Los Angeles Theater Preview: GROUNDLINGS MIX TAPE (The Groundlings Theatre)

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by Frank Arthur on January 8, 2020

in Theater-Los Angeles


For over four decades, The Groundlings has proved itself to be one of the premiere comedy troupes in the nation, creating more stars than the Big Bang. Performers showcase material that arises from improvisation workshops, and the scenes that have been created are legendary. The problem is, once the current Main Stage show closes, it’s all over — although characters such as Pee Wee Herman and Pat go on forever. The good news is that this trippy troupe is unearthing sketches from the past, creating a best of the best program called Groundlings Mix Tape. Hilarity will ensue beginning this weekend and continue through for a month (Jan. 10–Feb. 1). Groupies, take heed, there are new show times: Fridays @ 7:30 and Saturdays @ 7:30 and 9:30.

Here’s the best part: it’s a grab bag featuring a rotating cast of Groundlings and alumni, so not one of these performances is like the other. Directed by Groundlings Michael Churven and Chris Eckert, Groundlings Mix Tape will feature, among others, Alex Staggs, Ariane Price, Samantha DeSurra, Josh Duvendeck, Chris Guerra, Annie Sertich, Leonard Robinson, and Mary Sheer.

This is also a great introduction to those who [still] have yet to attend this L.A. treasure. Just watching a Groundlings show should be a prerequisite for any actor; I have seen each of these performers, and they all demonstrate nuance, invention, authenticity and commitment to choice — even when portraying their creations as expansive caricatures. Going to this intimate theater in the heart of the Melrose district is also a much-needed shot of energy where the patrons are enthusiastic and in pure party mode. Nowhere else in town can I guarantee belly laughs. What a great way to start the year!

photos courtesy of The Groundlings

Groundlings Mix Tape
Groundlings Theatre, 7307 Melrose Ave
Fri at 7:30; Sat at 7:30 and 9:30
ends on February 1, 2019
for tickets ($18-25), call 323.934.4747 or visit Groundlings

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