Comedy Arts Pittsburgh (CAP) is pleased to report that Marina Franklin and The Cast headlined the fifth annual Pittsburgh Comedy Festival (PCF) on August 22nd-26th, 2018. Celebrating five years of laughs, PCF brought some of the best and brightest comedic talent in from across the country – and for the first time we brought out four more show headliners as well: say hello to stand-ups Todd Barry and JC Coccoli, and improv acts Casually Dope and LimboLand!
New York-based Marina Franklin is emerging as one of the hottest comedians in the comedy scene today, with such notable appearances as: HBO’s Crashing, the movie Trainwreck, Stephen Colbert’s Late Show, Conan, Louie Season V, the Jim Gaffigan Show, Showtime’s Women Who Kill, and Chappelle’s Show.
She is a favorite in Comedy Festivals across the world, including Melbourne Comedy Festival, Scotland’s Glasgow Comedy Festival, BBC’s World Stand’s Up, Rotterdam’s Comedy Factory, Montreal’s Just For Laughs, Ireland’s Kilkenny Comedy Festival, and Nashville’s Bonnaroo Music Festival. Franklin’s approach is to “take [her] life, which is already funny, and let people in on the world of a Single Black Female.” She is “viciously likeable, if there is such a thing.”
The Cast, a long-running all-female weekend team at the Magnet Theater in New York City, brings you behind the curtain of a fully improvised play. See the performers and the drama move from on-stage to backstage, in any of 100+ different genres! Will the play’s star-crossed lovers be off-stage enemies? Will the Shakespearean cutpurse get a little too Method? Will the murder mystery detective really die, leaving the cast without a clue? All this – AND MORE – might happen! Come for the fake play. Stay for the fake players.
The Cast has been featured in the New York Times’ theater section and in Time Out New York’s print edition. The Cast performs Saturdays at the Magnet Theater and has had the pleasure of teaching and performing at the Baltimore Improv Festival, XFEST Baltimore, the Hartford Improv Fest, the Vancouver International Improv Festival, the Phoenix Improv Festival, the Detroit Improv Festival, the Washington Improv Theater, and more.
New York City-based comedian and actor Todd Barry is widely recognized for his roles as the bongo-playing “Third Conchord” on HBO’s Flight of the Conchords and Mickey Rourke’s deli boss in 2009 Oscar winner The Wrestler, and renowned throughout the entertainment industry for his nuanced, measured, and thoroughly original approach to stand-up. Drawing audience members in with his deadpan self-deprecation and ability to pile punchline upon punchline, his decidedly low-key stage persona belies a deeply intelligent, often biting, occasionally absurdist worldview, one lauded by discerning fans who seek a fresh yet honest update to traditional observation and social commentary.
Boasting multiple stand-up appearances on The Late Show with David Letterman, Late Night with Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, two Comedy Central Presents specials, and his latest one hour Comedy Central special Super Crazy, Todd’s resume also includes such hit TV shows as Louie, Delocated, Bored to Death, Tim and Eric, Chappelle’s Show, Sex and the City, and even Sesame Street. Among his additional feature-film highlights are Todd Phillips’s Road Trip, Louis CK’s Pootie Tang, and Mitch Hedberg’s Los Enchiladas. You can see him as Sigourney Weaver’s right hand man in Amy Heckerling’s Vamps, and as Paul Rudd’s co-worker in David Wain’s Wanderlust. Todd has earned the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival’s Jury Award, praise from Ricky Gervais as one of the best comedians of 2009, and accolades from The Onion’s A.V. Club, which declared his album Medium Energy one of the best comedy albums of the decade.
JC Coccoli is Earth’s fiercest comedy darling. Equal parts explosive and mindful, her comedy is engaging, cry your eyes out funny, and comes from the heart. Ms. Coccoli is a Pittsburgh-born, Venice Beach-based comedian, writer, producer, and activist. She continues to devote herself to kindness, meditation, and human growth while continuing to explore the interesting world of science, outer space and innovation in her comedic routine.
In a career successfully spanning thirteen years, JC landed a leading role on the hit MTV sketch show Hey Girl and VH1’s reboot of Best Week Ever early in her work. From there, she hustled to cement her stake in the early 2000’s standup scene performing regular gigs at the Upright Citizen’s Brigade Theater, The Laugh Factory and Improv comedy clubs in both LA and NYC. She has done comedy at San Francisco Sketch fest, Boston Comedy festival, NY Comedy festival, SXSW, Bonnaroo, Comic Con, Coachella, Copenhagen, and the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Her TV appearances include Comedy Central’s Key and Peele, WHY? with Hannibal Buress, Chelsea Lately, and Last Comic Standing season 8.
JC is also an advocate for Women’s Rights supporting Gloria Steinem and @EqualityNow an advocacy program that strives for equal rights for women and girls. Her debut comedy album produced by ASpecialThing records will be released in 2018 entitled Help! I need a new boyfriend and will be available on iTunes.
Fresh from the Charm City, Casually Dope is a special project from the Baltimore Improv Group. With our mix of high-energy, audience-inspired short-form and long-form, we create characters you’ll never forget and leave you satisfied as your Mama’s sweet potato pie. Most importantly, we represent for our city.
One man. Four chairs. Unlimited characters. LimboLand is a one man tour-de-force. Veteran actor/improvisor T.J. Mannix plays every role in a completely improvised, music-fueled show. Whether duetting with himself or playing eight family members at the same time, T.J. mines the humor, passion, and dark sides that make us irresistible. At the mercy of Music Director James Rushin, any character can be forced to skillfully break into song.
T.J. Mannix is a 21-year veteran of the NYC improv scene and the Second City. He has toured several times with The Second City/NCL, is an original cast member of the critically-acclaimed BLANK the Musical off-Broadway, and is the Founder/Producer of the 10th annual New York Musical Improv Festival (coming this October 18-21, 2018). T.J. has taught/performed at the UCB, P.I.T., and Magnet Theaters and is a faculty member at the Professional Conservatory of Musical Theater at the New York Film Academy in Manhattan. He has appeared in over 80 commercials along with Law and Order: SVU, Law and Order, L&O Criminal Intent, Late Night with Conan O’Brien, As the World Turns, All My Children, and One Life to Live.
T.J. has directed two award-winning original movie musicals. Plus One (featuring Jen Perry from Broadway’s Kinky Boots) was named Best Musical/Best LGBT-themed film in D.C. and Best Musical at the Manhattan Film Festival. His second movie musical American Dreamin’ (featuring Brian O’Brien from Broadway’s Chicago) is currently in post production.