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A spotlight on visiting acts

 

Keeping things fresh

We pride ourselves on putting up shows that are constantly changing and never exactly the same twice. Whether it’s the very nature of an improvised comedy show or a Saturday night stand-up act, the comedians we spotlight are committed to keeping things fresh.  

Part of that commitment is also bringing in talent from abroad and showcasing comedy we don’t otherwise see in Berlin. In the coming months we have booked some of the most exciting acts from the UK, Sweden and the States and not to mention an entire 2 weeks of EdFringe Previews in July.

Berlin as a comedy hub

3 years ago Berlin would never have seen so many visiting comedians from outside of Germany as we see today. Today, however, we (all of us) have made Berlin a veritable force in the comedy world. Not just from the comedians we’ve homegrown but also in the dedication we’ve put to putting up high quality shows and the deep interest shown by you, the audience.

Support the scene

That growing interest in comedy has made itself shown and we are hopefully answering the calls. So don’t let us down! Bringing in acts from abroad is never an easy endeavor and we’ve done everything in our power to keep the shows interesting and affordable (10€ to Asperger’s Are Us? Yes, please!). Come out, support the scene and see something different.


Upcoming visiting acts

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The CCB State of the Union

The CCB State of the Union

In many ways this summer has been very challenging for us at CCB. Weathering the storm of the Ordnungsamt was just the tip of the iceberg, it was immediately followed by beautiful scaffolding engulfing our building (everywhere is a bike rack!) plus stupid EURO2016 distracting our audiences, oh, and it just being summer and hot and nice outside (GAAWD) and YES we get that our air conditioner isn’t most well functioning device for the theater. AND YES, we knowthat the neighbor situation sucks! No one hates the “quiet outdoors after 10pm” situation more than us. The list goes on.

Though we are indeed weathering the storm, they feel at times like pyrrhic victories (victories won at too high a cost — I’ve been watching lots of Jeopardy lately).

BUT all the stress and uncertainty vanish when I see the crowds file in through the door to watch a show. I hate to say I’m proud because I’m part German and pride is a shameful thing — but something inside me ticks and I feel like somehow the struggles and challenges have been and are worth it.

Here’s what I mean:

The past two weeks we’ve held host to some of the world’s finest comedians as part of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival Previews. Amazing! A tip of the hat to all the performers and especially to Damien of the Plague of iDiOTs. And just a week week before that I hosted the monthly CCB Improv Jam, where anyone can sign up to perform improv on stage with other complete strangers. Roughly 50 people attended with 35 signed up to play. On a Sunday. In July. That. Is. Humbling. Period. There were new faces and familiar faces, there were family and friends. It was so great to see, especially after the last 2 months. AND then there was that week prior when 2 improv teams, Hot Box and Guillotine, and The Weird Show a sketch group, all formed from Hive classes, packed the house with their first shows ever. Gosh dangit.

Like a little oasis in the desert.

The CCB State of the Union is strengthening and our resolve is strong. We’ll keep trudging on; providing a stage for this growing scene.

So now what?

We’re back to semi-regular programming with some exciting new SCHTUFF! New shows and new programming and, of course, Berlin’s very first improv cage match tournament, The August Offensive! 8 teams, 3 Saturdays, 1 winner.

We’re excited to see you there, being a part of it all!

– Noah

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Happy Hour Beer Special – This week only!

We’ve updated the menu, let’s drink.

Introducing the Happy Hour Beer Special!

In preparation for warm weather we’ve added some new items to the menu, including Yoyo’s Dark & Stormy and Mellen & Katz Gin & Tonic. Let’s celebrate this change and the arrival of Spring with a good ol’ binge drink. This weekend only!

Happy Hour Beer Special!
From end of show to 11pm, all bottled Pils are €1,50.
Just present your show stamp* to the bartender and say “BEER ME”. 

*You have to buy a ticket to the show to be eligible.

So buy a goddamned ticket and see a goddamned comedy show.

