Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Tiny Desk Contest Entry 2023

 Everyone's doing it? Right?

Entered it as it felt silly not to. Recorded in my kids' room, at far too small a desk.  (more of my music at pennyandthebandits.com)

Sunday, March 5, 2023

Eides and Tides March on

Chani was right. It does(?) feel like things are starting to rip. Let's find out!

March 2nd, I got to join an amazing cohort of actorly funny people for Rev Matt Kessen's Second Annual Monster Science Award show at the Bryant Lake Bowl. Last year's was absolutely giddy. This year's was very very silly. See above. 

Thursday March 9th, I have the absolute honor and privilege to play with Local Music Scene. Local musicians, improv comedians, all joy. It'll be at the Bryant Lake Bowl, 7 p.m. show. #happiness.

I've been coaching an incredible group of improvisers for the last two months, and this Friday, they open as part of Throwback Night at HUGE! They're doing the Armando, and they are the loveliest. Fridays, 8 p.m. through the end of April.  

Poppa Pia returns! The improvised ABBA jukebox musical comes to HUGE, Saturdays at 7 p.m. through the end of April. #voulezvous?

I'll be hosting Hear Her Stories, a night of storytelling in celebration of Women's History Month at Mill City Museum, happens on Friday March 24th, 7:30 p.m. show. The line-up of storytellers is awesome. Please come. 

And then a LATE SHOW? Stand Up Smack Down, hosted by Sarah McPeck, at the Bryant Lake Bowl

Some COMPAS at Family Means, some Bakken... All good stuff. #fingerscrossed

It feels like a lot, but then I have to check my lists and play the game of "What am I doing?" when it honestly feels like something's not getting tended... Friends are feeling overwhelmed, and I'm sort of teetering on that edge. I'm not quite overwhelmed, but WHAT AM I MISSING? 

Much love. 

Wednesday, February 1, 2023


 A slow slow start. BUT in many ways not. January's been it's own weird slow-but-lego-clicking-to-the-future. I will take it!

 - The HUGE anniversary show, per precedent, so fun. Thank you to Chris Rodriguez for delight!

 - HR Seminar! Jim Robinson is a genius, and I will glare at anyone who says otherwise. You can watch us amuse ourselves here. 

 - I got to do my solo improv bit, 5 Music Videos, at Improv A Go Go. I don't really know where or what it is, but I love doing it. 

 - Nudge is nudging, and it's been so lovely. Getting around illness and just life, you can see us at HUGE Friday's at 8 p.m. through the end of February. What a dream. 

 - I'm now a part of Open Your Mouth and Sing's Musical Ensemble class: we're working on a musical invocation, and perform (online), February 8th and 9th. IT WILL BE VERY SILLY. 

 - I'm taking a BYOB Guitar Class at Sarah Jane's Music School, and it's the nicest group of humans. Big thanks to Evan Fox for being our captain. 

 - I'm coaching one of the Throwback Night groups at HUGE! We've been assigned the Armando, and they are truly fantastic. Opening in March!

 - Poppa Pia returns! We're currently in rehearsal, and also open in March at HUGE

 - MARCH, right? March involves singing some songs with Local Music Scene (so excited!), hosting for Mill City's Hear Her Stories, maybe going back to Family Means for COMPAS, and everything opening. February, thankfully, is getting ready. 

 - Will Roberts and I have been rehearsing music. We are FroschMaus. Will's amazing. More to come. 

 - Also, I'm starting those tiny little steps to recording an album for Penny and the Bandits stuff. First step, scratch tracks to drummer. Reach out to audio engineer. Find a saxophonist. Practice bass parts. Which is all good February stuff. HERE WE GO. 

And that's news. Lego-click-by-lego-bit. Grateful for February, and a little bit of time. 

Saturday, December 31, 2022


I thinking about a "oh, that was nice 2022" wrap up, and certain things popped up. But then, looking through the last year, there was a lot of honestly good stuff... A lot of hard, and some things didn't work (and, you know, there's this pandemic), but from where we started.. it's sort of incredible. 

  - I produced a bunch of shows! Well... define a bunch. But so lucky! There's A Crack in Everything, Bring Your Kids, Nudge at the BLB, Something Musical.... 

