden Payne nominated Dir.) Katie Stone

Cast TBA
Did you think Liz Behan and Way Down in the Hole was it for Queer Comedy on the Main Stage this year? Really? That’s a little homophobic.

Prayer Circle presents Ho-Ho-Holy Shit
November 30 – December 21
Written and produced by Prayer Circle 

These Christian Idiots have resurrected! This is Prayer Circles 2nd Sketch Show.

“My Own Worst Enemy”
January 04 – February 09
Directed by Amy Knop

Old Love, The Rose, Holy Shit: Amy Knop is a brilliant producer and is making her directorial debut. We’re in awe of Amy and this show is going to be a smash. “My Own Worst Enemy” is a ColdTowne Advanced Studies Capstone Show (FKA Nobody Likes Me).

Sex aka Weiners and Boobs
February 15 – March 22
Written by David Wain, Michael Showalter, and Joe Lo Truglio
Directed by Kyle Romero

A Play? A Written Play? Another one? Yes. Fans of The State, Stella, Wet Hot American Summer, this show is for you. This play is bonkers and filled wall to wall with jokes and gags. It was written in the 90’s. Will. It. Hold. Up?? With Kyle directing, it’s in great hands! Also there’s a scene from Glen Gary Glen Ross in this play and it’s great. There will be auditions for this show. 

Another Evening with Chlane
March 29 – May 02
Written by and Starring Lane & Chloe Ingram (B. Iden Payne nominated Cast, and Director)
Directed by Kyle Romero

That’s enough Plays Kyle. Please direct a sketch show. Another Evening with Chlane. Chlane. Chlane?! They sold out a 150 seat house at Seattle Sketch Fest…..married couple?? Yes. You got it now. Kyle’s directing two shows!

Liz Behan: One Woman at Dusk returns Saturday, Aug. 17

For Immediate Release
Austin, TX – May 28, 2019

Description:
Liz Behan: One Woman at Dusk runs Saturdays at 7:00 pm August 17th through September 21st at ColdTowne Theater. Liz wants you to strap in… as she tells you the tale of a big ole country dyke. Starring Laura de la Fuente, a fan-favorite among Austin’s comedy obsessed, this solo sketch comedy show brings together elements from Laura’s own life – queer and latinx identity, absurdism, and family relationships – to create a show that is both uniquely Laura and universally relatable. With a cast and crew of Austin’s most talented sketch comedians and theater performers, this hour-long comedy program will include multimedia video content and live performances surrounding topics of sexuality, lesbian and queer identity, short fingernails, equality, and pop culture – all while being relatable, funny and queer as heck.

The show is written by and stars Laura de la Fuente of ColdTowne Theater’s improv house-team, Loverboy. She won the 2017 B. Iden Payne award as part of Prima Doñas for Outstanding Improvised Production Latinauts. She is part of queer sketch team, Martini Ranch, and has performed at San Francisco Sketchfest, Out of Bounds Comedy Festival, Austin Sketch Fest and the Del Close Marathon (NYC & LA). Liz Behan: One Woman at Dusk is directed by Chris McKeever, UCB Alum and cast member in B. Iden Payne Winning F*ck This Week. The show is co-produced by Bonica Ayala, a queer artist, photographer, and producer. Her clients include Grammy Award winning artists, commercial and non-profit organizations, social advocates, filmmakers, and comics. Also co-producing is Linzy Beltran, a writer/performer/producer based in Austin, TX whose credits include SheSheSheShe Improv, Prima Doñas improv, Glam Fam – sketch comedy duo, and Jazz Kween, a jazz and comedy variety show.

Tickets:
www.eventbrite.com/e/liz-behan-one-woman-at-dusk-tickets-64473931264

Venue:
ColdTowne Theater
4803-B Airport Boulevard, Austin, TX 78751
BYOB/Free parking

About ColdTowne Theater:
ColdTowne Theater is Austin’s center for Chicago-style, long-form improv, with shows
every night of the week. For phone reservations or more information, call (512)
817-TOWN, or visit www.ColdTowneTheater.com

Way Down In the Hole opens Saturday, Aug. 17

WAY DOWN IN THE HOLE Saturdays (8:30-9:30 p.m.) August 17 + 24, September 7-28, 2019 

Step back into 2012 with new improvised comedy show “Way Down in the Hole” 

Austin, Texas – July 19, 2019 – Dylan Garsee and Mase Kerwick are thrilled to announce their latest collaboration – a subversive, darkly comic improvised show called “Way Down in the Hole” – debuts at ColdTowne Theater Saturday, August 17. 

In “Way Down in the Hole,” an otherwise ordinary night at local gay bar The Hole becomes hysterically chaotic when someone is found dead on the dance floor. Set over the course of a single evening in 2012, audiences will watch as some of Austin’s best comedians improvise the complicated web between bar owners, patrons, detectives, drug dealers, and the murder victim. But will the murder ever get solved as people keep getting distracted by The Hole’s legendary dance floor? 

Created and directed by Garsee (in their directorial debut), the hour-long show is inspired by classic TV series “The Wire” and “Cheers”, as well as the federal raids of certain Austin bars in 2012. 

“Way Down in the Hole” is produced by Kerwick, a native Austinite known for the popular live variety show “QueerTowne” and for being a founding member of LGBTQ sketch troupe Martini Ranch. Garsee performs monthly with boundary-pushing sketch troupe Pendulum and is still bitter about not getting to perform their indie nightmare comedy Gayme Show at the cancelled 2017 Sound On Sound Fest. 

