Small Business Saturday in Austin > Black Friday

by Lilli Lopez

Tents! Cold temperatures! Injuries and FULL BLOWN FIGHTS! Every year we see folks working retail, dealing with waves of shoppers lined up as soon as a week in advance for Black Friday, when they should honestly have the day off (RADICAL, I KNOW).  So when I heard about Small Business Saturday almost a decade ago, I was thrilled to participate. A full two days after Thanksgiving, Small Business Saturday falls on December 30 this year. Before you head out for door-busting deals at your local major retail stores, maybe consider saving the rest of your Thanksgiving and Friday for feasting on leftover and spend your hard earned dollars at local businesses.

Small businesses are the cornerstone of any thriving local economy. Austin is filled with homegrown businesses and boutiques and even comedy theaters. ColdTowne Theater neighbors some of our favorite local businesses in Hyde Park, North Loop, and now Mueller neighborhood.  To the west we have some of our favorite coffee shops and vintage spots in the neighborhood: Flightpath Coffeehouse and Epoch. Blue Velvet Vintage right next door, then we have Room Service Vintage down the street and New Bohemia just next to The Grand, which is walking distance from ColdTowne.

Austin can seem overwhelmingly corporate sometimes, but you really don’t have to search high and low to support local businesses and get exactly what you need and more. Need some new gift ideas for the holidays? Las Ofrendas (creator of Frida Friday ATX) has a new shop housing several vendors and their incredible handmade gifts. You can visit them at 916 Springdale Rd F-6. Or maybe stop by our neighbors at Toy Joy off Airport (next to New Bohemia) for some funky toys and gifts. OR you can still get the ColdTowne $99 Deal on Level 1 improv or sketch classes now through December 14. You don’t even need to leave the house for that!

When you skip the Black Friday stampedes for Small Business Saturday, you’re keeping your money in Austin and supporting local business owners, their staffs, and families. As I mentioned in my blog post about ColdTowne’s $99 Deal, where I spend my money is important to me (pay gap, ya know?), so if Black Friday gives you evil J-Bezos vibes, buy local. Visit your favorite small businesses this Saturday and feel good about where your money’s going.

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!

Pendulum Presents: Class War Takes ColdTowne’s Main Stage

Pendulum Presents: Class War Takes ColdTowne’s Main Stage

Sketch comedy for the 99%

Austin, TX: After a successful run of their cult-themed sketch show, Pendulum Presents: The Ascendant, Pendulum, Austin longest-running sketch comedy team, brings a new thematic show, Pendulum Presents: Class War to the ColdTowne Theater mainstage. Frustrated with the ills of modern day capitalism, Pendulum wrote a sketch comedy show for the 99%. In an effort to put their money where their loud and opinionated mouths are, Pendulum will be donating 20% of the proceeds from ticket sales to the Workers Defense Project, a non-profit organization dedicated to empowering low-income and immigrant workers through education, organizing, direct services, and strategic partnerships.

With Pendulum Presents: Class War, Pendulum and ColdTowne Theater are creating high quality sketch comedy that skewers the rich in Pendulum’s uniquely dark and absurd voice. As the economic disparity in the United States continues to increase, Pendulum Presents: Class War aims to shed light on the frustrations of the working class while providing a space to laugh at the absurdities of capitalism. Pendulum Presents: Class War includes sketches about Elizabeth Holmes, multi-level marketing schemes, billionaires, and healthcare.

Pendulum Presents: Class War, features some of Austin’s most talented comedy writers and performers including Minda Wei of Prayer Circle and Y’all We Asian (ColdTowne Theater), Emma Holder of Stool Pigeon and Three on a Match (ColdTowne Theater), Dylan Garsee of Friends for Now (ColdTowne Theater), Kyle Romero of Stool Pigeon, and Nicole Russell of Movie Riot (ColdTowne Theater).

