On Wednesday, July 14th, Improv America and Norm Laviolette, co-founder of the acclaimed Improv Asylum in Boston’s North End, hosted a special invite-only, hour long showcase to celebrate the grand reopening of ASYLUM NYC, home to New York’s professional comedy scene.
The new performance space under the Artistic direction and general management of Alan Kliffer, aims to bridge the gap between comedy and theater, and provide a welcome home for improv, stand-up, sketch comedy, magic, and dance, as well as for plays, musicals, readings and concerts.
The event featured North Coast, Uncle Function, SHIZ, Side Coach, and various acts from the venues’ new solo series.
A surprisingly fun and relaxed live theatre experience (one of my first since theatre began to re-open). The afternoon lineup was hosted by Rojo Perez and featured New York Times and Time Out NY Critics Pick, North Coast which includes a cast of improv comedy veterans in New York City. Marked by explosive performances that have been packing comedy venues, universities, and festivals all over the world since 2009, the act is built around a single suggestion from an audience member that escalate into full-blown hip-hop songs, facilitated by resident beatboxer, Doctor Brick. http://asylumnyc.com/shows/north-coast-2/?wcs_timestamp=1624743000 Side Coach, a show, a lesson, and a self described mess, is directed by Kevin Laibson, and offers a savage band of improvisers and special guests through on-your-feet study of the cultural and extraordinarily human act of making theater and the process of relationship growth between audience and performers. It features some of the best comedians in NYC and specials guests from HBO and Off-Broadway. http://asylumnyc.com/shows/side-coach-2/?wcs_timestamp=1627587000
Uncle Function, hailed as one of NYC’s premiere sketch comedy troupes, presents a comedy variety show featuring original sketches, special guests, live musical performances, and more! These Uncles will make you laugh, cry, think, feel moderately uncomfortable and then send you back to your parents, forever changed– just like your real uncles. Uncle Function is written and performed by: Chris Cafero, Russell Daniels, Jessica Frey, Douglas Goodhart, & Gianmarco Soresi. http://asylumnyc.com/shows/uncle-function/?wcs_timestamp=1625859000 SHIZ , a "sketch-comedy-meets-Broadway," features real Broadway performers in a parody perfectly suited for Broadway nerds and lovers. http://asylumnyc.com/shows/shiz/?wcs_timestamp=1624649400
The afternoon's activities were fresh, funny, clever, and a welcome return to live theatre, comedy, improv, and skits. You can find their full schedule for the Summer, and information about renting the venue at http://asylumnyc.com/