Minneapolis, MN - Production is ramping up at the Brave New Workshop Comedy Theatre, with Opening Night of the BNW's 55th Anniversary show just over a week away. "Attack of the Best of the Brave New Workshop," the theatre's 281st revue, celebrates the BNW's continued livelihood as one of the longest-running theatres in Minnesota, as well as the longest-running satirical theatre in the United States. "Attack of the Best of the Brave New Workshop," which begins previews on July 5 and officially opens July 13, will include sketches from many recent shows, including but not limited to:
"Bye, Bye Bachmann"
Artistic director Caleb McEwen isn't stopping with recent history, though. "I'm busy digging through the archives to piece together a new incarnation of 'The Abridged History of Terror,' which was performed regularly from the mid '70s through the early '90s."
When asked about the challenge of bringing back older sketches, McEwen said, "While it is difficult to resurrect the comedic context of your favorite Mitt Romney jokes-much less those hilarious knee-slappers about John Anderson's run as a third party candidate in 1980-there are some things that are just as funny now as they were when they were first performed."
Now midway through its 55th year, the BNW is the longest-running sketch comedy and satirical theatre in the U.S. And despite being among the oldest theatre companies locally (only Old Log Theater in Excelsior and Theatre in the Round have been operating longer), the BNW has never stopping bringing brave, innovative creativity to the stage.
"Fifty-five years is an incredible milestone for a self-funded theatre," McEwen said. "We've decided that this show will be a celebration for everyone: We'll welcome new audience members to see what we're all about with a collection of our biggest hits from recent years, and at the same time we'll thrill our current fans with a sampling of returning favorites. Our best-of shows are often the best-attended shows of the year, and we think this one will be no different."
"Attack of the Best of the Brave New Workshop" will feature returning BNW cast members Lauren Anderson (in her 31st production with the Brave New Workshop), Andy Hilbrands, and Taj Ruler. The show will also feature Matt Erkel (last seen on the BNW main stage for "Rainbow Election") and the full-time main stage debut of Tom Reed (previously an understudy on the BNW main stage and cast member of the 2011 staging of "Dudley: Rigged for Laughter"). "Attack" is directed by BNW artistic director Caleb McEwen, with assistance from co-artistic director Katy McEwen. Peter Guertin is returning as musical director, and Dan Peltzman and James Roop are providing technical direction.
About Brave New Workshop
The Brave New Workshop has been writing, performing and producing sketch comedy and improvisation since 1958-- longer than any other theatre in the United States. Founded by former circus performer Dudley Riggs and currently owned by husband and wife John Sweeney and Jenni Lilledahl, the BNW has become a legendary comedy institution, where audiences enjoy improv and sketch comedy nearly every night of the week. The company's talented performers create satirical, irreverent, and intelligent original works. Alums of the Workshop stage include Louie Anderson, Pat Proft, Al Franken, Tom Davis, Mo Collins ("Mad TV"), Peter MacNichol ("Ally McBeal", "24"), Melissa Peterman ("Reba"), Cedric Yarborough ("Reno 911", "The Boondocks") and Rich Sommer ("Mad Men", "Harvey"). The Brave New Workshop's Creative Outreach business services division trains and entertains Fortune 500 companies like Microsoft, Hilton/Hampton, General Mills, Delta, and Target. Additionally, the Brave New Workshop Student Union boasts the most comprehensive improv training curriculum in the country.
LISTING INFO - BRAVE NEW WORKSHOP THEATRE MAIN STAGE
Title: "Attack of the Best of the Brave New Workshop"
What/Description: Run for your lives...to the Brave New Workshop! The BNW is celebrating its 55th year of comedy and satire with "Attack of the Best of the Brave New Workshop." No one has been doing brave, irreverent sketch comedy longer than the Brave New Workshop. This best-of revue will round up some of our favorite sketches, from the 1970s to 2013, into one monstrous night of comedy.
There's no escaping it: This show promises to be a Godzilla-sized hit with BNW newcomers and current fans alike!