At Pittsburgh Improv, comics lure laughs from bellies in the hopes of following in the footsteps of standup legends such as Ellen DeGeneres, Chris Rock, Jerry Seinfeld, and Dave Chappelle, all of whom have graced the Improv club stages. The calendar schedules comedians as often as six nights a week, alternating between big-name headliners and up-and-comers who tickle funny bones with fresh material, abundant energy, and feathered reflex hammers. Audience members munch on their choice of a savory appetizer, such as spinach-and-artichoke dip or buffalo wings, while sipping a cocktail to avoid eye contact with the giant rubber chicken sitting at the next table.
Dedicated to promoting local and national concerts, Pittsburgh-based Drusky Entertainment presents Ribs on the River 3, a three-day festival and cookout. Along with a different line-up of 10 or more professional tune-makers each day, each night features a special headliner; Kiss's original spaceman Ace Frehley headlines Friday night, bluesman Kenny Wayne Shepherd tops the bill on Saturday, and rock icon Leon Russell melts any remaining intact faces on Sunday. Guests can keep fingers sticky to avoid dropping a beverage or concert program courtesy of renowned barbecue vendors including Florida Skin and Bones, Butch's Smack Your Lips BBQ, and Sgt. Oink's, who serve up saucy, slow-cooked eats throughout the show.
The New York–trained conjurers of comedy at the Steel City Improv Theater's training center summon spontaneous slapstick from students seeking to split sides in a fun and supportive learning environment. Overcome shyness, social anxiety, or fear of pantomimed coffee mugs in the level-zero course, a four-week toe dip into the vast waters of wisecrackery that will help you discover your sacred spirit comedian, such as the majestic Moe or the sloth, nature's Steven Wright. The more intensive level-one class taps deeper into inner caches of inspiration and explores wider ranges of physicality. Current SCIT students who purchase this Groupon also receive a student card good for free shows at the theater and discounts at certain local businesses. Check Steel City Improv's website for class times and start dates.
Disney's Daytime Emmy Award–winning Imagination Movers will perform their In a Big Warehouse concert in the grand interior of the Lisner Auditorium, playing their most popular songs and bringing the magic of their eponymous TV series to life. The popular New Orleans–based rock band bridges all generation gaps with fun and educational songs chock-full of memorable melodies and bounding rhythms that adults love as much as kids, fueling long van drives and kindergarten karaoke. With an extravagant set and ecstatic energy, the Imagination Movers give a performance that gets audiences dancing, clapping, and singing along, with guest appearances from Playhouse Disney favorites Choo Choo Soul, Nina, and Warehouse Mouse.
Hailed by the Chicago Reader as the Best New Play of 2011, Musical of the Living Dead takes audiences on a rip-roaring journey beyond the grave with its satirical send-ups of classic zombie films and musical theater. Now that their bodies have had one more year to decay, the play’s zombies return for a triumphant second run that promises even more brain-eating mayhem than the last. The curtain opens on 10 survivors of a recent zombie apocalypse, trapped in a farmhouse and willing to try anything to escape. Directors Marc Lewallen and Brad Younts gleefully fulfill horror-film conventions in selecting which cast members survive and which succumb to the screeching songs of the zombies, who have sewn up their larynxes to perform harmonized ditties in honor of Halloween. As musical trends rarely reach the deaf ears of the undead, the play’s soundtrack gathers inspiration from such disparate sources as George Gershwin, Green Day, and the werewolf doo-wop group that sometimes practices out of The Charnel House’s basement.
THEARC Theater was created out of necessity. The first theater in Ward 8 in Washington, DC, it was founded to provide residents living east of the Anacostia River with expanded cultural opportunities and hide-and-seek spots. Constructed by local nonprofit Building Bridges Across the River, the theater aims to improve the lives of children and adults in southeast Washington through educational, health, and social-service programs such as free theater workshops and youth internships in technical theater management. Noting the tower of glass windows that crowns the entrance, the Washington Post called it "a veritable lighthouse of learning—a $27 million, 110,000-square-foot campus set on 16 beautiful green acres."