Tickets

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/pendulum-class-war-tickets-56835590782?ref=ecal

About Pendulum

Comprised of experienced performers and writers, Pendulum has been performing a monthly sketch show at ColdTowne since 2015. Pendulum has performed in the Out of Bounds Comedy Festival, Austin Sketch Fest, Dallas Comedy Fest and Trill Fest and has been recognized by their peers as ColdTowne’s Best Sketch Team three years running.

About ColdTowne Theater

ColdTowne Theater is Austin’s main stage for alternative comedy. Shows run 7 nights a week and feature 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

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.

 

 

 

Destroy the self. Replace it with comedy. Pendulum Presents: The Ascendant

Pendulum Presents ascends expectations of typical sketch comedy.

Pendulum Presents: The Ascendant is a sketch comedy show about the world of cults, running Oct. 6 through Nov. 3 at ColdTowne Theater. On the eve of their Ascension, the members of The Ascendant gather to reminisce about their experiences in the cults of their past. You’ll come along with them on a trip down memory lane as they discuss the downsides of using jorts as a cult uniform, the perils of being a boy prophet, and the tricky politics of ritual suicide.

At this point, Pendulum is an established voice in the Austin comedy scene, with many of Austin’s top comedians and writers counting themselves as writers and performers. “Pendulum has created dark and hilarious sketch comedy shows at ColdTowne every month for the past three years,” says Will Cleveland, Artistic Director, ColdTowne Theater. “They have a fearless approach to humor that splits the audience into cringers and belly-laughers.”

The members of Pendulum have performed at theaters and festivals all over the country, including the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater, SF Sketchfest, Out of Bounds Comedy Festival, Austin Sketch Fest, and Houston’s Trill Comedy Festival.

Pendulum members are James Fernandez, Dylan Garsee, Emma Holder, Lane Ingram, Yola Lu, Brian May, Griffin May, Meredith Newell, Tevis Paxton, Kyle Romero, Nicole Russell, and Steven Smith. In addition to Pendulum, you can see them in many of Austin’s beloved comedy shows like Stool Pigeon, Movie Riot, Frankenfriends, The Gayme Show, and Y’all We Asian.

“We here at Pendulum have a reputation for putting together shows that are overly ambitious, kind of frightening, and filled with lots of detail about fantastic and horrible invented worlds,” says Pendulum cast member Kyle Romero. “So we set out to write a show about cults and cult leaders, and then we liked it so much we accidentally became a real cult in the process. Whoops!”

Pendulum Presents: The Ascendant runs at ColdTowne Theater (4803 Airport Blvd, Austin, TX 78751) Saturdays at 7:00 pm, starting October 6th and through November 3rd. Tickets are $12 at the door and $10 online. For more information, contact coldtowne@coldtownetheater.com, call (512) 814-8696, or visit www.coldtownetheater.com.

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

Tickets: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/pendulum-presents-the-ascendant-sketch-tickets-49694748330

MEDIA CONTACT
Lilli Lopez, Marketing Director
ColdTowne Theater
lillianallopez@gmail.com

B. Iden Payne Award-winning cast, Prima Doñas presents an all-new live comedy telenovela

You may or may not have gotten a chance to see a Latinauts show at ColdTowne in the last year and a half. If you did, you know that the cast (known as improv troupe Prima Doñas) is made up of Latinx improvisers who have spent most of 2017 and 2018 making up shows on the spot with a telenovela twist. After three sold out main stage show runs at ColdTowne Theater and after bringing home three B. Iden Payne Awards in 2017 including outstanding cast in an improvised play, the group is taking their highly conceptual theater-prov to a White House setting in Latinacional.

The all-star cast of this comedy explore the relationships and trials you might see in a telenovela, all the while maintaining their character’s duties as part of the the President’s Cabinet. The show features some of Austin’s most talented performers, including: Yamina Khouane ( nominated Best Actress in the Chronicle’s 2018 Best Of Austin), Carlos La Rotta of Movie Riot (ColdTowne) and Laura de la Fuente (Martini Ranch & Loverboy, ColdTowne). Prima Doñas also just finished headlining at FuturX: A New LatinX Festival and Out of Bounds Comedy Festival here in Austin this past August.

