07/20/16 4:19pm

filmstill-23

When I sat down for a screening of Don’t Think Twice, the new comedy from Mike Birbiglia, I was in a mood. It had been a long day at work, I had just booked it across midtown in a most unfavorable pair of heels, and, frankly, I wasn’t all that excited about the film I was about to see. Many indie films are a slow burn, sure, but a feature length film about improv comedy subculture? I didn’t have the highest expectations. An hour-and-a-half later, discreetly trying to wipe my tears with my sleeve, I had zero desire to leave the theatre.

Don’t Think Twice, actor, writer, and comedian Mike Birbiglia’s sophomore feature film, is the story of an improv group known as The Commune working in a dingy New York theatre. The six of them work for small crowds and for even smaller sums, are often on the prowl for a modicum of something that can be deemed as success. They also seem totally blissed out in one other’s company, a series of friendships that have clearly withstood the test of time and some awful jokes. They’re led by Miles (Birbiglia), a 30-something improv teacher with an affinity for sleeping with his younger students and claiming he’s always inches, just inches away from making it big. Then there’s spunky but spoiled Lindsay (Tami Sagher), whimsical Allison (Kate Micucci), and slightly pathetic Bill (Chris Gerhard). Gillian Jacobs and Keegan-Michael Key round out The Commune as Jack and Samantha, the romantic couple of the group. Although most of them live together in a crappy loft and pretty much all of the group suffers through a series of mundane day jobs, they’re happiest when doing what they’re best at: getting on a stage a few nights a week and fearlessly shooting the shit. (more…)

01/14/14 2:00pm
Tue January 21, 2014
Watch Ophira Eisenberg charm crowds and fellow comics alike at the next taping the comedy quiz show Ask Me Another, happening at The Bell House on Jan. 21. Photo: Steve McFarland/NPR

Watch Ophira Eisenberg charm crowds and fellow comics alike at the next taping of the comedy quiz show Ask Me Another, happening at The Bell House on Jan. 21. Photo: Steve McFarland/NPR

Sure, Chicago-based NPR geeks might get to lay claim to Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me and This American Life, but the public radio network’s latest and greatest comedy quiz show, Ask Me Another, is all Brooklyn. Recorded live at The Bell House, this game show/talk show hybrid is hosted by the borough’s own Ophira Eisenberg, a skilled and charming comedian who drives the show’s frenetic pace, deftly switching between standup routines, interviews with special guests, and grilling contestants and audience members with challenging—and fun—quizzes and puzzles. If you haven’t been to a taping yet, it is a really entertaining and worthwhile Tuesday night activity, and next week’s VIP guest is a trivia-lover’s dream: the editor of The World Almanac. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door, and if you can’t make it this week, you can still sign up for a future show featuring Lego artist Nathan Sawaya or much-beloved writer and comedian Mike Birbiglia.