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Bring it on, 2016!

There’s so much to say! But, wow, what an exciting year it’s been so far! Since opening on October 18th we’ve been non-stop boogying with shows, flowing beer and laughing audiences. 

Some stats:

  • 34 shows and 1 movie screening
  • 1,179 tickets sold
  • 6 sold out shows
  • 3 visiting comedians (Hari Kondabolu, John Robertson and Will Hines) 

Considering, after 3 months of being open, we haven’t had a single night where no one showed up, I think we’re doing pretty alright!

But there’s so much to improve and so much more excitement ahead. Starting in January, CCB will be standardizing it’s schedule, hyper focusing on show quality, offering classes and expanding our café and bar offerings.

What’s in store for 2016?

Shows

  • Donnerstags auf Deutsch – Every Thursday will be dedicated to German language comedy linchpinned by “Das Comedy Labor”, an evening for established and newly established comedians to try out new material, hosted by Jonas Imam and Michael Timm.

  • Friday Night Improv – Every Friday night will feature a regular rotation of short-form and long-form improv comedy, including ComedySportz and Good Luck, Barbara!

  • Stand-Up Saturdays! – Presented by our friends at Egg & Bear, Saturdays are dedicated to the best of the best stand-ups from “homegrown talent to imported celebrities”. It’s comedy for comedy lovers!

  • Sunday Specials – On Sunday evening, you’ll find a mixed bag of live podcast recordings, sketch shows and, something new we’re trying out, Tatort auf englisch – Tatort dubbed into English, live.  
    And to add to it all, you can already start purchasing your tickets online through Eventbrite. #woot

Improv classes

We’ve also teamed up with Hive Improv and will be hosting 4 improv classes every week. If you’re interested, free previews for classes start January 9th! Make sure you sign up!

Food

It’s too soon for us to divulge any details about our plans to kick the kitchen into full gear but just know that in a very short while we’re going to be making mouths water. Watch this space. 

From all of us at CCB, we hope you have a fantastic year ahead and when you don’t, stop by and cheer yourself up. 😀

-Noah
 

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Good Luck, Barbara!

Good Luck, Barbara! is Nicole Ratjen, Chris Rock, Josh Telson, and Noah Telson (plus special guests).

We are American/Canadian expats who perform quick-witted, physical, rapid fire yet slow burning English-language long form improv comedy in Berlin, Germany. We have been described as “delightfully quirky” by RBB radio and “a definite recommendation” by impro-news.de. We also perform with various other improv groups, including ComedySportz Berlin.We have trained with the Upright Citizens Brigade, Miles Stroth Workshop, ComedySportz, Dad’s Garage, Lee White, Joe Bill, and others.

You can find us on FacebookTwitter and Tumblr

Former members and special guests of our group include Carlo RitchieTess Degenstein, Maddie Parker, Andrew Reid, Make Shift Improv and Will Hines.  
 

“These guys and gal are a must-see. The sheer speed of their combined brains and sharp humor is mind blowing. I may or may not have laughed til I peed.”
– Kristian Bruun, Actor, BBC’s Orphan Black

“With a passion for the art, the audience and pushing forward it’s hard to imagine these performers not making a big mark on the scene.”
– Lee White, The Crumbs

“Delightfully quirky…”
– rbb inforadio |http://www.inforadio.de/programm/schema/sendungen/kultur/201406/205833.html

“Exciting, a definite recommendation.”
– impro-news.de | http://www.impro-news.de/2014/05/good-luck-barbara-english-improv-longform-in-berlin/

“Good Luck, Barbara! are one of the hottest improv outfits on the
scene. Their obvious chemistry is fantastic to see and no doubt the product of years of honing their group mind. This is something people should see. If your sides aren’t hurting at the end of a GLB show, you’re either impervious to laughter or are significantly fitter than I am, which, frankly, no one is.  A bunch of bloody legends, these guys are the dope. Drink. It. In… or regret it soon and for the rest of your life. They’re just so damned tight!”
– Carlo Ritchie, “The Bear Pack”, “Bonus Stage”, Director “Improv Theatre Sydney”

