Laugh a Minute: Steel City Improv Theater

Steel City Improv Theater is the only space in the ‘Burgh devoted full-time to teaching and performing Improv comedy.

A while back, I was working on a story that looked into the comparative lack of an improv comedy scene in Pittsburgh. If New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington, D.C., all have full-time theaters dedicated to Improv Comedy, I wondered, why didn’t Pittsburgh?

Then one of the dedicated improvisers I was chatting with clarified that there was just such a place, it just wasn’t quite open yet.

So, that answered that question.

Founded this year by NYC improv vets Kasey Daley and Justin Zell, Steel City Improv Theater is the only space in the ‘Burgh devoted full-time to teaching and performing Improv comedy. Hidden on the far end of the North Side, the new space is just right for intimate, energetic performances—and there are plenty to go around.

Two house teams (groups of improvisers that work together regularly, based at SCIT) perform every week on the aptly named Totally Free Mondays event, and Saturdays and most Fridays are stocked with shows.

This Saturday boasts a trio of shows that’ll serve as a fine introduction to the uninitiated. Things kick off at 6:30 p.m. with a free-for all “Social” open to any improviser, professional or amateur—arrive at 6 to sign up or 6:30 to watch, and its free either way.

I’m most interested in what they’re calling Impression-Prov, at 8 p.m. They give little detail, but claim the show will revolve around simultaneous impressions—a total of five performers all doing Christopher Walken, or Mel Gibson, or what-have-you. I’ve seen similar shows elsewhere, and they’re usually uproarious. If you’re unaware of the power of unscripted comedy, this will be a perfect introduction.

And while you’re there, stick around for Post-Crisis, the regular Saturday night show featuring some of Pittsburgh’s best-known improvisers. This is a long-form show (not the short, game-focused improv you may have seen on Who’s Line is it Anyway, but more theatrical improvisation), and these performers seriously know what they’re doing.

And if, somehow, you just haven’t had enough offbeat comedy Saturday night (or, I suppose, if you ignore my above recommendations), you could certainly check out John McIntire’s Dangerously Live Comedy Talk Show at the Cabaret Theater. In the interest of full disclosure, I’ve been a member of John’s bizarre panel discussion show many times, but I’m not on this one, so I can in good conscience encourage you to attend.

After sets of stand-up by McIntire and the acclaimed Gab Bonesso, John will bring up a trio of guests to launch into a round-table discussion, somewhat similar to the format of John’s former gig as a TV and radio host. This time around, he’ll be joined by Councilman Bill Peduto, P-G advice columnist Cat Specter and nationally syndicated cartoonist Rob Rogers. They’ll be chatting about all the current signs of the apocalypse, like the tsunami, Pittsburgh’s much You-Tube’d tornado, and Charlie Sheen on tour.

McIntire’s show makes perfect use of the Cabaret Theater—get there early and order a cocktail, won’t ya? (808 B Tripoli St., Deuschtown. Info: 412/322-1000, steelcityimprov.com)
 

Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags

The 412

5 Classic Pittsburghers Still Popular on YouTube

5 Classic Pittsburghers Still Popular on YouTube

From Fred Rogers to Pittsburgh traffic cop Vic Cianca to weatherman Joe DeNardo, these 'Burghers are fun to watch and remember.
Comic Aaron Kleiber to Headline at the Pittsburgh Improv

Comic Aaron Kleiber to Headline at the Pittsburgh Improv

Grab tickets now for next weekend's four-day run.
See the Resume Tape That Landed Sally Wiggin in Pittsburgh

See the Resume Tape That Landed Sally Wiggin in Pittsburgh

Wiggin is celebrating 35 years on Pittsburgh television.
14 Life-Changing Home Products for 2015

14 Life-Changing Home Products for 2015

Home expert Boyce Thompson previews this year's Duquesne Light Pittsburgh Home & Garden Show and speculates on which products will become fully integrated into our homes soon.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

