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Featured Image: Baby Wants Candy
More than 65 improv acts from across U.S. to perform Jan. 24-25 at ArtsQuest Center; tickets for festival are on sale now
BETHLEHEM, PA—The critically acclaimed Baby Wants Candy and one of the most popular Asian American improv shows in the nation highlight the 7th Annual SteelStacks Improv Comedy Festival Jan. 24-25 at the ArtsQuest Center at SteelStacks, 101 Founders Way, Bethlehem. The festival will also feature 60-plus other improv comedy groups, with performers descending on SteelStacks from across the country to entertain audiences for a comedy marathon. Festival hours are 6 p.m.-1 a.m. Friday and 10 a.m.-2 a.m. on Saturday.
One of the most popular comedy ensembles in the world, Baby Wants Candy has performed more than 3,000 completely improvised musicals to thousands of fans from Chicago and New York to Singapore and Scotland. Entirely based on audience suggestion and accompanied by a full band, the show is a roller-coaster ride of spontaneously choreographed dance numbers, rhyming verses and witty, jaw-dropping comedy.
Baby Wants Candy, which will take the stage Jan. 25, 9:30 p.m., has helped launch the careers of some of the top comedic talent in the US. Cast and alumni include Aidy Bryant (Saturday Night Live), Jack McBrayer (30 Rock), Peter Gwinn (Colbert Report), Thomas Middleditch (HBO’s Silicon Valley), Lauren Conlan Adams (The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt), Jessica McKenna (Off Book!), Nicole Parker (Elephaba in Wicked on Broadway) and many more.
On Jan. 24, 9:30 p.m., the SteelStacks Improv Comedy Festival welcomes Asian AF. The first Asian American improv show at the UCB Theatre in Los Angeles, Asian AF was created as a way to showcase even more comedic Asian American talent. Asian AF spotlights the best Asian American actors, stand-up comedians, improvisers, sketch performers, musicians, dancers and storytellers. The show has been featured on several news sites such as NBC News, ABC News, Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Google, Splitsider, Gizmodo and many more.
Due to its immense popularity in Los Angeles, ASIAN AF was brought to New York in June 2017. It has the unique honor of being the first ever UCBTLA performance to become a monthly show in New York at the UCB Theatre. The SteelStacks Improv Comedy Festival show lineup will feature stand-up by Alex Song, as well as improv by Donald Chang, Amir Khan, Jenny Arimoto, Akmal Tajihan and Alex Cheng.
In addition to the headlining performances, the improv festival will showcase improv groups from New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington D.C., Boston and Austin, as well as more than one dozen teams from the Lehigh Valley.
Among the many highlights are Off The Top from New York City doing hip-hop improv; Promises, an Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre house team from New York; The Crocodile’s Dilemma out of Pittsburgh, which does an improvised soap opera; and The Great Old Ones, which performs horror improv. On Jan. 25, Bird & Friends Cosmic Unity will take the stage. This one-man show allows anyone in the audience to come up on stage at any time to participate in the performance.
SteelStacks Improv Comedy Festival Friday tickets are $15.50-$18 in advance and $18.50-$21 day of show; Saturday tickets are $24-$27 in advance and $28-$31 day of show. Tickets are on sale now at www.steelstacks.org/comedy and 610-332-3378.
The complete schedule of performances is:
FRIDAY, JANUARY 24
6:25 p.m. Ceremonial Yes And Ceremony
6:30 Cat & Vegas & the Temple of Boom (Aberdeen, NJ)
6:50 Top Shelf (New York, NY)
7:10 Mercy Santos (New York, NY)
7:30 Hot Pursuit (Baltimore, MD)
7:50 Hundred Hand Slap (New York, NY)
8:10 Big Check (Lehigh Valley, PA)
8:30 Gym Crush (New York, NY)
8:50 Kittyhawk (New York, NY)
9:10 Staycation (Lehigh Valley, PA)
9:30 Asian AF
10:30 Trash & Cash (New York, NY)
10:50 At Last (New York, NY)
11:20 (in space) (Philadelphia, PA)
11:40 Evan & Andy’s Most Excellent Adventure (Lehigh Valley, PA)
11:55 The Deep End (Pittsburgh, PA)
12:10 a.m. The Associated Mess (Lehigh Valley, PA)
12:25 Yeah, I’m Kind of Afraid (Lehigh Valley, PA)
12:40 BITS SHOW
SATURDAY, JANUARY 25
10:30 a.m. Muhlenberg Improv Association (Muhlenberg College, Allentown, PA)
10:45 Stroopwafel (Emerson College, Boston, MA)
11:00 Improv Technicians (Rutgers University, Newark NJ)
11:15 No Parking Players (Carnegie Mellon, Pittsburgh, PA)
11:30 Bangin’ (New York, NY)
11:50 Daddy Issues (Philadelphia, PA)
12:10 p.m. KP&J (Denver, CO)
12:30 Improvised Wikipedia Podcast (Lehigh Valley, PA)
12:45 Robot Love (Hartford, CT)
1:00 A++ (Baltimore, MD)
1:20 The Lodge (Washington, D.C.)
1:40 History of the Future (Hartford, CT)
1:55 Fancy Boys (Pittsburgh, PA)
2:10 Topiary (Baltimore, MD)
2:30 The Broken Bones (Washington DC)
2:50 OLGA (New York, NY)
3:10 Captain PhD (Washington, D.C.)
3:30 UnaVOIDable (Lehigh Valley, PA)
3:50 Seattle Spaceman (New York, NY)
4:05 Best Party Ever (Washington, D.C.)
4:20 The Crocodile’s Dilemma (Pittsburgh, PA)
4:40 Heavy Rotation (Washington, D.C.)
5:00 The Breakfast Boys (New York, NY)
5:20 Synced Up (Lehigh Valley, PA)
5:40 37 Puppies (Washington, D.C.)
6:00 Bird & Friends (New York, NY)
6:20 Axel Mom (Lehigh Valley, PA)
6:40 Whiplash (Philadelphia, PA)
7:00 Promises (New York, NY)
7:30 The Great Old Ones (Lehigh Valley, PA)
7:50 Off The Top (New York, NY)
8:10 Neighbors (Boston, MA)
8:30 My Privacy (New York, NY)
8:50 CHUCHO (New York, NY)
9:10 Stevedore (New York, NY)
9:30 Baby Wants Candy
10:30 The Fourtets (+1) (Lehigh Valley, PA)
10:50 You Are Not Alone (New York, NY)
11:10 DTI (Providence, RI)
11:30 Naughty By Nurture (Lehigh Valley, PA)
11:45 Young Retirees (New York, NY)
12:00a Sloppy Seconds (Austin, TX)
12:15 KDM (Boston, MA)
12:30 SAW JAMS (Lancaster, PA)
12:45 Detectives Devlin & Lunger (Lehigh Valley, PA)
1:00 Shots on a Monday (Washington, D.C.)
1:15 BITS SHOW
For more information on the festival, visit www.steelstacks.org/comedy.
Information provided to TVL by:
Mark Demko, ArtsQuest