Welcome!

.NET Authors: Elizabeth White, ChandraShekar Dattatreya, Trevor Parsons, Peter Silva, Yeshim Deniz

News Feed Item

Laugh Boston, Laugh! Improv Asylum Unveils new Comedy Venture

BOSTON, Nov. 15, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Boston's most beloved comedy group, Improv Asylum, is partnering in a new venture – Wicked Comedy, LLC – to unveil a new home for stand-up comedy.

The partnership of Wicked Comedy, LLC consists of Chet Harding & Norm Laviolette of Improv Asylum and John Tobin of Nick's Comedy Stop.  They are opening a new stand-up comedy venue called Laugh Boston in the spring of 2013.  Laugh Boston will be located in the Westin Hotel adjacent to the Boston Convention and Exhibitor's Center in the rapidly expanding Seaport District. It will be situated in a 6,000 square foot space fronting Summer Street.

Improv Asylum and its principals were recently recognized as one of Boston's "Fastest Growing Businesses" in 2012 by the Boston Business Journal.  Improv Asylum has set the standard in Boston for its theater, performers and shows since 1998 and is one of the leaders in improv comedy and training in the country. And, as the standard bearer, the principals and staff of Improv Asylum have built the relationships and network in the entertainment industry that are essential for current and future success. Improv Asylum represents one significant branch of Boston's entertainment scene and is uniquely positioned and qualified to take advantage of a large void in another rapidly growing comedy market, a stand-up comedy theater. In light of this market void, the principals of Improv Asylum have performed extensive research and due diligence in developing a venture that, in conservative terms, will prove profitable in its initial years. The venture, Laugh Boston, will have an immediate impact in Boston's growing industry.

For many years, the Boston comedy scene centered around one very successful mainstay. That was the Comedy Connection, located in the heart of Boston's historic Faneuil Hall. With an approximate capacity of 400, the Comedy Connection was not only an entertainment hotbed for locals and tourists alike, but it also gave Boston's incredible comedic talent a stage to hone and show off their craft.

In 2008, the ownership of the Comedy Connection shuttered the Faneuil Hall location and moved to the renovated Wilbur Theater on Tremont Street. A beautiful and historic theater to be sure and with a capacity of 1100 people, the Wilbur is known for its national acts, both in comedy and music. With such a large capacity, the Wilbur needs those names to fill its house and has been very successful in doing so.

Over the past few years, and, as theater operators and performers, the Laugh Boston ownership team noticed a dearth of stand-up venues in Boston in the mid-level range. While there are a few remaining clubs in the 100-150 capacity, there remains a gap with no mid-range club. Because of that gap, the comedy scene has suffered greatly. A good portion of national names, and certainly regional and local stars, do not have the ability to "sell" a larger theater. As a direct result of the gap in Boston's market, the performers are forced to work in other cities and industries, such as convention appearances and cruise ships.

There is an extremely strong market for matching incredible talent with mid-size audiences at a reasonable price point.

The new $800 million Convention Center opened in 2004 and is attracting an estimated 1.1 million conventioneers annually.  Thousands of new office workers and residents are adding to the mix in the Waterfront District. Manulife Financial's 500,000 sq ft U.S. Headquarters (now merged with John Hancock) building is next to the new Marriott Renaissance Hotel.  The one million sq ft Seaport East and West Office Towers are nearly 100% leased with Fidelity's World Headquarters as the anchor tenant. The 793-room Westin Hotel (plans are already in place for a 500-room expansion) has joined the Seaport Hotel and the new Marriott Renaissance to bring the total number of hotel rooms in the immediate area to over 1800.

With over 30 million square feet of proposed mixed-use development either open, under construction, or in the planning phases, the redevelopment of the Boston Seaport area is one of the largest urban developments in the country and the area is well on its way to becoming a vibrant 24-hour neighborhood.

The guys behind it all:

Chet Harding ~
A co-founder, CEO and Executive Producer of Improv Asylum, Chet has years of comedic acting, producing and directing experience as well as an extensive business background.  Under the Improv Asylum banner, Chet has produced and performed in hundreds of live shows as well as several film and television projects.  Prior to opening the comedy theater, he worked at Leo Burnett Advertising and Polaroid.  At Polaroid, he was their Director of North American Advertising and PR for four years, overseeing the company's national advertising, multi-million dollar media buying and planning, and PR.  At Leo Burnett, he worked in New Business Development, as well as on the Kellogg's account, including product development for new cereals.

Norm Laviolette ~
As co-founder, President and Executive Producer of Improv Asylum, Norm brings corporate as well as military experience toward the continued development and expansion of Improv Asylum's theatrical and business divisions.

