(Theatre) 99 Reasons and Book is For EveryONE

Guest post by Greg Tavares, Theatre 99!

Hey improv world, all the cool people are going to be at NCCAF next week for the big improv orgy — and you are invited.  

That is always the way I feel right before NCCAF in Carrboro every year.

That is why I have been bummed to not make it the past 2 years, but I made a deal with myself a little over a year ago, that I would not go to any festivals until I finished my book — Improv For Everyone.  Well, boom, the book is here and now I can to go to the cool party.  

I am excited about getting the word out about my book (if you see me please buy one) and to teach a couple workshops, but I am even more jacked about the awesome shows.  Susan Messing in MESSING with a Friend?  Are you kidding me?   I can’t believe I am going to get a chance to see Susan Messing perform.  I saw her in Co-Ed Prison Sluts in Chicago like 15 years ago and I am still laughing at bits she did in that show.  I can’t hear the word “ouch” without seeing Susan standing on a stool with some guy’s head up her dress.  TMI?

Kevin Mullaney and Mullaney Chain?  How mad am I that I did not come up with that cool idea for a show before he did?  Super mad.  It is the ultimate “yes and” idea for a show.  He asks someone to play, then that person asks someone else and so on, and then they do a show.  Simple and beautiful.  It makes me want to just say “thanks Kevin.”  Thanks for the IRC, thanks for the podcasts and thanks for the simple and beautiful show idea that reminds me why I love improv.

So make sure to get you improv condoms for the improv orgy.  Everyone is going to be there and you are invited.

Link to my book:


Second City and Steven Wright in Durham

Live performances at the Carolina Theatre are supported in part by the North Carolina Arts Council, an agency funded by the state of North Carolina, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the A.J. Fletcher Performing Arts Fund of the Triangle Community Foundation.
This year, The North Carolina Comedy Arts Festival, in partnership with The Carolina Theater, is thrilled to present Steven Wright and The Second City Touring Company.
Steven Wright began his career at the age of 23 and has been working ever since. Labelled a “prototype” - his work and path to success have been followed by many fledgling comedians in the years following. His past credits include appearances on Late Night with David LettermanSaturday Night Live, and a rare two week consecutive appearances on The Tonight Show with then host Johnny Carson.

The name ‘Second City’ is synonymous with comedy. Originating in Old Town Chicago - The Second City was the first ever ongoing improv theater in the United States. Over the last 50 years it has become an iconic place of study- expanding into The Second City Training Center, and can be found in the history of countless celebrities and comedians in pop culture today. Seeing a Second City stage show offers a combination of the best improvisation and sketch comedy writing on any continent.

Both of these shows are steeped in comedy history- carrying forward a certain comedy heritage. It’s only fitting that they play The Carolina Theater- a vintage building, preserved itself (and recently remodeled) as it moves forward for future generations to enjoy.

Fletcher Hall is the main stage of the Carolina, seating 1,014 with two balconies. This grand stage hosts distinguished speakers, dance, music of all varieties, and most importantly to us - comedy
BUY TICKETS NOW for Second City and Steven Wright
- Contributed by Kate Harlow

Shun Man Woh- WHOA


Cerebral, yeah- we’ll go with cerebral. That’s the lazy description behind the astounding piece of theater put together by DSI company veteran Kit FitzSimons. His one man sketch show Shun Man Woh brings to the table many of the highly specific skills that only Kit himself could put together. Chugging Redbull, enormous feats of physical exertion, and what has been described by many people as “a rubber face,” Kit creates 30 minutes of comedy without one single (LIVE) word spoken. 

For the past eight years Kit has occasionally performed under the title Shun Man Woh - a spoonerism of “One Man Show” for all of his one man sketches. Over time the name had been relegated to the title for the ‘Sketch Ideas’ file on his laptop.  The inspiration for a revival of Shun Man Woh came when DSI Comedy announced that it would be holding a Sketch Cagematch in late 2012. 

Why no words though?  “I’d been listening to a lot of music recently, and I had a couple ideas for sketches that didn’t require any words… the show format sort of spiraled out from there,” says FitzSimons. Having repeatedly worked up an idea into a sketch or monologue, only to find that it still seemed less fun than anything he had thought of for his music inspired sketches, Kit went about combing his playlists and collecting songs to create his personal soundtrack.

Finding that past sketch shows had best flowed when they found a unifying theme-  the current Shun Man Woh came together when he found his theme of sketches where he didn’t speak. “Every new idea was an exciting discovery, like snapping together another couple pieces of an enormous jigsaw,” FitzSimons shares. The future is bright - Kit is always looking to do more, to expand and include more in his work.

- Contributed by Kate Harlow

Three Cheerwines for April Richardson


April Richardson is prepared to blow your mind this weekend. 

And she’s not kidding. For her NCCAF premier routine, fans can anticipate stories about “a documentary she watched about people who have sex with horses, about that time her mom said that crazy thing about her ex-boyfriend and how she almost got straight-up murdered on the way to see Morrissey for the 90th time,” in the words of Richardson.

The Atlanta native and current Los Angeles resident said she is “very excited that I actually get to tell crazy stories into a microphone as part of my job. I feel so lucky and so jazzed to do it. So, I hope people find joy in my, uh, joy.”

Richardson has performed at Comedy Death-Ray, Portland’s Bridgetown Comedy Festival, Seattle’s Bumbershoot Music & Arts Festival and San Francisco Sketchfest. Now, she is bringing her talents down to South Beach. Er, to the NCCAF.

When she’s not performing at comedy fests, she can be seen as a round table panelist on E!’s Chelsea Lately. She has also written for MTV.

If you want to get on her good side, bring her Cheerwine. It’s her favorite soda and she’s looking forward to reuniting with it when she visits NC.   

April will perform this Friday, 2/1 and Saturday, 2/2 at DSI.

- Contributed by Lauren Hafezi

Dive into Local 506


Down Franklin Street from UNC campus lies an intimate venue, with no pretensions about what it is.  The epitome of a rock and roll dive bar, bringing in your favorite local, regional, national, and sometimes even international acts up close and personal. Writing up a big piece would be misleading and repetitive- The Local 506 is small, with room for about 250 people. It is extremely cool, with a great beer selection and friendly staff. One review even labels The Local 506 as “the beating heart of the American music industry.”

There is no question - The Local 506 and the North Carolina Comedy Arts Festival are a match made in heaven. DSI Comedy Theater has been producing events at Local 506 on and off for close to 9 years. This year is no exception- expect to see amazing talent, in the kind of room where you can buy your favorite act a beer and hang out side by side after they kill their set.

- Contributed by Kate Harlow