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 ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags

The 412

Mike Feinberg Company Says Goodbye to Pittsburgh

Mike Feinberg Company Says Goodbye to Pittsburgh

After 60 years of supplying Pittsburgh oddities and party favors, the staff of Feinberg’s in the Strip District says they’ll miss the love the city has shown them.
Friday Night Sleep Out to Raise Money for Homeless

Friday Night Sleep Out to Raise Money for Homeless

If you’re on the hunt for Friday night plans with a purpose, consider sleeping outside to benefit those in Pittsburgh who have to spend every night on the streets.
The Fascinating History of the David McCullough Bridge

The Fascinating History of the David McCullough Bridge

More than 80 years after its demise was erroneously reported, the David McCullough Bridge still stands as an engineering and architectural highlight among the city’s many spans.
Gone Viral: Duquesne Students Score Big With Rat Slapshot

Gone Viral: Duquesne Students Score Big With Rat Slapshot

Their tic-tac-toe passing would impress Mike Sullivan.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

A History of Pittsburgh, in 50 Artifacts

A History of Pittsburgh, in 50 Artifacts

For a city only two centuries old, Pittsburgh has amassed a surprising amount of history. To assemble this collection of 50 of the region’s most fascinating historical artifacts, we hunted through museums, archives and private collections. We also looked for things many of us might pass each day without appreciating their significance.
The Origins of Isaly’s: It's Not What You Think

The Origins of Isaly’s: It's Not What You Think

Tracing the story of the chain back to its roots — which, surprisingly, are not in Pittsburgh.
In the Frame: Julie Sokolow Sees the Future

In the Frame: Julie Sokolow Sees the Future

After making films focused on Pittsburgh, Sokolow is rising through the ranks of U.S. women documentarians.
Restaurant Review: Salem's Market & Grill in the Strip District

Restaurant Review: Salem's Market & Grill in the Strip District

Salem’s offers accessible and delicious meals for Pittsburghers of all stripes.
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

On the Blogs


Mike Feinberg Company Says Goodbye to Pittsburgh

Mike Feinberg Company Says Goodbye to Pittsburgh

After 60 years of supplying Pittsburgh oddities and party favors, the staff of Feinberg’s in the Strip District says they’ll miss the love the city has shown them.

Comments


All the foodie news that's fit to blog
CSA Day Reminds Pittsburghers (and Beyond) To Support Local Farms

CSA Day Reminds Pittsburghers (and Beyond) To Support Local Farms

It's the third year running for the concept, which was created by Simon Huntley of Pittsburgh's Small Farm Central.

Comments


Not just good stuff. Great stuff.
Five Inexpensive But Memorable Date Spots in Pittsburgh

Five Inexpensive But Memorable Date Spots in Pittsburgh

These spots are tailored for couples who are looking for a simple, chill night out on Valentine’s Day (or any other day). If your significant other isn’t the type to be wooed by expensive wines and chocolates, this is the list for you.

Comments


Adventure Bingo Returns at the Ace Hotel

Adventure Bingo Returns at the Ace Hotel

The one-of-a-kind night of bingo, trivia and madcap monologues returns in a new spot.

Comments


Mike Prisuta's Sports Section

A weekly look at the games people are playing and the people who are playing them.
Dave Hanson and the Enduring Legacy of Slap Shot

Dave Hanson and the Enduring Legacy of Slap Shot

The Hanson Brothers and other stars of the classic hockey film will return to Johnstown this weekend for a 40th anniversary celebration.

Comments


Style. Design. Goods. Hide your credit card.
Chalk It Up

Chalk It Up

Doodle while you dine, or let your imagination run wild, with chalkboard placemats from Pittsburgh-based Chalk Lots.

Comments


The movies that are playing in Pittsburgh –– and, more importantly, whether or not they're worth your time.
Our Full 2017 Oscar Predictions (Wherein La La Land Wins Everything)

Our Full 2017 Oscar Predictions (Wherein La La Land Wins Everything)

Breaking down what we know and only think we know about the 2017 Academy Awards.

Comments


Everything you need to know about getting married in Pittsburgh today.
Our Favorite Unique Centerpiece (That’s Not Flowers)

Our Favorite Unique Centerpiece (That’s Not Flowers)

This couple’s centerpiece from our Real Pittsburgh Weddings shines brighter than the traditional table bouquet.

Comments


Weekly inspiration for your home from the editors of Pittsburgh Magazine
The Candle Lab Ready To Make Its Debut in Lawrenceville

The Candle Lab Ready To Make Its Debut in Lawrenceville

The Columbus-based store, where you can customize your own candle fragrance, is expected to open in March.

Comments


The hottest topics in higher education
Get a Behind-the-Scenes Look at ‘Fences’

Get a Behind-the-Scenes Look at ‘Fences’

An art director from Warner Bros. Studios will visit La Roche College to talk about the Oscar-nominated film with ties to Pittsburgh.

Comments