As an actor, writer and producer, Norm has written and produced several renowned television pilots and feature scripts. He was Executive Producer of the Emmy-Nominated Improv Asylum's Vanity Project, as well as Executive Producer of Second City Boston, the hit musical You're A Good Man, Scott Brown and the cult classic All The Single Ladies.  Prior to a career in comedy, Norm worked for a marketing firm out of New York City promoting various Microsoft product launches. He is a former member of the Massachusetts and Vermont Army National Guard and a graduate of the Massachusetts Military Academy's Officer Candidate School.  Norm continues to lead Improv Asylum's strategic business and artistic vision locally, nationally and globally.

John Tobin ~
John was elected District 6 representative to the Boston City Council in 2001, and was re-elected 4 times. He left the City Council and began working at Northeastern University in August 2010 as the first Vice President of City & Community Affairs. In addition, Tobin has worked in the Boston comedy scene since 1992 when he started as a doorman at a local comedy club.  Today, Tobin owns Theatre District Productions, a live comedy production company that produces and operates shows at Nick's Comedy Stop in Boston.

For more information:

Today's Boston Globe ~  http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/2012/11/13/comedy-club-set-open-boston-seaport-district/2o0DZ8Y4hDJu1GCy26O7fK/story.html

Today's Metro Boston ~ http://www.metro.us/boston/comment/article/1156197--laugh-boston-improv-asylum-founders-to-open-new-comedy-club-in-seaport

