By Shannon Frost Greenstein
After the Thanksgiving dinner and the Black Friday bargain-hunting comes, as you may be aware, the day known as #SmallBusinessSaturday. It encourages consumers to shop local, to support businesses which may be family-owned or built from the ground up, and to pump some money into the local economy, instead of into chain stores’ pockets.
We fully endorse this endeavor. What’s more, we’re going to do our part to help a few local businesses. Some of them are Philly based, some are further away, but all are owned by good, hardworking people who want to pay their bills by doing what they love. And stories about that, country fans, is what we could all use some more of.
Today the Spotlight is on Philly Improv Theater, a small but rapidly-expanding theater right off Rittenhouse Square in Center City. Open since 2005, Philly Improv Theater is THE place to be if you want any part of the comedy scene in Philadelphia, which is growing quickly enough to warrant national attention. PHIT Comedy produces over 1,000 performances annually, with shows on multiple stages, 7 nights a week, every week of the year.
Despite its acclaim…and it has some, having hosted 30 ROCK’s Scott Adsit, Kevin McDonald of The Kids in the Hall, and Kevin Allison from MTV’s The State, to name a few…PHIT is devoted to developing local talent. In that vein, there is the PHIT Comedy Training Center, which teaches over 1,000 children and adults how to improvise, write sketch comedy, and perform stand-up each year.
What has earned them the spotlight? Well, it’s the Black Friday Comedy Marathon, beginning 9 a.m. the morning of Black Friday, and continuing…wait for it…40 STRAIGHT HOURS until Sunday at 1 a.m.!!!
It is a marathon of improv, stand-up, and sketch comedy, scheduled down to the minute, for forty incredible, uplifting, side-splitting hours. (Check out the line-up if you doubt us!) Admission is $12, which gets you access to the entire run…or FREE with a receipt from a local business! (Don’t forget #SmallBusinessSaturday!)
Chances are you’ve met someone who has taken improv classes at the Philly Improv Theater, or seen one of their shows, or know one of their many talented cast members and teachers. It’s a real-life small business that gives back to the community and tries to mentor its own. If you’re feeling cultured, or in need of a laugh, stop by the Adrienne Theater at 2030 Sansom Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103 during your Black Friday shopping spree in the city, and support a local theater doing great things for the city!