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

How Do Pittsburgh Drivers Stack Up in Safety Rankings?

How Do Pittsburgh Drivers Stack Up in Safety Rankings?

According to annual insurance company data, Pittsburghers need a crash course in crash avoidance.
Where Your House Sells the Quickest in the Pittsburgh Area

Where Your House Sells the Quickest in the Pittsburgh Area

The real-estate website Zillow has ranked the region's 50 hottest housing markets. Do you live in one of them?
Verses Koufax and the Babe - Clemente Wins in a Rout

Verses Koufax and the Babe - Clemente Wins in a Rout

It was no contest among voters asked to choose which portrait among the three baseball greats should hang in the Smithsonian.
See Now: Trailer for Will Smith's "Concussion" Drama

See Now: Trailer for Will Smith's "Concussion" Drama

Shot and set in Pittsburgh, the film stars Will Smith as Dr. Bennet Omalu, the forensic pathologist who first discovered CTE in the brain of former Pittsburgh Steelers center Mike Webster in 2002.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

50 Most Powerful People in Pittsburgh

50 Most Powerful People in Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh Magazine consulted dozens of power brokers and behind-the-scene players to determine and rank the 50 individuals who, in Pittsburgh, make things happen.
15 of Pittsburgh's Future Power Brokers

15 of Pittsburgh's Future Power Brokers

According to the region's behind-the-scene players, these individuals are some of the city's rising stars.
Aggressive and Adaptable: Pirates' All-Star Gerrit Cole

Aggressive and Adaptable: Pirates' All-Star Gerrit Cole

Entering into the final weeks of the 2015 regular season, pitcher Gerrit Cole has emerged as the Pirates’ ace.
At täkō - Terrific Tacos and Tequila Are Just The Beginning

At täkō - Terrific Tacos and Tequila Are Just The Beginning

Richard DeShantz and Tolga Sevdik strike again with täkō, their taco-centric downtown eatery with an extensive tequila selection.
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags

On the Blogs


Everything That's Awesome About Pittsburgh Today
How Do Pittsburgh Drivers Stack Up in Safety Rankings?

How Do Pittsburgh Drivers Stack Up in Safety Rankings?

According to annual insurance company data, Pittsburghers need a crash course in crash avoidance.

Comments


Pittsburgh, only cooler
PittGirl: Michael Vick Signing is More of the Same from Steelers

PittGirl: Michael Vick Signing is More of the Same from Steelers

She says the past decade has been a rude awakening into what "The Steeler Way" now means.

Comments


All the foodie news that's fit to blog
How to Make Pittsburgh-Area Farmers Markets Better

How to Make Pittsburgh-Area Farmers Markets Better

Market managers, farmers and customers all can play a role in making markets live up their potential.

Comments


Not just good stuff. Great stuff.
The 5 Best Seats at PNC Park

The 5 Best Seats at PNC Park

With every remaining home game against a divisional opponent — and a pivotal three-game set against the St. Louis Cardinals on deck for Sept. 28-30 — you’ll want a great view of the action.

Comments


Restored Lawrenceville Pub & Restaurant Off to a Strong Start

Restored Lawrenceville Pub & Restaurant Off to a Strong Start

The building at 3523 Penn Ave. has spent a lot of time as a place for Lawrenceville residents to meet and raise their glasses.

Comments


How to Make Healthy School Lunches Your Kids Will Love

How to Make Healthy School Lunches Your Kids Will Love

I have come up with a system that almost is foolproof for us: healthy breakfasts and packed lunches that are quick, easy and protest-free. Isn’t the latter the key?

Comments


Style. Design. Goods. Hide your credit card.
Cross It Off Your Pittsburgh Bucket List

Cross It Off Your Pittsburgh Bucket List

Just for yinz, Romeo Delivers, Inc. creates a bucket that contains 25 must-do adventures around the ‘Burgh.

Comments


This week's buzz from the PM editors
Get Your Fill of Football & Food at Heinz Field

Get Your Fill of Football & Food at Heinz Field

The free Coors Light Kickoff and Rib Festival is an annual barbecue-soaked marker of football season’s return.

Comments


Everything you need to know about getting married in Pittsburgh today.
Four Expert Tips for Choosing The Perfect Wedding Flowers

Four Expert Tips for Choosing The Perfect Wedding Flowers

Even the smallest details of a wedding affect what flower a couple should choose. These florists are here to help you decide.

Comments


The latest tips and trends to refresh your home.
Meet the Designer: Catherine Montague

Meet the Designer: Catherine Montague

This LEED-AP certified interior designer owns Green Design Innovation in Sewickley.

Comments


The hottest topics in higher education
PPG Industries Foundation Donates to Pitt

PPG Industries Foundation Donates to Pitt

The funding goes toward engineering and chemistry programs, including PPG’s fellowship positions for undergraduates and graduate students.

Comments


Thinking outside the box (score)
Steelers Offense Too Strong to Bet Against

Steelers Offense Too Strong to Bet Against

Conditions look bleak for the black-and-gold, with unfortunate injuries and suspensions ruling the pre-season. Just remind yourself: In Ben We Trust.

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