This month, the historic Wilbur Theatre in Boston’s theatre district is hosting a bevy of hot television stars including two favorite soap actors; Steve Burton and Bradford Anderson from General Hospital.
The comedy and music venue already hosted top TV comics Louis C.K. and Doug Benson earlier in August. The famed Second City comedy troupe is on the road this summer with their Laugh Out Loud tour, stopping at the Wilbur on August 19. The improvisational group was a starting point for many of today’s greatest TV comedians, including Tina Fey, Steve Carrell and Stephen Colbert.
While Second City launched the careers of “Saturday Night Live” greats like Bill Murray, Gilda Radner and John Belushi, an up-and-coming SNL star will be taking the stage at the Wilbur on August 20. Featured player and gifted impressionist, Jay Pharoah is best known for his spot-on Denzel Washington and Will Smith impressions during Weekend Update and will surely display his best characters for the Boston audience.
Four musically-inclined cast members of daytime soap “General Hospital” formed a band of their own and are taking the group on tour this summer. Port Chuck, named after the fictional town of Port Charles, that serves as the setting for “GH,” stop at the Wilbur on August 26.
The band even holds a connection to New England, as Bradford Anderson, band member and Spinelli on “General Hospital” is a native of Meredith, New Hampshire.
Comedian and “MADtv” alum, Bobby Lee performs at the Wilbur on August 27 as a part of his summer comedy tour. The San Diego native is known for cracking jokes at the expense of his Korean American family.
Although there are many festivals currently seeking submissions, this new festival started by some Hollywood East Connection favorites is worth entering and definitely checking out.
Because The 989 Project (a Rhode Island production company) helped found The Providence Comedy Festival, filmmaking is understandably an extension. The festival is currently accepting comedic short films that are no longer than 10 minutes. The early deadline to submit is February 1 for a fee of $10 and the extended deadline of February 5 warrants a $15 fee and is for New England filmmakers only. Submission forms can be found on their website. Accepted films will be eligible for awards in Best Comedic Short, Best New England Short, and The RIFC Best Rhode Island Short.
Along with funny short films and the usual stand up comedy you find at comedy festivals (this year’s headliners include MA native Jennifer Coolidge and Frank Santorelli), there will be a slew of other related events. Some of these include interactive game-shows, afternoon improv classes (with one of the two classes devoted to couples), open mic opportunities, and a stand-up competition. There will also be an opening night event featuring a performance by Rhode Island residents Improv Jones and sketch comedy troupe, Empire Revue.
These diverse events come out of the desire to celebrate the great comedic outlets that Rhode Island offers. As Anthony Ambrosino, Creative Director of the 989 Project and one of the founders of the Providence Comedy Festival states, “I’m a big fan of comedy, and Rhode Island has a number of fantastic outlets for it, from the Improv Jones and Unexpected Company Improv troupes, to the great stand-up at the Comedy Connection and Catch a Rising Star, to the number of talented filmmakers locally at the Rhode Island Film Collaborative. I thought it would be great to bring all of that together and see what type of “Comedic Jazz” we could create.”
Those interested in supporting local comedy in Rhode Island can buy tickets for events ranging from $5 to $25 through Ticketmaster. In addition to being pretty affordable, you can also feel good about your purchase. Partial proceeds of ticket sales will benefit Al’s House, Moving Minds, which provides adults in the early stages of cognitive impairments due to Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia with quality programs that are both enriching and engaging.
For more information about entering the Providence Comedy Festival and for a full schedule, make sure to visit their website.
Summertime at the Wilbur Theater in Boston just got a lot hotter. Loads of comedians and actors will be hitting the stage and getting their funny on all summer long. The Comedians of Chelsea Lately are coming up soon on June 11th, featuring sharp tongues Whitney Cummings, Heather McDonald, Jen Kirkman, Jo Koy and Chelsea Handler’s own personal nugget: Chuy Bravo. The comedians are frequently part of the “Chelsea Lately” roundtable and offer their hilarious insight on the pop culture news of the day.
