Groundlings Theatre & School Marks 40th Anniversary with 40 IS THE NEW GROUNDLINGS, Beg. 5/2
Heralding the modern era of comedic improv which begat new generations of film, TV and stage talent, the Groundlings Theatre & School is proudly marking its 40th anniversary this May. The 30-day celebration brings back some classic Groundlings shows as well as the new main stage show, 40 Is the New Groundlings, opening May 2.
In addition to current troupe members, Groundlings alumni scheduled to appear during the anniversary month include Kristen Wiig, Jim Rash, Phil LaMarr, Mindy Sterling, Jennifer Coolidge, Taran Killam, Stephanie Courtney, Rachael Harris, Nat Faxon, Laraine Newman, Maya Rudolph, Michaela Watkins, Jillian Bell, Will Forte and dozens of others (cast announcements upcoming). The month-long celebration will culminate with a quadragintennial gala event with red-carpet appearances from the current company and alumni.
"The month of May will be an extraordinary opportunity for comedy lovers to see some of the best talents who have come through our doors over the past four decades," said Managing Director Heather de Michele.
The centerpiece of the month-long festivities will be a celebration of each decade on every Tuesday through May, starting with the 70's on May 6th. Each decade show will feature Groundlings alumni from that decade reprising their favorite sketches. Ticket costs for these performances are $25 and guests will enjoy an open bar and opportunity to "talk back" with performers after each performance.
The month of non-stop Groundlings excitement also includes a special line-up of fan-favorite shows from the past each week including:
- "Beverly Winwood Presents the Actor's Showcase" Monday, May 5 at 8:00 and 10:00 p.m. - Back after a series of sold out performances in 2012, this sketch comedy show is a parody of an actor's showcase and features dozens of Groundlings alumni including Mindy Sterling, Lynne Stewart, Phil LaMarr, Jim Rash, Nat Faxon and many more.
- "Black Version" Monday May 19 at 8:00 p.m. - A wildly popular improv show that puts a new spin on your favorite films. Featuring Gary Anthony Williams, Jordan Black, Phil LaMarr, Daniele Gainther and more.
- "You're Own TV Show!" Monday, May 12 at 8:00 p.m. - A brand new improvised sitcom is created and screened right before your very eyes - featuring Michael Hitchcock, Sarah Baker, Mindy Sterling, Sherri Stoner and many more.
- "Idiotsitter" Thursday, May 15 at 10:00 p.m. - From the writers and creators of the hit Comedy Central show, Idiotsitter will be in the house to share their favorite bits and wild stories. Featuring Jillian Bell and Charlotte Newhouse
- "Kids Sketch!" Saturday, May 10 at 2:00 p.m. - A hilarious matinee for the 3-9 year old set featuring Stephanie Courtney, Guy Stevenson, Brian Palermo and many more.
- "SNL Improv Night" Thursday, May 22 at 10:00 p.m. - Taran Killam, Mikey Day and some of our favorite SNL cast members for an improv set.
The line-up will also feature special appearances with illustrious alumni during the staple Groundlings shows each week including:
- "Cooking with Gas" Thursdays in May, 8:00 p.m. - A staple since 1992, The Groundlings Main Company, Alumni and Sunday Companies in the all-improv evening with special guests.
- "The Crazy Uncle Joe Show" Tuesdays in May, 8:00 p.m. - L.A.'s longest running "long-form" improvisation shows! The Groundlings begin with three suggestions from the crowd, and then proceed to weave the stories together, traveling back and forth through time, playing different characters in many different situations. During the month of May, many special guests from the past expected to drop in.
- "Thursday Night Mystery Box" Thursdays in May, 10:00 p.m. - There is a new slew of shows every Thursday as part of The Thursday Night Mystery Box with your favorite performers from around town in new shows every week!
- "40 is the New Groundlings" Fridays at 8:00 p.m. and Saturdays at 8:00 and 10:00 p.m. - The legendary Groundlings Theatre troupe presents its latest and greatest main stage show. It's an evening of sketches and some improvisation, always original and always hilarious.
- "The Completely Different Late Show" Fridays at 10:00 p.m. - Hilarity knows no hours with the all-star improv extravaganza of the Main Company. The show is different every week, featuring Main Company Groundlings.
- "Dail S For Sunday" Sundays at 7:30 p.m. - The pinnacle of Groundlings School, The Sunday Company puts forth new sketches every week in this refreshing show. It's a fun cast, brimming with new talent.
All tickets will go on sale April 16th and are limited for all performances. 40 Is the New Groundlings opens on Friday, May 2nd at 8:00 p.m. The performance schedule is Fridays at 8:00 p.m. and Saturdays at 8:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. through July 12th . Tickets range from $10-25 and are available at the box office or via phone at (323) 934-4747. On Friday, May 2nd only, opening night tickets are $50.00 and include hors d'oeuvres from Melrose Umbrella Co. and open bar with cocktails featuring Tito's Handmade Vodka. The Groundlings Theatre is located at 7307 Melrose Avenue in West Hollywood. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.groundlings.com.
About The Groundlings Theatre: The Groundlings Theatre is an improvisation and sketch comedy theatre that has been entertaining LA audiences for 40 years. They are a non-profit organization founded by Gary Austin in 1974. A "Groundling" is one of the 30 company members who write and perform in the theatre's shows and teach classes at the Groundling's School. The school has been the foremost comedy training ground in Hollywood and the springboard for countless careers including comic geniuses from film and television such as Jennifer Coolidge, Will Ferrell, Ana Gasteyer, Kathy Griffin, Cheryl Hines, Chris Kattan, Lisa Kudrow, Jon Lovitz, Melissa McCarthy, Michael McDonald, Jim Rash, Paul Reubens, Maya Rudolph, Mindy Sterling and Kristen Wiig, among others. In addition to being comedy performers, Groundlings members and alumni hold writing positions on many of Hollywood's top television and film projects.