 - I did a bunch of shows! Not only the above, but the insane joy of Poppa Pia, Give the Drummer Some, the three minutes I wrote and performed at Rev. Matt's Monster Science Award show still makes me proud, took my first swing at solo musical improv, stuff at HUGE... so lucky. 

 - I wrote less music than last year, but played out much much more, including kids' music at Midtown Global Market, spooky stuff with Will Roberts, and a solo spot in Mary Jo Pehl's garage.

 - I taught a bunch. So many thanks to COMPASHUGEChildren's Theatre... 

 - I wrote a goddamn musical with the amazing folks at PRI, and then we performed it. 

 - I got to take a week-long musical improv workshop with a bunch of dreams. 

 - I made a bunch of posters. And google websites. 

 -  And a one-offs and workshop-teaching and very very lucky. 

My kids got bigger and I'm still in awe. 

2023, we can only and just hope. And work. And re-define. 

Taking things in bits, what's happening in January 2023? (i.e. the future)

 - NUDGE returns! We'll be up Fridays at 8 p.m. at HUGE, January and February. So excited to play. Sweet Teeth opens!

 - Jim Robinson and I are HR Seminar at Improv a Go GoHUGE, Sundays January 15th, 22nd, and 29th. 8 p.m., Pay what you like!

 - OMG! comes to Daleko Arts in New Prague! I'll be up Saturday Jan. 21st. 

 - The HUGE Anniversary Show! Saturday Jan. 29th, 8 p.m. at you-know-where.

 - I'll be teaching for HUGE (AV 301 and Throwback Night's Armando!) and for Children's Theatre Company, back to the Bakken, and a little bit of COMPAS..

...And then figuring out the rest! I don't usually do yearly goals or plans, but it sounds orienting for this year. Getting one's bearings, etc. So much has been thrown up into the air, and adjusted accordingly. 

Sending so much love, health, and goodness to you and yours.

Friday, December 2, 2022


It's December 2nd, my loves. DECEMBER 2nd. The march of time is still a thing of WTF wonder. 


 - The amazing clients at PRI performed Dracula's Midnight Diner and it was SO GOOD!!!! We are so incredibly proud. You should probably watch this reel. 

THEY DID SO GREAT! So many thanks to COMPAS for the opportunity, for Malia and Karla for the incredible artistry, and to everyone at PRI, with special love to Miranda and Rashon... WHEWWWW.. it was incredible. 

 - My memoir class down at Walker Highview Hills also had their sharing and DID SO GOOD! This was all within a week of each other. My heart can't take it. 

 - Was lucky enough to do a performance of Shalee Coleman's Re(Cover): The Campaign with the amazing Meghan Wolff. 

 - Also got to play with Matt Prindle and a group of stupidly funny improvisers in the insane form Drop Ship, which will live forever in my soul.  

 - Improvathon destroyed and built up our tiny community again: ADORABLE ADORABLE'd my heart (thank you so, Butch), and then my laptop and I did my first bit of solo music improv. 

(That's a whale god singing.)

 - And then, finally, got to play some ukulele songs at Mary Jo Pehl's Garage for the Performing Arts. And that was just about as lovely a night as one could ask for. 

 - I also finished Andor and had a panic attack during the prison break episode. What an amazing show, that cast that cast that cast... I LOVE IT. 


 - I taught a corporate workshop on listening for the Marsh McLennan Agency yesterday (at Lawless Distillery), and they were fantastic! So grateful for the opportunity!

 - Something Musical presents Nora Laura & Jen (with Kelly on keys!) Musical improv at Improv a Go Go, Sunday Dec. 4th, 11th, and 18th, 8 p.m. show. It's a manic manic dream. 

 - Give the Drummer Some returns! As part of Our Town's Snow Wizard series at Strike Theater! Saturday Dec. 10th, 7 p.m. show! Physical improv with a live percussion heartbeat. 

 - I'm playing Gigi's Cafe (on 36th & Bryant Ave S in Minneapolis) on Friday Dec. 16th 6 p.m. - 8 p.m. with Thor! I feel so lucky to live just blocks from Gigi's, and so grateful to Laura for curating a Neighborhood Showcase! Come for at least a hour of ukulele music and Thor, making beautiful nordic waltzes. YES. 

