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

The Hilarious Chore James Harrison Does During Workouts

The Hilarious Chore James Harrison Does During Workouts

Most people simply would catch their breath — but not this legendary Steelers linebacker.
Dream Achieved: Meghan Klingenberg is a World Cup Winner

Dream Achieved: Meghan Klingenberg is a World Cup Winner

The Pittsburgh-area native and her teammates are headed to Heinz Field next month.
12 Powerful Pictures of Pittsburgh's Past, Present & Future

12 Powerful Pictures of Pittsburgh's Past, Present & Future

The images are not necessarily iconic, but they're just as revealing of the city's spirit.
Pittsburgh-Area Fireworks: When & Where to Watch Them

Pittsburgh-Area Fireworks: When & Where to Watch Them

You can get your fill of fireworks all weekend long, if you know where and when to look.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

City Guide: Terrific Things to Do in the 'Burgh and Beyond

City Guide: Terrific Things to Do in the 'Burgh and Beyond

The towns, neighborhoods, boroughs, main streets and small corners of western Pennsylvania that we call home -- and what we love about them.
Best of the 'Burgh 2015

Best of the 'Burgh 2015

Once again, our editors scour the city for 57 FRESH TAKES on our favorite things about Pittsburgh, including place to "get the boot," witness a nerd fantasy come to life, and snap a selfie with a furry.
Best of the 'Burgh 2015: Readers' Poll

Best of the 'Burgh 2015: Readers' Poll

Burger joints. Bar bands. Radio hosts. Here's the most popular stuff in town.
Brewed in the 'Burgh, the Evolution of Our City's Brewpubs

Brewed in the 'Burgh, the Evolution of Our City's Brewpubs

A long-awaited update to Pennsylvania's beer-selling law prompted change to the region's brewpub scene.
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags

On the Blogs


Everything That's Awesome About Pittsburgh Today
The Hilarious Chore James Harrison Does During Workouts

The Hilarious Chore James Harrison Does During Workouts

Most people simply would catch their breath — but not this legendary Steelers linebacker.

Comments


Pittsburgh, only cooler
Why Pittsburgh's Sister Bridges 'Should Stay Yellow'

Why Pittsburgh's Sister Bridges 'Should Stay Yellow'

PittGirl's says, quite simply, no other color will do.

Comments


All the foodie news that's fit to blog
What I Learned on the Road about Pittsburgh's Restaurants

What I Learned on the Road about Pittsburgh's Restaurants

Thanks to chefs willing to travel and taste out-of-town dishes, our food culture continues to flourish.

Comments


Not just good stuff. Great stuff.
7 Adorable Pittsburgh Boutiques for Baby

7 Adorable Pittsburgh Boutiques for Baby

If you have a little one on the way, or you’re shopping for one, check out these locally owned boutiques that simply ooze cuteness.

Comments


The Regatta by Land, Sea or Air

The Regatta by Land, Sea or Air

Don't let the tumultuous rivers keep you away — there are plenty of reasons to take a trip to the EQT Pittsburgh Three Rivers Regatta this weekend.

Comments


How to Make the Ultimate July Fourth Dessert

How to Make the Ultimate July Fourth Dessert

Be the hit at your party with these reinvented ice-cream floats.

Comments


Style. Design. Goods. Hide your credit card.
Raising the Bar: The Fierce “Pyramid” Necklace

Raising the Bar: The Fierce “Pyramid” Necklace

Part of the Mod Evil’s Simple Geometry line, the Pyramid Bar necklace adds edge to your wardrobe.

Comments


This week's buzz from the PM editors
WYEP Music Fest: A Solid Excuse to Visit Schenley Plaza

WYEP Music Fest: A Solid Excuse to Visit Schenley Plaza

Songwriter Martin Sexton will headline the 18th edition of the free outdoor concert.

Comments


Everything you need to know about getting married in Pittsburgh today.
Planning the Perfect Wedding, No Matter the Weather

Planning the Perfect Wedding, No Matter the Weather

With a little creativity, you can have a beautiful celebration in any season.

Comments


The latest tips and trends to refresh your home.
Update Your Bedroom with the Help of an Expert

Update Your Bedroom with the Help of an Expert

Get inspired by this room designed by Joann Fullen.

Comments


The hottest topics in higher education
Pitt Turns to Washington to Fill Key Role

Pitt Turns to Washington to Fill Key Role

The school's new senior vice chancellor and chief legal officer will start in the near future.

Comments


Thinking outside the box (score)
Surprise! Pittsburgh's Soccer Team is Worthy of Your Attention

Surprise! Pittsburgh's Soccer Team is Worthy of Your Attention

So what if the Riverhounds aren't a major-league team. If you're not going to their games, you are missing out.

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