Tuesday, March 13, 2012

All Girl Revue Needs Your Kickstarter Help to Get to the Women In Comedy Festival

Next week, the All Girl Revue will return to the Women In Comedy Festival. Hopefully. The improv group, which includes improv heavyweights Jane Morris and Edie McClurg, made its Festival debut two years ago, and are on the schedule this year. But they need a little help. Recently, BoingBoing.com posted a story about the All Girl Revue's Kickstarter campaign to raise money for travel expenses for the six-person group to come to Boston and also head out to the Chicago Improv Festival. I got in touch with Morris to talk about the logistic difficulties involved with bringing a group across the country to a festival, and their last trip here.  

How big of a challenge is it to travel with a group like All Girl Revue?

It's a huge challenge to travel. There are six of us. Six airfares, six places to stay, six schedules of six working actresses. Two are moms with young children still at home. The actual travel, though, is so much fun. These are funny people who very much enjoy each others company. If we're together, we're laughing. And eating. And probably drinking.

How are things different from when you performed here two years ago?

Two years ago, it was Ruth Rudnick's idea to come. This year, Ruth can't make it and neither can Edie McClurg. Since we were there last, Dee Ryan moved to Chicago and Maureen Kelly filled her shoes in our monthly Revue. Maureen won't be making the trip either, but we have an exciting guest joining us - Jill Talley. We all go way back with Jill, a stellar improviser and the sweetest person to hang around with. You may remember Jill from Mr. Show. Dee is joining us in Boston for the Festival, so we're very much looking forward to hanging out with her and having her on stage with us again.

Would you tour more often if you had the means?

If we had the means, we would do a world tour! And we would franchise the show. Since Dee moved to Chicago, we're looking into opening a Chicago branch. Our whole show here in LA also involves solo performers and music.

What was your impression of the WICF last time you were here?

We had a wonderful time the last time we were here. I taught a great, fun class. I'm teaching a solo performance class this time around, I'm also doing my solo show! We thoroughly enjoyed meeting the other performers. We're looking forward to our upcoming romp.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Maz Jobrani Gets Ready for Stockholm at the Wilbur

Maz Jobrani plays the Wilbur Saturday
There are a handful of cities where most comedy specials are taped, the big two being New York and Los Angeles. Maz Jobrani will be tuning up Saturday at the Wilbur for taping his next special next week in... Stockholm.

"I was looking for a place that was different, but also had great audiences," says Jobrani by e-mail. "I've played Stockholm twice and loved it. They're great comedy fans. We've got an Elizabethan theater called Sodra Teatern that's one of the oldest theaters in Sweden so hopefully it'll turn out nicely. Also gives it the international vibe."

Jobrani has tapped local comic Mehran once again to open the show. "He's kind of my go to guy in Boston," he says. "I love his energy and the fact that he pushes the envelope. I also have Ian Edwards coming from LA. Should be a great night."

Also expect to see more of Jobrani's self-produced Web series, My Two Worlds, on his site soon. He filmed a short that serves as the series pilot last year, and has more in the works. "I'm putting more episodes together so I can shoot them all at once," he says. "Seems to be the model these days - self produce and do it as cheap as possible. I've got three episodes written, and will write a total of six then get to shooting."

Here's the pilot episode:

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Ahmed Ahmed Headlines Sunday at BU

Ahmed Ahmed of the Axis of Evil Tour is coming to Boston University's Metcalf Hall on Sunday, with Azhar Usman and BU's own Ari Stern. The show is sponsored by the BU Egyptian Club, but it's open to the public, and according to the Facebook events page, proceeds will be donated to Egypt Cancer Network to support the construction of the extension to Children's Cancer Hospital-Egypt, the world's largest pediatric cancer hospital.

Ahmed, who was born in Egypt, directed a documentary in 2010 called Just Like Us: A Celebration of Culture and Comedy, which is currently available on demand on some cable packages. Among other themes, it explores the idea of stand-up comedy in the Middle East. Stand-up is a young artform, even in America. The modern conception of it as one person with a microphone talking about their own point of view really started to emerge in the 1950s. It's fascinating to me to think of how strange the idea might be in other parts of the world. Watch the trailer for Just Like US below.  

Ahmed will also kick off his new podcast, The Ahmed Ahmed Show, on March 14, releasing a new one each Wednesday at noon PST.

For those who can't wait to see him, I am told Ahmed will be making an appearance at a Boston-area club on Saturday. Don't want to undercut BU's show, so I won't reveal which one.

Ahmed Ahmed with Azhar Usman and Ari Stern. March 4, 7PM. Metcalf Hall at George Sherman Union, 775 Commonwealth Ave, Boston. Tickets: $10. Facebook Events Page.   

Just Like Us - Official Trailer from Cross Cultural Entertainment on Vimeo.