More will come in January, but please look at this poster I designed. I bought myself Photoshop again: it is the most active form of procrastination I can muster. Also, Nudge returns in January to HUGE! See what I did there?


Friday, November 11, 2022

Improv A Thon! Raising $$ for HUGE Theater

Hi! Please join us in Give to the Max day, here in Minnesota. I'll be performing twice during HUGE's Improv A Thon... 

Once with the incomparable Butch Roy in our duo, Adorable. 

And once by my little lonesome, as Something Musical.  

Please give if you can! HUGE is trying to purchase a building. It's incredible. 

And if you're in the Twin Cities, join us Wednesday Nov. 16th, starting at 8 p.m., through midnight on Thursday Nov. 17th, at the theater itself, for all the free improv you could hope for. <3

Friday, November 4, 2022

No-mo-vember 2022

Hellooooo... Hoping spooky season paced itself, and you walked through it (and it through you!), and emerged on the other side. Hi November. Oh you. 

October was chock a block. Coco bananas. And great in many ways. 

 - I just finished a six week residency with Partnership Resources Inc. through COMPAS! We created and performed a musical in six weeks. HOLY GUH! We had our performance today and what sweetness. I wrote, directed, music-directed, composed, made the programs, and created the supertitles for the show. The amazing Malia Arakia Burkhart did the set, while the incredible Karla Nweje did the choreography. We performed at Center for the Performing Arts TODAY, and what a delight. It was so much work, but there was so much love. I'm so grateful for it all. (extra shouts to and for Miranda and Rashon for making every day a joy and actually possible. We are the luckiest, loves.)

 - Give the Drummer Some finished it's run at HUGE Theater! THAT WAS FAR TOO SHORT. We were amoebic id-machines. All improv all reaction, all pattern, all goofy. I hope we continue, as it feels like too precious and TOO GOOD of a thing to let go. 

 - BRING YOUR KIDS: The Unscripted Show! So many thanks to Matt Sass (of Four Humors Theater) for doing all the bits with me... for the children. We laughed and laughed, as your children are very funny. 

- There's A Crack in Everything (on September 30th, but still gets some love here) featured the amazing Danna Sheridan, MJ Matheson, Daniel Bonespur, and Sofia (with some improvised art making while Daniel played.) IT WAS SO GD LOVELY

 - And then, finally, The Rev. Matt Kesson's Monster Science Vs. There's a Crack in Everything! Matt talked monsters, I wrote and sang some spooky songs - - such a lovely time! Again, Matt, again! Also, the amazing Will Roberts joined me, and if you want to feel amazing, ask Will Roberts to play his bass. The night wrapped up with the band 10 items or Fewer. They're really really good. Like. Really good. 

Whewwww. It was busy. It was a lot. It was great. 

November you ask? 

- I'm lucky enough to be in re(cover): The Campaign as part of the 7th Right Here Showcase. Thursday Nov. 10th, 8 p.m. at the TEK Box at the Cowles Center. Shalee Mae Cole MauleĆ³n wrote something very cool, and I'm so excited to see it on it's feet. 

 - IMPROV A THON rolls again!! HUGE Theater's annual Give to the Max Day extravaganza!! I'll be performing Thursday Nov. 17th, 2 p.m. with ADORABLE (with Butch Rou!) and Thursday Nov. 17th, 3 p.m. as Something Musical by myself!! All at HUGE Theater. Show up ANYTIME, give online, you're great. 

 - I'll be playing original music on my uke at Mary Jo Pehl's Garage for the Performing Arts, Saturday Nov. 26th, 6 p.m. - 8 p.m. RSVP for address and further information: maryjopehl@gmail.com

 - My memoire class at Walker Highview Hills finishes up this coming Tuesday! Lovely!!

And here we are. WHEWWWWWWWWW.... 

An unsung hero for this week is my eldest kiddo, who got whatever illness is zipping around the elementary school here. It's not COVID, it's just rough. He was incredibly patient and came to a rehearsal/performance/strike while feeling lousy. 

And to everyone... I hope you're doing well. I'd love to see you. Let's please eat things together. Love!