Comedy troupes still successful without Cellar
MATT C APOWSKI
Comedy Corner members perform Wednesday night in their new venue, Modern Languages room 350. Student comedy productions were forced to move from their original location in The Cellar due to the demolition of the Memorial Student Union.
Friday September 7, 2001
Comedy Corner, Darwin Experience adjust to new venue
put in info box!!
Though the recent demolition of the Memorial Student Union has forced several student productions to relocate, dedicated patrons don't seem to mind.
Comedy Corner, a student-produced sketch comedy troupe, had performed in The Cellar of the old union since 1979. However, when it was announced The Cellar was to be torn down last spring, the comedy group realized it had to seek an alternative venue.
That new venue is the Modern Languages auditorium, which seats approximately 300 people.
Still, Justin Thomas, a media arts sophomore and Comedy Corner producer, said that despite the move, nearly 200 people attended the troupe's Wednesday performance. He added that the troupe has been pleased with its success so far.
"The whole thing has been a huge adjustment," he said. "We're coping and we're very pleased with the way it's going."
Thomas added that although 200 is a fairly good turnout, it's hard to say whether it's an improvement over last year because The Cellar was such a small venue.
The Charles Darwin Experience, another comedy troupe that performed in The Cellar for five years, was also forced to relocate to the Modern Languages auditorium because of union construction.
Jason Moore, a theater arts sophomore and Darwin actor, said the show has continued to gather large crowds despite the relocation. He attributed the success to increased advertising during freshman orientation.
"We gave out almost 1,000 flyers," he said, "(At) the first show, we had people standing."
Although the last few shows have been successful for both comedy troupes, actors said they have had to deal with the loss of an intimate setting provided by The Cellar.
"The atmosphere has totally changed," Moore said. "We're separated from the audience, but we're still able to have interaction."
However, fans have not been too disappointed with the move.
"Other than The Cellar, this is the best place on campus to have (Comedy Corner)," said Joshua Bowser, a computer science senior.
In addition to the two comedy acts, Eat to the Beat concerts, sponsored by the University Activities Board, used to be held twice a week in The Cellar.
J.J. Kruglick, director of UABconcerts, said UAB has considered the possibility of relocating Eat to the Beat to the Park Student Union.
Other significant performances buried with the tradition of The Cellar include UAB's Shakespeare in the Cellar, as well as concerts by punk band Fenix TX and rock band Smashing Pumpkins in the early '90s.
Dan Adams, director of Arizona Student Unions, said that the new Cellar, scheduled to open in December 2002, will be equipped with food services and enhanced lighting and sound capabilities.
"It will be similar in operation to the old Cellar," Adams said, "We're really looking forward to offering more to the performing groups and students."
Comedy Corner performs Wednesdays at 10:15 p.m. in Modern Languages 350. The Charles Darwin Experience performs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. in the same location.