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

Pittburgh’s Daya Dropping New Album, Headline Tour

Pittburgh’s Daya Dropping New Album, Headline Tour

The teen singing sensation from Mt. Lebanon’s tour concludes in Pittsburgh.
See it Now: Trailer for Filmed-in-Pittsburgh “Fences”

See it Now: Trailer for Filmed-in-Pittsburgh “Fences”

Directed and starring Denzel Washington, the first big screen treatment of August Wilson's Pulitzer Prize-winning play arrives in theaters on Christmas Day.
2016 Athena Award Winners Announced

2016 Athena Award Winners Announced

Named for the Greek goddess of strength and wisdom, the ATHENA Awards are unique among regional honors for professional women because of the focus on developing the next generation of leaders through mentorship.
Watch: Tributes and More For Golfing Great Arnold Palmer

Watch: Tributes and More For Golfing Great Arnold Palmer

The golf icon from Latrobe, Pa. died Sunday of complications from heart problems.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

Top 10 Things to Do in Pittsburgh in October

Top 10 Things to Do in Pittsburgh in October

This month's best bets in The 'Burgh.
The 10 Brands That Built Pittsburgh

The 10 Brands That Built Pittsburgh

From glass and aluminum to ketchup and candy, Pittsburgh has made its mark, thanks in large part to the instantly recognizable brands that remain etched not merely on its buildings — but on its DNA. We look at 10 of those brands and explore how they helped to establish and define the Steel City.
Wheels Up? What's Next for PIT

Wheels Up? What's Next for PIT

Under a new CEO, Pittsburgh International Airport heads into its 25th year while attempting to woo flyers and flights and leave its empty, post-hub days behind.
Pittsburgh's Connection to an Out-of-This-World View of Space

Pittsburgh's Connection to an Out-of-This-World View of Space

Three men at NASA serve pivotal roles in maintaining the Hubble Space Telescope, which has been taking high-resolution photos of deep space form more than 25 years. And they're all from Pittsburgh.
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags

Sign Up for the 412 e-Newsletter

 

Our daily e-newsletter is curated by the editors of Pittsburgh Magazine and is designed to give you the very best Pittsburgh has to offer -- delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign me up!
* Email
 First Name
 Last Name
  * = Required Field
 
Edit ModuleShow Tags

On the Blogs


Pittburgh’s Daya Dropping New Album, Headline Tour

Pittburgh’s Daya Dropping New Album, Headline Tour

The teen singing sensation from Mt. Lebanon’s tour concludes in Pittsburgh.

Comments


Pittsburgh, only cooler
PittGirl: How You Should Grade A Squishy Tongue

PittGirl: How You Should Grade A Squishy Tongue

Kennywood Park opens soon and new this season is the return of the famed whale at the entrance of Noah’s Ark. In the name of science, PittGirl paid an early visit to test the squishiness quotient of the whale's all-important tongue.

Comments


All the foodie news that's fit to blog
e2 to Close in Highland Park

e2 to Close in Highland Park

Chef/owner Kate Romane will move on to a new project.

Comments


Not just good stuff. Great stuff.
6 Best Restaurants for College Students in Pittsburgh

6 Best Restaurants for College Students in Pittsburgh

Easy access from universities, wallet-friendly prices and really good food make these our favorite choices for the university set.

Comments


Drinks With Some Spirits at Harmony Inn

Drinks With Some Spirits at Harmony Inn

The historic (and purportedly haunted) Harmony Inn is a fine stop for drinks and food.

Comments


Mike Prisuta's Sports Section

A weekly look at the games people are playing and the people who are playing them.
Pirates’ Ship Sunk But Salvageable

Pirates’ Ship Sunk But Salvageable

Of all that conspired to derail the Pirates after three consecutive trips to the playoffs, the unanticipated implosions of Gerrit Cole and Francisco Liriano proved, in retrospect, to be more of a deal-breaker than anything else.

Comments


Style. Design. Goods. Hide your credit card.
Green Chic: The Boxcar Planter Set

Green Chic: The Boxcar Planter Set

The geometric set is available through the hip Ace Hotel shop.

Comments


Sean Collier's Popcorn for Dinner

The movies that are playing in Pittsburgh –– and, more importantly, whether or not they're worth your time.
If All Remakes Were as Good as Magnificent Seven, We'd Really Love Remakes

If All Remakes Were as Good as Magnificent Seven, We'd Really Love Remakes

Reviews of the "Magnificent Seven" remake and "Storks," plus local movie news and notes.

Comments


Everything you need to know about getting married in Pittsburgh today.
A Laid-Back Love: Kelly McHolme and Bob Stasa

A Laid-Back Love: Kelly McHolme and Bob Stasa

This Pittsburgh couple wanted their guests to be just as content as they were at their wedding.

Comments


The latest tips and trends to refresh your home.
Make Your Design Work for You: Mecox Opens In Pittsburgh

Make Your Design Work for You: Mecox Opens In Pittsburgh

To celebrate its 20th anniversary, Mecox will be opening its eighth location, but its first in Pittsburgh, in Shadyside.

Comments


The hottest topics in higher education
Duquesne University Inaugurates New President with Deep Pittsburgh Roots

Duquesne University Inaugurates New President with Deep Pittsburgh Roots

Ken Gormley began his new tenure by delivering good news to University employees.

Comments