The idea behind bringing this new iteration of Prima Doñas’ signature telenovela improv format to the White House is heavily inspired by West Wing and HBO’s Veep. If you’re yearning to see literally anyone else in the White House, even just for an hour, Prima Doñas will take you there with a promise to make no references to today’s political disarray… if they can help it.

Directed by Ben G Bazán and Lilli Lopez, Latinacional runs at ColdTowne Theater (4803 Airport Blvd, Austin, TX 78751) Saturdays at 8:30 beginning September 29 through Nov. 17, no show on Nov. 3. Tickets are $15 at the door and $12 online. For more information, contact coldtowne@coldtownetheater.com, call (512) 814-8696, or visit www.coldtownetheater.com.

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

Tickets: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/latinacional-improv-tickets-49992183968

MEDIA CONTACT
Lilli Lopez, Marketing Director
ColdTowne Theater
lillianallopez@gmail.com

AFF Presents: Pitch Day!

Join Austin Film Festival for a day of pitching fun! Fine tune your pitch before you take on the big leagues at AFF 2018 with Pitch Day on Sunday, July 22nd. This workshop is great to practice an elevator-style pitch and can help writers to conquer their fears of public speaking and selling themselves.

Start your day off with an intimate Pitch Workshop with industry script consultant Jill Chamberlain, founder of The Screenplay Workshop. She’ll give feedback and workshop a few pitches to make sure they’re ready to go!

Next, enjoy a generous break – plenty of time to practice your pitch with other workshop attendees and grab a drink or two before… The Pitch Party! Invite your friends because there is also going to be an audience award-winner for the contest! Guests can arrive at 2:30 pm for drinks and mingling. The Pitch Party is Free with RSVP!

In the final event of the day, you’ll have 90 seconds to pitch to a live audience and a panel of judges. One winner will be crowned Pitcher Extraordinaire and win a Lone Star Badge and Pitch Ticket for the 2018 Austin Film Festival for a chance to do it all again!

Confirmed Judges include:

Elizabeth Avellán – Co-Owner and Vice President of Troublemaker Studios and President of EYA Productions. In addition to producing family and genre films that have collectively grossed over a billion dollars, she has played a primary role in developing Austin, Texas as a thriving film community.

Cathleen Sutherland – Oscar® nominated and award-winning producer of Boyhood. She has been involved in independent filmmaking in Texas since she was a youth and is proud to still call Austin home.

Click here for more information and to purchase tickets!

Dynamite Summer Bogo Deal – FREE COMEDY!

Any good blog post about an awesome Summer buy one get one deal should begin with a list that might start something like, “The 5 best ATX summer deals,” … you know, something with a little lifestyle research tied in. Then the blogger cleverly ties said cliché summer suggestions to a sweet deal with a rhetorical twist.

We’re not lifestyle bloggers though, so we’re going to cut right to the chase.

This summer (now through Labor Day), you can get into any late night show (i.e. the last show of the night) at ColdTowne Theater for FREE if you attend an earlier show that same night***. Start AND end the night at ColdTowne Theater. When you come in for a show earlier in the night, present your ticket stub at the counter for free admittance to the late performance.

Sounds cool! Please explain more.

Want to check out Pendulum Presents on a Thursday after Frankenfriends? We got you covered. Want to check out Movie Riot, go to the Grand for a few hours, and come back to see Everything’s Fine Mom at 11? Got your back! Want to see the 8:30 Saturday mainstage show, then come back in December for a free ticket? Get lost. This is only cool for the summer (Not associated with #1 hit music maker, Demi Lovato’s summer hit, Cool for the Summer™) while the city empties out due to the oppressive heat!

Plan your night by checking out ColdTowne’s calendar or Evenbrite page.

Okay, final review of what you gotta do.

Buy a ticket to any show and get that sweet ticket punched at the bar. Return later, present thine holy punch and enjoy a free late night show. BYOB optional.

But wait! There’s more!

If you’re like us – in a perpetual state of financial panic – you’re always looking to stretch your entertainment dollar. As always, we have a variety of completely free events each and every week.

