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!

Meet Y’all We Asian: Headlining at Spider House in September!

ColdTowne Theater is home to so many of Austin’s most adept (read: hilarious) improv troupes. Over the years we’ve seen some of these comedy teams turn their improv comedy from your typical improv show to something bigger. Y’all We Asian, Austin’s first and only all Asian-American comedy troupe has done that time and time again. With sold out main stage runs and packing the house monthly for “Last Friday Night,” at their monthly residency, Y’all We Asian is taking the Spider House Ballroom stage on Fridays and Saturdays in September to bring their signature shows to new audiences. We talked to YWA to hear a little more about their roots and experiences as the only Asian-American comedy troupe in Austin.

How did Y’all We Asian form?
YWA was formed from a showcase we put on for Asian American Heritage Month two years ago. The showcase was called “Y’all We Asian”, and it was a show that featured local Asian American artists in town. The event invite quickly grew from ~60 people that we invited, to 300+ people in mere hours. We ended up selling out the show in 2 days and that’s when we realized that there was a need and interest in shows like this in Austin. One of the performers of the show, Christine Hoang, suggested that we make YWA into a troupe, and we thought, why not? And that’s how the troupe was formed. – Yola Lu

Tell me how each of you got involved in improv and how each of you have gotten to where you are today. What struggles did you face along the way? 

I had just moved to Austin after college and I was purposefully trying to do things that scared me because I felt like I hadn’t pursued that many of my own interests in college. I’d loved stand-up and improv comedy from afar for a long time, but I was so afraid of getting on stage. My friend took me to a few shows at ColdTowne and encouraged me to sign up for classes. Improv classes taught to trust in myself and my instincts and in the group to have my back. – Minda Wei

I was in a pretty low spot in my life at the end of 2014, and I stumbled upon a Groupon for half off an Improv 1 class at a theater in downtown Austin. I knew some folks from college who performed there and thought “why not?” I struggled most with feeling like I belonged; a combination of imposter syndrome and the fact I was an Asian queer spending most of my time surrounded primarily by straight white cis-men. Three years later, that theater I joined would suffer an upheaval in management that nearly tore our community apart. One wild revolution later, this Asian queer is now one of the 5 co-owners of Fallout Theater, a new theater borne from the community I had joined just a few years prior. -VS

I got involved with improv classes to work on my communication skills for my career. I was a very quiet person growing up and did not get a lot of the learning one can obtain from feedback of conversation. Letting my ideas flow out without thinking too much on them was something I struggled with quite a bit. I had only intended to get a brief taste of improv, but my friends encouraged me to complete the full course program at ColdTowne. Now I’m eager to continue developing my skills as a performer. – FI

I got started in improv in Seattle, but at the time, all that was taught in Seattle was short form. I wasn’t sure if it was for me and stopped taking classes. It wasn’t until I moved to Austin that I discovered long form improv. I actually bought a holiday special class for my boyfriend at the time as a gift, and when I saw his student showcase, I was so in awe that I immediately signed up for classes after. It’s completely changed my life in that I finally started building a community around me of talented and kind friends.- YL

How did you all come up with “Starring Y’all We Asian”?
Initially, we were brainstorming ideas surrounding Lunar New Year since our run started in February and our last run centered on the Asian summer vacation experience. ColdTowne was very generous in giving us an 8-week run, and we realized that it wouldn’t still make sense to be running a new year show in April. We were kicking around ideas, and Asian representation in Hollywood was a big topic in the last year, and something we had on our minds when we had won the BIP. We landed on character-driven so that we could explore the film leads and how our AsAm viewpoints would color their world. – MW

We also just thought it’d be fun to “yellow wash” a movie to flip the narrative, which was how we landed on this idea – YL

What is a random fact about some of your performers that we wouldn’t otherwise know?

There’s an ongoing joke about Kim’s 7 year old loofah that is literally falling apart that she still uses and keeps it together by tying it up with rope. I think she finally switched to some other thing that is more sanitary recently.

Also, one of our members, G-Su Paek recently got selected for the CBS Diversity Showcase! He’ll be moving to Los Angeles in the next week, so his last shows are actually this weekend if people want to see him before he departs. He got cast out of thousands of people who auditioned and we couldn’t be more proud of him. 

Y’all We Asian performs regularly at ColdTowne, but don’t miss them this month on Fridays and Saturdays in September at Spider House Ballroom.

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.

“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