Laughing Stock: Let's Laugh As Many Ways As Possible

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The Comedy Night: Variety Comedy Shows have taken over The Screening Room on Friday nights at 7 and 8 p.m. The shows feature all live-comedy genres; the format changes every half hour. Each show is $5; for $7 you can see both.

Comedy Night’s impresarios are Walter Temple, founder of the improv company Comedy Temple, and Gretchen Dingman Wirges of Musical Mayhem. Both are former members of the venerable Not Burnt Out Just Unscrewed improv company. Temple also has done stand-up and run several improv jams recently at The Screening Room.

“There’s great standup, improv, sketch, musical and storytelling,” Temple says. “The goal is a night where people may not know what they’re going to see, but they know that they’ll see quality entertainment that makes them laugh.”

Temple handles the stand-up bookings, and Wirges curates the improv and other acts for the series. She says she’s working out schedules with several Phoenix-based teams and others from throughout Arizona and the Southwest. Since the series began on Jan. 20, improvisers have included Tucson team Personal Space Invaders, and duos Hatch and Betchin from Comedy Temple and Time Travelers from Tucson Improv Movement. The veteran local musical comedy troupe Musical Mayhem is among bookings for a future date.

“I’m excited to see where it goes.” Temple says. “I’m excited to see the community aspect of it, because there are distinct comedy ‘crowds’, and a lot of us start to meet each other through different things because we’re all in entertainment. I’d like to get to a place where everyone knows each other and knows that they have a place to go to perform.”

The Screening Room, at 127 E Congress St., serves beer, wine, non-alcoholic beverages and theater snacks. Empire Pizza delivers from next door. The Screening Room also hosts a Tuesday night comedy series. Visit tsrdowntown.com for more information.
mary reed on the soap box

The recent weekend when, as executive director, Mary Reed hosted Tucson’s TEDx conference, also saw the completion of her national yarn-bombing project at Tucson Medical Center. The hospital offered tours to commemorate Tucson’s Jan. 8, 2011 shooting, of which Reed is a survivor. Friday, Jan. 27, at 9 p.m., she adds comedy to her quiver on Tucson Improv Movement’s weekly Soap Box show. She’ll tell short anecdotes and TIM’s best players will spin them into comedy scenes. TIM Theatre is at 329 E. 7th St.; $5 at the door.

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