IMPROV 101 – Our weekly free improv class!

DREW’s GYM – Pay what you want improv rehearsal at our Conservatory!

STAGE DIVE – Our Monday night stand up comedy open mic!

STOOL PIGEON – Our Sunday night all-star improv show!

*** Offer subject to seating capacity. Unclaimed tickets will be released at showtime for people presenting their ticket stub. Offer not good for nights with only one show.

The (Just For) Tonight Show! Turns Two!

The (Just For) Tonight Show! is a completely improvised late night talk show based on audience suggestions that features a rotating cast of Austin’s best sketch and improv actors bringing to life guests such as Cul-de-sac Donna, Larry Jenkins (Full-time mortician / part-time magician) and Donald Trump’s best friend “Ronald Grump”. With past special guests that include James Adomian from Comedy Bang Bang and Katie Rich of SNL, The (Just For) Tonight Show has showcased some of the most memorable moments on the ColdTowne stage from the last two years.

The (Just For) Tonight Show! 2 Year Anniversary Show is on December 30th and features a cavalcade of special guests, including performances by Allison Webster, Brian May, Carlos LaRotta, Chloe Ingram, Chris McKeever, Christian Payne, Christina Parrish, Conor Sullivan, Dalton C Allen, Danielle Gonzalez, Devon Coleman, Dylan Garsee, Griffin May, Jericho Thorp, Jonah Yohana, Josephh Stahlman, Katie Kohler, Katie Moore, Katie Stone, Kyle Romero, Lane Ingram, Mac Blake, Maria Pond, Mason Pitluk, Matt Needles, Michael Jastroch, Michael Perkins, Nathan Sowell, Nicole Russell, Peter Parsons, Will Cleveland, Yamina Khouane, and Yola Lu. GET TICKETS HERE!

We spoke to Austin Sketch Fest Producer AJ McKeon about his journey to Austin and 2 Years of the (Just For) Tonight Show!


You moved here not THAT long ago, relatively speaking. What brought you to Austin in general and ColdTowne specifically? What were you thinking? I moved to Austin with my then fiancé now wife for work. She got a job down here, and I had never lived anywhere but NYC. I figured it was time for a change and to take a chance and it has really been one of the best experiences of my life. Before moving one of my main concerns was what the comedy scene was like. With the UCB in New York, the opportunities were endless there, but the scene here is even better. I looked at all the theater options to see what their “Improv Philosophies” were, and ColdTowne’s aligned the closest with UCB, so that is where I checked out first. I went to a few shows and auditions and got put in a show and it really took off from there. I owe a lot to Will Cleveland (the Sidekick on The (Just For) Tonight Show! and fellow UCBNY alum) for reaching out and pulling me in to the community.

There’s suddenly a lot of UCB ex-pats floating around ColdTowne. What are the differences in the scenes? NY is soooooooo big, but the concentration is around mainly the UCB. Down here, we are also big, with 5 theaters, but there are specific camps. You can kind of pick a lane and do whatever you really want. The coolest thing about CT vs UCB is if you want to put a show up, just submit it and if it’s cool you’ll get a slot.

Two years of the Just for Tonight Show, huh? What was the genesis of the show? I am a huge fan of The Chris Gethard Show from it’s days on NYC public access. Each year on the show, they would do an episode called the Crowd Sourced Character Contest where fans would submit names of a character and nothing else. Then, performers would have to do them on the show. I’m also a big fan of Comedy Bang Bang, where extremely talented performers come in as characters, and the host Scott Aukerman has to deal with them and be the perfect straight man. I loved Conan growing up and am a fan of how weird Late Night would get at times. Specifically, the Brian Stacks bits on the show were the inspiration for the interruption section of The (Just For) Tonight Show!.

How has the show evolved or changed over the last two years? We originally started more along the lines of the crowd sourced character contest where the audience would submit characters they wanted to see and then at random I would call them out and perfumers would come on and be them. We switched over to performers coming in with characters they wanted to play, so there was more ownership and we could get to a game faster. Will and I still have no idea what the character are going to be other than their names, and maybe occupation so we are still able to find things to explore and play with as they come up. We also for a time had improvised musical guests but have moved away from that since it’s a really unique skill.

