Share This Page

New comedy club added to Pittsburgh Cultural District lineup

| Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2013, 2:10 p.m.

Arcade Comedy Theater is on a mission to bring more laughter to Pittsburgh's Cultural District.

On Jan. 25, the company will debut in a newly renovated, 60-seat performance space at 811 Liberty Ave. as part of the Gallery Crawl.

The newly formed company is a spinoff of the improvisation and comedy performances that have been a popular offering of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust-sponsored Late Night Cabaret performances in the Theater Square Cabaret, says Randy Kirk, the manager at the Theater Square Cabaret and managing director of Arcade Comedy Theater.

“We've had good success with the improv jams and comedians,” Kirk says. “We will now be able to expand into earlier time slots to expand our audiences.”

Joining Kirk as founders of Arcade Comedy Theater are Abby Fudor from the female comedy group Frankly Scarlett, Michael Rubino from the comedy group Cellar Dwellers and improv artists Kristy and Jethro Nolen, who recently moved here from Chicago.

Kirk emphasized that the new company is an addition to the Downtown entertainment scene, and Late Night Cabaret will continue to offer a full, diverse schedule of performances that include improv and comedy.

Arcade Comedy Theater will begin with weekend performances of stand-up comedians, performances by improv and sketches comedy teams, and jugglers and other vaudeville-style acts.

But Kirk expects the schedule will quickly expand to Wednesdays and Thursdays and as many as three performances in an evening.

“The idea is that you can come out, see a show, go have a beer and come back to see a second show,” Kirk says.

Ticket prices will range from $8-$10 but may go as low as $5 for some events.

When the company performed as a First Night feature, it attracted lots of families with children, Kirk says. Encouraged by the response, the company plans to begin offering early evening shows aimed at younger audiences later this spring.

“In addition to performances, we will have workshops on improv and sketch comedy writing for kids and adults across all skill and interest levels,” Kirk says.

Arcade Comedy Theater is another project that extends the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust's mission, says Marc Fleming, vice president for marketing and communications for the Trust, which owns the building.

“It's about bringing the arts to the Cultural District and keeping Liberty Avenue lively,” Fleming says.

The Trust is leasing the space to Arcade Comedy Theater on a temporary basis while it pursues plans to convert the building to residential housing. The arrangement is similar to those the Trust has with Bricolage Production Company and Pittsburgh Playwrights' Theatre.

Kirk knows the location is temporary and expects to find another similar space nearby if or when it becomes necessary.

In the meantime, he says, the company is happy to be sharing this high-traffic block with neighbors such as Crazy Mocha, Go Pretzel and the Harris Theater:

“We love the street level location,” Kirk says. “We love the block.”

Alice T. Carter is the theater critic for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-320-7808.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.