After a decade of performances at bars and theaters (UCB, PIT, Magnet, Barrow Street) Beauty Love Truth- improvised scenes inspired by a live musician - is holding a residency at the PIT on the last Thursday of each month at 8pm.
Wonderful guest musicians play a few of their songs, and after each song, the rotating cast of improvisers create scenes inspired by the mood, images, themes, or words from the song. Nothing is planned; sweet, tragic, or ridiculous relationships unfold, worlds are created or destroyed, souls enlightened or crushed, and magic truths underscored with laughter.
Recent musical guests include: Georgia and Ira from Yo La Tengo, The Spring Standards, Bob Dorough, Mike Doughty, Chris Mills, LiAnne Smith, Warren Malone, David Nagler, Niall Connolly, and many more. This month's show will feature special guest musician Bob Dorough (Schoolhouse Rock! & MiLes Davis) to inspire the scenes.
This show is co-produced and co-directed by Shannon Manning and Louie Pearlman, who explains, "I was Shannon's student, and her Beauty Love Truth was always very inspiring to me: rich, unique, and theatrical. Then I taught the format to my own students, and now I'm so pleased to continue to build this show with an incredibly talented pool of improvisers!"
Show creator Shannon Manning, who studied improv with Del Close in Chicago (and at Second City and UCB, and later cofounded Magnet Theater) says, "Beauty Love Truth was a response to the tragedy a decade ago in New York. The title came from an attempt to distill 'What is the Point of Anything Anyway' into three words...shout Beauty! Love! Truth! to the sky when you say it! So we get to explore the images and ideas of the musicians, and celebrate the art of others, which is the heart of our philosophy of improvisation (and of life!): to listen, to learn, to build on someone else's ideas, to make one another look good, to serve the whole. Of course the show also goes into goofball territory but we need that, too. The music grounds the show, spiritually and structurally."
The show is also inspired by the duo's vision to build community, drawing on performers and audiences from music, improv, standup, writing worlds. Every show is introduced by a writer or comedian who presents something on the topic of beauty, love, and/or truth. The cast always includes some returning improvisers and a few new ones, and even some guest actors who usually do not improvise. "The audience is the most important part of this community," says Shannon. "We believe there is something magical about the experience of live music, and of improv, and being in New York gives us the opportunity, the calling, to collaborate. Our audience becomes a part of that experience with us, the active listening, and the discovery."
Manning and Pearlman recently taught and performed Beauty Love Truth in Calgary, AB Canada with local musicians and improvisers, and are hoping to bring the show to more cities so people can create their own forms based on the model and foster more music/comedy crossovers.
The cast of improvisers for the July 26 performance:
Matt Higgins (Centralia, Burn Manhattan)
Terry Jinn (UCB, The Project)
Bradford Jordan (Story Pirates, PIT)
Shannon Manning (Second City, IO, UCB, "Conan")
Louie Pearlman (Story Pirates, The Spidey Project, Buckshot N Benny)
Mark Sam Rosenthal ("Blanche Survives Katrina in a FEMA Trailer Named Desire")
Alexis Saarela ( Someday the Cake, Taco Supreme)
Lauren Sharpe (NeoFuturists NY and Chicago "Too Much Light Makes Baby Go Blind," "The Complete and Condensed Stage Directions of Eugene O'Neill, Vol. 1." The New Victory Theater, Big Apple Circus Clown Care)
and special guest improviser Garry Goodrow (The Committee, Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice, The Connection, Dirty Dancing, National Lampoon's Lemmings, Honey I Blew Up The Kids-writer)
INTRO BY: Sara Schaefer ("You Had to Be There," MTV, Fallon) who will speak on the subject of Beauty Love AND/OR Truth.
The event takes place on Thursday, July 26, 2012 8pm at Peoples Improv Theater aka The PIT 123 E 24th BTW Park & Lex (new location, by Madison Square Park!). Running Time: 60 mins. Tickets $10. General Admission, available at 800-838-3006 or thepit-nyc.com.
There is an adjoining bar and café with light food, so early arrival and after-hang is encouraged.