“In a city that is quickly gaining a reputation for its English comedy “Good Luck, Barbara!” is leading the way. With intelligent, quick-witted storytelling and a quirky, surprising cast, GLB is a joy to watch each and every show. You can’t even call them Berlin’s best kept comedy anymore. The word is out. And the audiences are laughing.”
– Mat Mailandt, NOTORIOUS

“Good Luck Barbara does wonderfully inventive, highly intelligent improv.  Comprised of individually skilled members, their chemistry and experience together creates truly dynamic and unique theatre. Their audience base is enthusiastic and loyal; and GLB never disappoints, delivering whimsical stories, cracked characters, cultural commentary, and huge laughs to eager crowds in Berlin. Simply put, their shows are electric- not to be missed.”
– Tess Degenstein, Improviser/Actor

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Opening party and shows at CCB have been announced!

Good news! We’ve been working tirelessly to figure out the best lineup of shows for our first season! Not everything is fully confirmed but we couldn’t hold back our excitement any longer. Have a look at our shows page and start reserving your tickets!

A big thanks goes out to Egg and Bear who are helping produce many of the shows. 

And finally! Come to our opening party on October 18th @ 7:00p. 
There’ll be a showcase of Berlin’s international, alternative comedy acts. You can let us know you’re coming on Facebook

-NT
 

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And we’re live! Krautfunding on Kickstarter!

We’re crowdfunding this month! Get involved and get some great rewards in return (like a toilet named after you)!

#KrautfundComedy

Please share!
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/noahtelson/berlins-first-alternative-comedy-stage

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Field research

I’m in the States for a brief visit. Thankfully, I was able to catch a TJ and Dave show whilst in Chicago. 

“One of these guys is the best improviser in the world. And the other one is better.” – Stephen Colbert

The show was fantastic and it’s inspiring to see amazing improv in a city that nurtures it. It gives me high hopes for where we can take improv in Berlin. 

The highlight, though, was meeting with Dave Pasquesi after the show. He was generous enough to speak with me about running a comedy theater. While their model is different than CCB, it was good to pick his brain and get some sage advice from someone who’s been in the business for a long time (HE USED TO HAVE A SHOW WITH DEL CLOSE!). He even showed me around the Mission Theater where iO now lives (the CCB stage is largely inspired by the iO stages).   

The biggest take-away though, is hearing his thoughts about performing and running the actual space. To put a moratorium on business related matters when you have your own show to put on. All the pressure of making sure you’re pulling an audience, marketing, reviews and critics, can effect a show negatively – and that is inherently counter to why we’re doing this.  Preserve what made you get into this in the first place. Boom.

-NT

 

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Comedy already

Good news everyone! There is already some great comedy coming out of CCB and the show is called “The Contractors Who Are Renovating The Space.” And damn, they are good. The show is full of twists and turns, you’ll laugh, you’ll cry. And the best part is: the price of the show is negotiable!

If you want to see the show yourself, just go ahead and open a café and let them come to you. Make sure you read every invoice.

Seriously though, these guys are the worst. It’s like doing business with goldfish. Here’s how a rough idea of how a conversation goes:

Us: Please don’t do that yet, we’re waiting on other offers.
Contractor: Okay.
One day later.
Us: Why did you do that? We told you not to do that yet.
Contractor: Oh it’s fine. I’ll charge you for a lower price.
Us: Okay.
One day later.
Us: You invoiced us for a higher price.
Contractor: Yeah, I can’t do it for a lower price.
Us: You said you could do it for a lower price yesterday.
Contractor: Okay.

Additional laughs brought to you by the guys who ran the sound cables.
Let’s just say they overcharged us by 400%.

Eyes and ears, fellas. Eyes and ears.