With a unique combination of wit, acting chops and raw humor, the cast of Motor City Improv (MCI) return to Detroit on Thursday, May 31 to serve “Detroit Style” comedy at The Elizabeth Theater (located above the Park Bar and Bucharest Grill) in Detroit, Michigan. Doors open at 8 p.m. Admission is $3.
It’s a story you’ve heard a million times before, but better. In the summer of 1999, eight former Second City-trained improvisers pooled their collective knowledge and formal training to form Motor City Improv. The troupe would go on to get a reputation for breaking all the rules, but earned a cult following and (of course) lots of laughs.
MCI brings their mix of improvised games and stand-up comedy to The Park Bar for a show set often referred to as ‘Bar-Prov. Known for their unconventional style, MCI chose early on to run toward rather than away from the moniker of Bar-prov improv.
“We’ve always put on own twist on games and created many that could be considered borderline dangerous for the performers, but that’s what the audience loves about our style,” said Billy Zakolski of Detroit, a founding member.” “Bar-Prov receives a bad rap, but after more than a decade together, we know MCI’s Detroit Style fits a need in the comedy scene in Detroit. We recognize that sometimes the need involves Nerf baseball bats and politically incorrect humor, but someone has to do it. And we do it well.”
MCI proudly adds The Elizabeth Theater to the list of venues they’ve entertained at over the past thirteen years. Venues include some of Metro Detroit’s best comedy clubs, improv theatres, Universities and Fortune 500 Companies to sold out audiences.
“Although we’ve had nearly as many line-up changes as the 1980’s band Menudo (minus the puberty mustaches), we’ve remained a dedicated group of improvisers and comedians who want to keep the fire burning for Bar-Prov improvisation,” said Lesley Braden of Royal Oak, member since 2000.
The current line-up follows MCI’s recipe of an all-male group with just a dash of estrogen. Bringing the estrogen is Lesley Braden of Royal Oak, and the men of MCI are Adam Burkett of Detroit, , Joe Davis of Canton, Rich Grenwick of Ferndale, Matt Klug of Saint Clair Shores, Time Krzyczkowski of Hartland, Dave Landau of Los Angeles and Detroit and Billy Zakolski of Detroit.
To see what Motor City Improv has in store visit www.parkbardetroit.com and come see the show on Thursday, May 31 at The Elizabeth Theater in Detroit located at 2040 Park Avenue in downtown Detroit, Michigan.
In the photo, Matt Klug (on the left) and Joe Davis perform at The Planet Ant Theater in Hamtramck. The image is a detail from a photograph by Garri Madera.
List of current members and accomplishments:
Billy Zakolski – Founding member of Motor City Improv. Commercial credits 5 Hour Energy, TCF Bank, Art Van and many more. Actor, writer and lover of all things Detroit.
Matt Klug – Is in the Indie Rock Band IRREVERENT SMILE. Member of MCI since 2007.
Dave Landau – He’s appeared on Comedy Central’s “Live At Gotham” as well as being featured prominently on two consecutive seasons of NBC’s “Last Comic Standing.” He’s become a regular on the nationally-syndicated “Bob & Tom” radio show, and was honored as one of the top 21 club comics of today at HBO’s Las Vegas Comedy Festival.
Joe Davis – Michigan Bad Boy Stand-up Comedian.
Tim Krzyczkowski – Writer, Comedian and Actor.
Adam Burkett – Graduated from Second City Detroit (before HockeyTown); and Wayne State University (when they were Tartars). He is a founding member of Motor City Improv.
Lesley Braden-Phillips – Graduate of The Second City in Detroit and served as the only female in Motor City Improv during her run… sometimes gender has it’s privileges.