Garsee and Kerwick previously collaborated on all three runs of Martini Ranch’s sold out sketch revues, as well as the improvised drag extravaganza “Hail to the Queen” and the comedic fever dream “This is the Zodiac Speaking!”. They’ve performed together at San Francisco SketchFest and Dallas Comedy Fest, as well as local festivals Austin Sketch Fest and Out of Bounds. 

“Way Down in the Hole” features Dalton Allen, Brian Bonnet, Devon Coleman, Kristie Denlinger, Kelty Dorsey, Mase Kerwick, Nicole Russell, and Jake Garrison as drag queen YesAndra LaRonde. 

Original art was created by Steven Smith. Technical Direction is provided by Ilan Raschkovsky. 

The core cast is comprised largely of queer and trans performers who will pull from their own experiences at places like TuezGayz at Barbarella, Chain Drive, the original Cheer Up Charlies, and others. 

“Way Down in the Hole” will run at ColdTowne Theater for six Saturdays at 8:30 p.m. – August 17 and 24, and September 7 through 28. Each performance will take place on a different themed night at The Hole: bachelorette night, lesbian night, straight night, bear night, and more. 

The original production is rated ‘G’ for Gay and is recommended for mature audiences. 

Questions? Contact masonkerwick@gmail.com

RSVP on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/344795419746926

Tickets ColdTowne Theater is located at 4803-B Airport Boulevard, Austin, TX 78751. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at www.coldtownetheater.com or at the door. 

About ColdTowne Theater ColdTowne Theater is Austin’s center for Chicago-style, long-form improv, with shows every night of the week. For phone reservations or more information, call (512) 817-TOWN, or visit www.ColdTowneTheater.com 

 

BIGFOOT, THE MUSICAL OPENS MAY 25

From the minds of Amber Ruffin (Late Night with Seth Meyers), David Schmoll (Boom Chicago) and Kevin Scieretta (The SecondCity) comes the Austin premiere of BIGFOOT, THE MUSICAL. Produced by ColdTowne Theater and Austin SketchFest, this exclusive six performance run is only the second production of this musical comedy that premiered at the Majestic Repertory Theatre, in Las Vegas in 2018.

It will be directed by ColdTowne Theater’s Executive Producer Dave Buckman (The Second City, Boom Chicago) and ColdTowne Theater’s Artistic Director Will Cleveland (UCB New York). Musical Direction will be provided by Ammon Taylor (The Paramount Theater).

The musical comedy offers the origination story of America’s most famous mythological creature. You’ve heard the myth and legend…but do you know the man? In the perpetually economically depressed town of Mud Dirt, the perpetually ill Francine is the mother of an eight-year-old boy who has the body of a fully grown adult. Due to a glandular problem brought on by radioactive waste buried nearby, the boy continues to grow larger and larger through the years and is covered by hair. As the town’s mayor drives Mud Dirt into bankruptcy with his alcoholism and gambling, he uses the overgrown Bigfoot as a scapegoat and turns the citizens into an angry mob that pursues the youngster into the woods…and into infamy.

“I wrote Bigfoot because I wanted to have a good time,” said Ruffin. “I wondered if I could write a musical where every song was a party, and I think I did. Bigfoot is a musical about never losing hope even when things are terrible, even when you’re all out of money and friends, and everyone hates your guts. It’s a good time musical about hope.”

Amber Ruffin has written for Late Night with Seth Meyers since 2014, becoming the first African American woman to write for a late-night network talk show in the U.S. In addition to writing for Late Night, Ruffin also appears on the program, and her segments “Amber Says What” and “Jokes Seth Can’t Tell,” are both wildly popular. She will also be handling the 10th Annual Austin SketchFest performing a one woman show and will be in attendance on opening night!

BIGFOOT, THE MUSICAL
PERFORMANCE SCHEDULE
May 25 – June 29, 2018
Saturdays at 8:30 p.m.

TICKETS AVAILABLE ON EVENTBRITE
Tickets to Bigfoot at Austin Sketch Fest
Tickets to Bigfoot mainstage at ColdTowne

A NOTE FROM WRITER DAVID SCHMOLL

Amber and I worked together at Boom Chicago in Amsterdam, and shortly after she left Boom, she emailed me and asked if I could help her put some songs together for a show she was working on (King Of Kong: A Musical Parody). Because she was in LA and I was still in Amsterdam, and there was a 9-hour time difference between two people who were already pretty busy, we ended up doing it all by email. During the course of developing those songs, we sort of fell into the system of writing that we’ve used for everything we’ve worked on going forward, including Bigfoot:

She sends me a video of her talking about the song idea, and what style of music she has in mind. Then she sings the lyrics acapella. I watch the video and transcribe, as best I can, the melodies I hear into Logic, and from there I figure out what key the song should be in, and what chords should accompany the melody. Then I send her a rough draft of (usually) just piano, bass and drums, so she can check to see if I got the melody right, and if the chords I chose feel right to her.

After that, there’s usually a bit of back and forth to get the melody and chords locked down. Then I start arranging and orchestrating the song. I send her a rough cut, she sends me some notes, I refine the arrangement based on her feedback, send it back, and so on, until we have a complete song.

A big part of the reason why we work well together is because there’s a huge amount of mutual respect; each of us looks at what the other does as something completely impossible that surely must involve some type of sorcery. Our creative strengths and skill sets fit together quite nicely. Musically speaking, Amber’s the brain and I’m the brawn. She always has the initial idea – and often, by the time she makes that first video, she can already hear the finished song in her head. My job is to figure out what she’s hearing, and make that into something tangible that everyone else can hear, too. During that process when the song is developing is where the magic happens; we inspire each other and bring out the best in each other. Also, we’re both a little crazy, so that helps.

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