Any memorable moments or stories? There are a bunch that stick out to me. This show has given me the chance to perform with some of my idols, James Adomian and Katie Rich just to name a few, not to mention so many talented people in Austin. Other highlights: Ryan Darbonne playing the Rock but not knowing anything about the Rock’s wrestling career. Jared Robertson playing Joe Pesci as a musical guest preforming a song titled “Butt stuff” that lead to multiple people walking out. In our very first show Conor Sullivan came in with panty hose over his face and a gun, so that was a great way to kick off the run.
Really anything that Will Cleveland would interject with, he is the perfect sidekick / co-host and I love him dearly. Chrissy and Carlos’ Universal Studio Employees who worked on the Jurassic Park ride but knew nothing about any other movies and just loved fidget spinners was so fun. Having a full band for our festival shows with Jonah Yohana, Stephanie Thoreson, Jared Robertson and Chris McKeever there is always awesome!

And then of course Ray Jay McKeon. Ray Jay was a character that Michael Perkins did on a show at ColdTowne and he brought the house down! It is one of the funniest performances I have ever been a part of and then we brought him back a few more time including our show at OOB last year with James Adomian and he killed it again. He brought me a birthday cake (it wasn’t by birthday) with the number 69 on it for no reason. Michael Perkins is the best!

What are you looking forward to – creatively speaking – in 2018? Creatively, the biggest thing I am looking forward to in 2018 is creating a baby, due February 6th, but I am also going to try and figure out what the next iteration of The (Just For) Tonight Show! is as I shift my focus to fatherhood and see if we can keep the show going in some way shape or form!

ColdTowne 10th Anniversary: Weekend Line Up (Oct 20th-23rd)

Celebrating 10 years of the next big thing in comedy with four days of sketch, improv and standup from favorite performers past and present.

Evenings sponsored by our friends at 4th Tap Brewing Co-opCrystal Creek DistilleryShiner Beer and Tito’s.

2006: There was no iPhone, W. was president and the only comedy clubs in town had a two drink minimum. After a series of test runs, five comedy nerds opened a theater in a dusty store room in the back of a video store. It was put together with salvaged lumber, chairs and $400 they had pooled from the FEMA payouts they received after Katrina. Ten years later, ColdTowne has graduated over 455 students and performers, runs more than 21 shows Monday thru Sunday and welcomes over 800 audience members per week. this weekend, ColdTowne will turn ten years old, celebrating with a specially curated line-up of best-of and reunion shows.

See you here!

Get your all-weekend badges here (includes limited edition, commemorative t-shirt with art from Carlos LaRotta).

coldtowne10_weekend-schedule

SHOWS: DAY 1 – Thursday, October 20th (ColdTowne)

8:30pm: Parallelogramophonograph (Hideout – ATX), The Knuckleball Now (ATX), Opposites (TNM – ATX)
buy-tickets
10pm: All-Time Greatest Sketch, hosted by Bryan “Lubu” Roberts (ATX/NY)
buy-tickets
11:30pm: The Roast of Steve Scott, from “What’s the Story Steve?” (ATX)
buy-tickets

SHOWS: DAY 2 – Friday, October 21st (ColdTowne)

7:00pm: Movie Riot (LA/ATX), Glamping Trip (LA/ATX), Toxic Chakra (ATX/CHI)
buy-tickets
8:30pm: Bad Boys (ATX/PORT), Elevator Action (LA/ATX), Big Beautiful Warlock (ATX)
buy-tickets
10pm: Live at ColdTowne with Carina Magyar: Erik Krug, LaShonda Lester, Matt Bearden & Chris Cubas (Standup)
buy-tickets

11:30pm – 9:30am Saturday: 10 Hour Comedy Lock-in (See Calendar for shows)

SHOWS: DAY 3 – Saturday, October 22nd (ColdTowne)