Pittsburgh's Top 10 Things to Do in March

Pittsburgh's Top 10 Things to Do in March

Your 10 best bets for this month.
Jamie Dixon: Winning His Way

Jamie Dixon: Winning His Way

Peers, players, and regular observers know him to be one of the best coaches — and people — in college basketball.
15 Buzzworthy Pittsburgh Salons

15 Buzzworthy Pittsburgh Salons

From east to west — and north and south — these are the region’s salons and services that make our cut. Having a good hair day doesn’t have to be so difficult after all.
Home of the Year: 2015

Home of the Year: 2015

This year’s selections include a Richland Township house built to appreciate its 160-acre lot and Shadyside garage that was renovated into a stunning, modern dream home.
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags

On the Blogs


Everything That's Awesome About Pittsburgh Today
5 Classic Pittsburghers Still Popular on YouTube

5 Classic Pittsburghers Still Popular on YouTube

From Fred Rogers to Pittsburgh traffic cop Vic Cianca to weatherman Joe DeNardo, these 'Burghers are fun to watch and remember.

Comments


Pittsburgh, only cooler
Deer Debate: It's All about Priorities

Deer Debate: It's All about Priorities

PittGirl can't be convinced there is any solid math that proves an animal’s life is more important than a human one.

Comments


All the foodie news that's fit to blog
First Look: Smoke's New Lawrenceville Location

First Look: Smoke's New Lawrenceville Location

At long last, Jeff Petruso and Nelda Carranco again are churning out the Tex-Mex-style tacos Pittsburghers crave.

Comments


Not just good stuff. Great stuff.
5 Best Retro Shops in Pittsburgh

5 Best Retro Shops in Pittsburgh

For anyone looking for a perfect #throwback picture to post, head here first.

Comments


Bar Exam: Wings, Suds & Spuds

Bar Exam: Wings, Suds & Spuds

This humble Moon Township bar and restaurant could be a haven for weary travelers (and hungry neighbors).

Comments


Inside Downtown Pittsburgh's New Juice Bar

Inside Downtown Pittsburgh's New Juice Bar

Get a healthy dose of fruits, veggies and more from the same folks who brought us the Smiley cookie.

Comments


Style. Design. Goods. Hide your credit card.
Looking Sharp

Looking Sharp

Give your style some bite with the porcelain shark tooth necklace by Redraven studios.

Comments


This week's buzz from the PM editors
Let It Go: Despite Being a Costly Outing, See 'Disney on Ice'

Let It Go: Despite Being a Costly Outing, See 'Disney on Ice'

The kids want to see characters from "Frozen." You want to see your favorite princess. Make everyone happy by snagging tickets to a weekend show.

Comments


Everything you need to know about getting married in Pittsburgh today.
#PGHWeddings

#PGHWeddings

More brides are using social media to enhance their wedding days, so we’re sharing a few tips to help you do the same.

Comments


The latest tips and trends to refresh your home.
Now Accepting 2016 Home of the Year Submissions

Now Accepting 2016 Home of the Year Submissions

Our first standalone HOME issue in years features the 2015 winners of the annual Home of the Year competition — and we're already thinking about next year's contest.

Comments


The hottest topics in higher education
Allegheny College Students Learn in the Sand

Allegheny College Students Learn in the Sand

The school's augmented reality sand box creates three-dimensional topographical maps based on the way students physically shape the sand.

Comments


Thinking outside the box (score)
Time Not on Penguins GM’s Side

Time Not on Penguins GM’s Side

General Manager Jim Rutherford has overhauled much of the Pens’ roster in a short period of time. Will his mind-on-the-now plan work to win Cup No. 4?

Comments


Award-winning sports commentary by Sean Conboy
R.I.P. Corporate Penguins, 2009-2014

R.I.P. Corporate Penguins, 2009-2014

Fire Bylsma? Fire Shero? The Penguins' problems run deeper.

Comments