Aziz Ansari (7/12), who plays Tom on NBC’s “Parks and Recreation” is also hot on the radar right now. He probably got a chuckle out of you as one of Paul Rudd’s fencing buddies from I Love You, Man or in his ubiquitous commercials as the host MTV Movie Awards. Mariah Carey’s hubby Nick Cannon will take the stage on 7/30. The funny guy is taking a break from hosting “America’s Got Talent” and going back to his performing roots from his days on “Wild ‘n Out” and (throwback to 90s Nickelodeon fans) “All That”.
Other noteworthy performances like Christopher Titus (“Titus” on FOX, 6/11), Craig Ferguson of “The Late, Late Show” and How to Train Your Dragon (7/2), and Shawn and Marlon Wayans (8/21) will be sure to give you your daily dose of funny. For a full list of performances at the Wilbur Theater, take the jump here.
The New Hampshire Film and Television Office held the New Hampshire High School Film Festival last Saturday at the New Hampshire Technical Institute in Concord. Students grades 9-12 submitted their short films earlier this year and 32 films were chosen for screening.
The film festival originated in 2007 and has had a growing response rate ever since. It was created for high school students to showcase their work in a larger and more competitive setting. The festival will soon offer a comprehensive online resource for New Hampshire film students and teachers, providing them with tips, forms and documents to aid in the filmmaking process.
All of the genres were judged together to come out with one over all winner (the Jury Award). This year Home vs. Homeless by Jeremy Holber, Tim Taylor and Ben Pacocha of Pinkerton Academy in Derry, NH., took away the Jury award. Their film just made the 10-minute time limit at nine minutes and 56 seconds and was about a homeless person who steals a blank check and uses it to live a more comfortable life until he finds out that the house has a different plan for him.
Second place, or the Jury Award Runner-Up was David Nieman’s Beginning’s End, about a girl singing alone in an empty building. Keller Nunley’s Mustache received an honorable mention for his film about how a little lip hair can go a long way. Watch Beginning’s End here:
The Jury Award winner and Jury Award Runner-Up will be screened at the the New Hampshire Film Festival in Portsmouth this October, at the Red River Theater in Concord and on New Hampshire Public Television over the summer. All films screened were featured in the showcase program and put on a DVD that will be released later this summer.
March shows include Massachusetts native and “Last Comic Standing” contestant Kathleen Madigan and “Curb Your Enthusiasm” comedians Jeff Garlin and Susie Essman. “Saturday Night Live” alum Norm MacDonald will also be appearing for two nights.
Tickets to these and other upcoming shows can be purchased on the Wilbur Theatre’s website or at their box office at 246 Tremont Street in Boston, MA. For more information about the theatre or to watch their videos of past and upcoming comedians, check out their website.
Brendan Frasier is at his comedic antics again with his new movie, Furry Vengeance, which began filming this week in schools and businesses in Topsfield, Massachusetts.
According to movie websites, the film will star Frasier as a real estate developer who relocates his family from Chicago to Oregon in order to build a new housing subdivision. This expansion into the Oregon wilderness will pit Frasier’s character against a plethora of woodland creatures angry at the human encroachment into their territory.
Directed by Roger Kumble, whose work also includes Just Friends, The Sweetest Thing, and Cruel Intentions, and written by Michael Carnes and Josh Gilbert, the cast of Furry Vengeance stars film heavy-hitters as well as actors new to the business. Aside from Frasier, the cast thus far is slated to include Brooke Shields, Ken Jeong, Dick Van Dyke, Matt Prokop, Skyler Samuels and Samantha Bee. The movie release is scheduled for early April 2010.
So for any New Englanders that are fans of the cast or what promises to be a heart-warming, lesson-learned comedy, head down to Topsfield in the upcoming weeks for a chance to get a glimpse of this movie being filmed.
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