7:00pm: Nice Astronaut (ATX/HOU), Oh, Science! (LA/ATX), After Midnight (ATX)
buy-tickets
8:30pm: The Frank Mills (CHI/ATX), Control-Alt-Delete (NYC/ATX), Sugar, Water, Purple (ATX)
buy-tickets
10pm: Midnight Society (NYC/ATX/LA), ColdTowne (ATX/NOLA)
buy-tickets

SHOWS: DAY 4 – Sunday, October 23rd (Spiderhouse Ballroom)

7:00pm: All-Star Stool Pigeon with monologist Patrick Terry of P. Terry’s. Hosted by Mac Blake (ATX/NYC/LA)
buy-tickets

9pm: ColdTownie Awards (Open to the public) – With ticket to All-Star Stool Pigeon at 7pm

The ColdTowne Visiting Lecturer Series continues with veteran TV writer Rich Talarico.

Rich will lead a 3 hour workshop/seminar that discusses writing and creating techniques from improv-based Second City and comedic play famiLIES, to late night shows like Key & Peele, MADtv, SNL and The Tonight Show to high concept shows like Review and The Naked Trucker and T-Bones Show . This will be a seminar where some participants will be asked to help demonstrate ideas and concepts and Rich will spend a lot of time answering your writing and showbiz related questions.

This event will include a few audience volunteers to illustrate theories discussed, but will follow a lecture format (not a workshop). Limited to 25 people.

SUNDAY, JUNE 26th
11am-2pm
ColdTowne Conservatory
6929 Airport Blvd.

Cost: $40

To register, go here.

Austin Sketch Fest Is Here!

Lovers of comedy, one of the best weeks in Austin is here. The 2016 Austin Sketch Comedy Festival––7 days of the best scripted comedy from Austin and beyond. All this week we have multiple shows each night featuring sketch, stand-up, and more starting at ColdTowne Theater, stopping by the Hideout Theater, and then concluding with three nights at the Spiderhouse Ballroom.

Our headlining shows this year includes an all-new, original Seinfeld episode performed by Bellevue, from NYC’s Upright Citizens Brigade Theater. From UCB’s LA Theater, we have the amazing group Nephew who’ll be performing Friday. Austin Sketch Fest was also lucky enough to get one of our favorite comedy duos NYC’s Girls With Brown Hair, back for a third straight year.

We also have a murderer’s row of hilarious Austin-based performers, including Vanessa Gonzalez, Your Terrific Neighbors, Master Pancake Theater, and more.

This year’s ASF will also play host to a live stand-up album recording from Eric Krug, who’ll be recording his comedy debut for Sure Thing Records. We’ll also have Sketch Fest editions of popular shows like Naughty Bits, the hit comedy & sex advice show. And somehow, somebody also managed to sneak in some improv.

For tickets, show information, and a complete schedule visit atxsketchfest.com

A Brief History of Magic

Returning to the ColdTowne mainstage on the heels of their sold-out 2015 run, sketch team Comedy Bazaar is back in February with A Brief History of Magic.

Exploring everything from wizards and enchanters to the supernatural and the occult, the new show is sure to delight those who like magical themes as much as those who simply enjoy tightly-written sketch comedy.

ABHOMagic_poster_400x600We asked Comedy Bazaar to answer some questions about the new show.

What inspired the magical theme?

CB: “We like a theme that’s narrow enough to focus our writing but broad enough to go in a lot of directions and carry a lot of possible interpretations. Magic seemed like such a fun and natural choice.

With magic, you have the usual tropes of sorcery and knights and dragons—and those are great, of course. But then you have hypnotism, the occult, paganism and wiccanism, trickery, deception, conspiracies, and how people control and deceive each other. It’s quite interesting, when you dig into it.”

What makes this show different than previous ones?

CB: “We found ourselves writing shorter, punchier material this time. So, we embraced that and ended up with 15 sketches in the span of a 45 minute show. Expect a faster show, with many sketches clocking in at 1 or 2 minutes. Plus a few longer ones.”

What makes Comedy Bazaar itself different?