SOURCE Improv Asylum

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

@ThingsExpo Stories
Connected devices and the Internet of Things are getting significant momentum in 2014. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Hunter, Chief Scientist & Technology Evangelist at Greenwave Systems, examined three key elements that together will drive mass adoption of the IoT before the end of 2015. The first element is the recent advent of robust open source protocols (like AllJoyn and WebRTC) that facilitate M2M communication. The second is broad availability of flexible, cost-effective storage designed to handle the massive surge in back-end data in a world where timely analytics is e...
How do APIs and IoT relate? The answer is not as simple as merely adding an API on top of a dumb device, but rather about understanding the architectural patterns for implementing an IoT fabric. There are typically two or three trends: Exposing the device to a management framework Exposing that management framework to a business centric logic Exposing that business layer and data to end users. This last trend is the IoT stack, which involves a new shift in the separation of what stuff happens, where data lives and where the interface lies. For instance, it's a mix of architectural styles ...
The Internet of Things will put IT to its ultimate test by creating infinite new opportunities to digitize products and services, generate and analyze new data to improve customer satisfaction, and discover new ways to gain a competitive advantage across nearly every industry. In order to help corporate business units to capitalize on the rapidly evolving IoT opportunities, IT must stand up to a new set of challenges. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jeff Kaplan, Managing Director of THINKstrategies, will examine why IT must finally fulfill its role in support of its SBUs or face a new round of...
We are reaching the end of the beginning with WebRTC, and real systems using this technology have begun to appear. One challenge that faces every WebRTC deployment (in some form or another) is identity management. For example, if you have an existing service – possibly built on a variety of different PaaS/SaaS offerings – and you want to add real-time communications you are faced with a challenge relating to user management, authentication, authorization, and validation. Service providers will want to use their existing identities, but these will have credentials already that are (hopefully) i...
Cultural, regulatory, environmental, political and economic (CREPE) conditions over the past decade are creating cross-industry solution spaces that require processes and technologies from both the Internet of Things (IoT), and Data Management and Analytics (DMA). These solution spaces are evolving into Sensor Analytics Ecosystems (SAE) that represent significant new opportunities for organizations of all types. Public Utilities throughout the world, providing electricity, natural gas and water, are pursuing SmartGrid initiatives that represent one of the more mature examples of SAE. We have s...
"Matrix is an ambitious open standard and implementation that's set up to break down the fragmentation problems that exist in IP messaging and VoIP communication," explained John Woolf, Technical Evangelist at Matrix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
The Internet of Things will greatly expand the opportunities for data collection and new business models driven off of that data. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Esmeralda Swartz, CMO of MetraTech, discussed how for this to be effective you not only need to have infrastructure and operational models capable of utilizing this new phenomenon, but increasingly service providers will need to convince a skeptical public to participate. Get ready to show them the money!
One of the biggest challenges when developing connected devices is identifying user value and delivering it through successful user experiences. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Mike Kuniavsky, Principal Scientist, Innovation Services at PARC, described an IoT-specific approach to user experience design that combines approaches from interaction design, industrial design and service design to create experiences that go beyond simple connected gadgets to create lasting, multi-device experiences grounded in people's real needs and desires.
P2P RTC will impact the landscape of communications, shifting from traditional telephony style communications models to OTT (Over-The-Top) cloud assisted & PaaS (Platform as a Service) communication services. The P2P shift will impact many areas of our lives, from mobile communication, human interactive web services, RTC and telephony infrastructure, user federation, security and privacy implications, business costs, and scalability. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Robin Raymond, Chief Architect at Hookflash, will walk through the shifting landscape of traditional telephone and voice services ...
Scott Jenson leads a project called The Physical Web within the Chrome team at Google. Project members are working to take the scalability and openness of the web and use it to talk to the exponentially exploding range of smart devices. Nearly every company today working on the IoT comes up with the same basic solution: use my server and you'll be fine. But if we really believe there will be trillions of these devices, that just can't scale. We need a system that is open a scalable and by using the URL as a basic building block, we open this up and get the same resilience that the web enjoys.
The Internet of Things is tied together with a thin strand that is known as time. Coincidentally, at the core of nearly all data analytics is a timestamp. When working with time series data there are a few core principles that everyone should consider, especially across datasets where time is the common boundary. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Scott, Director of Enterprise Strategy & Architecture at MapR Technologies, discussed single-value, geo-spatial, and log time series data. By focusing on enterprise applications and the data center, he will use OpenTSDB as an example t...
The Domain Name Service (DNS) is one of the most important components in networking infrastructure, enabling users and services to access applications by translating URLs (names) into IP addresses (numbers). Because every icon and URL and all embedded content on a website requires a DNS lookup loading complex sites necessitates hundreds of DNS queries. In addition, as more internet-enabled ‘Things' get connected, people will rely on DNS to name and find their fridges, toasters and toilets. According to a recent IDG Research Services Survey this rate of traffic will only grow. What's driving t...
Enthusiasm for the Internet of Things has reached an all-time high. In 2013 alone, venture capitalists spent more than $1 billion dollars investing in the IoT space. With "smart" appliances and devices, IoT covers wearable smart devices, cloud services to hardware companies. Nest, a Google company, detects temperatures inside homes and automatically adjusts it by tracking its user's habit. These technologies are quickly developing and with it come challenges such as bridging infrastructure gaps, abiding by privacy concerns and making the concept a reality. These challenges can't be addressed w...
Explosive growth in connected devices. Enormous amounts of data for collection and analysis. Critical use of data for split-second decision making and actionable information. All three are factors in making the Internet of Things a reality. Yet, any one factor would have an IT organization pondering its infrastructure strategy. How should your organization enhance its IT framework to enable an Internet of Things implementation? In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, James Kirkland, Chief Architect for the Internet of Things and Intelligent Systems at Red Hat, described how to revolutioniz...
Bit6 today issued a challenge to the technology community implementing Web Real Time Communication (WebRTC). To leap beyond WebRTC’s significant limitations and fully leverage its underlying value to accelerate innovation, application developers need to consider the entire communications ecosystem.
The definition of IoT is not new, in fact it’s been around for over a decade. What has changed is the public's awareness that the technology we use on a daily basis has caught up on the vision of an always on, always connected world. If you look into the details of what comprises the IoT, you’ll see that it includes everything from cloud computing, Big Data analytics, “Things,” Web communication, applications, network, storage, etc. It is essentially including everything connected online from hardware to software, or as we like to say, it’s an Internet of many different things. The difference ...
Cloud Expo 2014 TV commercials will feature @ThingsExpo, which was launched in June, 2014 at New York City's Javits Center as the largest 'Internet of Things' event in the world.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Windstream, a leading provider of advanced network and cloud communications, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9–11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Windstream (Nasdaq: WIN), a FORTUNE 500 and S&P 500 company, is a leading provider of advanced network communications, including cloud computing and managed services, to businesses nationwide. The company also offers broadband, phone and digital TV services to consumers primarily in rural areas.
"There is a natural synchronization between the business models, the IoT is there to support ,” explained Brendan O'Brien, Co-founder and Chief Architect of Aria Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at the 15th International Cloud Expo®, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
The major cloud platforms defy a simple, side-by-side analysis. Each of the major IaaS public-cloud platforms offers their own unique strengths and functionality. Options for on-site private cloud are diverse as well, and must be designed and deployed while taking existing legacy architecture and infrastructure into account. Then the reality is that most enterprises are embarking on a hybrid cloud strategy and programs. In this Power Panel at 15th Cloud Expo (http://www.CloudComputingExpo.com), moderated by Ashar Baig, Research Director, Cloud, at Gigaom Research, Nate Gordon, Director of T...