CB: “We definitely have a style. It’s a mix of zany and silly alongside cerebral and intelligent. You could say we embrace high-minded cultural satire as much as we embrace giant animal costumes and throwing food on stage. We’ve always thrived on a mix.

We’re also huge fans of the editing process. We take every sketch draft and mold it, until it reaches a higher potential. Working with a group writer’s mind—where everyone makes a sketch incrementally better with a cut here or a new phrase there—is one of our strong points.”

Thanks, Comedy Bazaar! It sounds spellbinding. Be sure to join Comedy Bazaar at 7pm on Saturdays in February.

BONUS: Want to win tickets to see the show? Plus some great magical swag from Half Price Books, including a $10 gift certificate and a 15% off coupon?

Enter the ticket giveaway by Friday Feb. 13 to win. Thanks to Half Price Books for sponsoring!

Comedy Bazaar is Alejandro Garcia, Alex Baia, Ella Gale, Matt Needles, and Nicole Beckley. Directed by Eric Rutherford.

ATX Sketch Fest Early Bird Passes and Lineup!

Memorial Day Weekend is fast approaching, and that means that the 4th annual Austin Sketch Fest is only three months away. We’ve got some more lineup announcements to make, and we’re not going to lie: we’re pretty pumped about these shows.

We’ve already announced our headliners, Superego (w/ special guest Paul F. Tompkins). We’re also excited to be bringing down Ennis & Kaye, Matt Kaye and John Ennis’s (Mr. Show writer/performer) sketch project.

Joining us from NYC is Beige, a UCB Maude Team. (see Video). From Portland, comes self-help guru Lance Life, who’s one man Ted Talk-inspired lectures will change your life.

The Austin Sketch Festival raison d’etre is to bring together the very best of the Austin comedy community. Master PancakeYour Terrific NeighborsStag ComedyTastemakersEvery Girl’s AnnualUnsuspectingly Sponsored ByLaugh DammitAustin Comedy Hour, An Historic Evening w/ Brendan K. ‘Grady and the Hustle Show will all be featured.

As confirmations roll in, we’ll have even more out of town guests and locals to announce. In the meantime, we’re releasing a second round of discounted Early Bird Passes good for all shows (PURCHASE THEM HERE). The first round sold out in minutes, so jump on this!

The Festival will take place at the Spider House Ballroom and at ColdTowne Theater. The full schedule and tickets for individual shows will be released soon.

The Austin Sketch Fest is produced by ColdTowne Theater, Austin’s home for live comedy, featuring more sketch, improv and stand up per square foot than any other venue in Texas.

ATX Sketch Fest Presents: 24 Hour Austin Sketch Comedy Challenge!

So many things come in groups of 24: two cartons of eggs, twelve pairs of socks, three packs of hotdogs. But hours? Who would string together 24 hours of anything, let alone the hardest part of comedy: writing it.

In a bold move, the brains at Austin’s ColdTowne Theater and the Austin Sketch Festival have devised a way to string together 24 consecutive hours of sketch comedy mayhem. When have this many hours ever been utilized for such a single-minded purpose? If anybody’s done it, we haven’t heard from them. That’s how dangerous it is.

Competitors in the 24-hour Sketch Challenge will meet at the theater on Saturday, February 9th before Sci-Fi Saturdays. At precisely 7:00pm, 5 teams will get a string of suggestions and guidelines to ensure that their show has not been previously written or worked on.

The following evening, February 10th, starting at 6pm, teams will perform their shows. The winner will be determined by a combination of audience votes and judge feedback.

When our enormous 24-hour hourglasses run dry at precisely 6pm on Sunday, February 10th, the Brawl will begin and the victor(s) will be spoiled with naps. The losers will… probably have naps too. Having overcome both space and time, the victors will then commence bragging.

We’ll be celebrating the Austin Sketch Festival — happening this Memorial Day weekend!

THIS SHOW IS PAY WHAT YOU WANT! Keep reading for the full list of competitors and the schedule. You can come for part of or the entire two and a half hour show! Continue Reading