Looking to throw the best staff holiday party ever?
Then you need:
THE UTILITY PLAYERS!
You’ve got two options:
Bring your staff to see The Utility Players
live at Sands Regency on 11/29, 12/6, 12/20
Tickets available online at www.sandsregency.com,
or contact Jessica Levity at (513) 604-7690 for group rates.
or, Bring The Utility Players to YOU!
For booking and show schedule:
Contact Jessica at (513) 604-7690 to book your special performance today!
This is always one of our favorite times of the year. So far three businesses have booked their holiday party with The Utility Players! We offer great VIP packages if you buy a group of tickets to any of our last 3 shows of Season 8: Live at the Sands Regency (11/29, 12/6, 12/20). You can also book us for private parties, and we'll tailor the show to your organization! We've been doing this for 5 years now, and we always put on a show that your group is guaranteed to love.
There are only 4 shows left for Season 8! Catch the funniest live and unscripted show in Reno-Tahoe TONIGHT, 8pm, inside Jester's Theater at Sands Regency. We recommend buying your tickets in advance online at www.sandsregency.com. Online sales stop at 6pm, but you can buy tickets AT THE DOOR starting at 7:30! See you tonight!
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The Utility Players “Live at the Sands” is a Grand Slam
Local comedy troupe has sold out five of their first seven shows at Sands Regency
Reno, NV, November 14, 2014: On September 27th of this year, Reno-Tahoe’s “Best Bet” For Comedy, The Utility Players (whose moniker refers to a baseball player who can play any position), launched their 8th Season under new partnership with Sands Regency. “Season 8: Live at the Sands” marks a first for this local comedy hit, whose previous three years have featured a monthly show at the Pioneer Underground in downtown Reno. Season 8 is scheduled to run at the Sands for 13 weeks.
Now, halfway through their first casino run, The Utility Players have officially sold out five of their first seven shows of Season 8. Their show, which features 90 minutes of hard-hitting, side-splitting improv comedy in the style of “Whose Line Is It Anyway?”, takes place every Saturday night at 8pm inside Jester’s Theater, a space created specially for this troupe, and named after their creator, producer and host, Jessica “The Jester” Levity.
“The anticipation was thick as we dove into brand new territory,” shares Levity. “We knew we had a decent local following that would support us in our new space, but we had no idea the amount of new growth we would experience in such a short time. Turning away an eager patron because we’re sold out is the most bittersweet part of show business. We’re currently working on increasing the amount of seats in our theater for the remainder of the run.”
Pete McHugh, Assistant General Manager of Sands Regency and a long-time fan of The Utility Players says, “Season 8 has been full of fun for everyone at the Sands. This talented group exceeds expectations and we look forward to Season 9.”
There are 5 shows left for The Utility Players - Season 8: Live at the Sands! (There is, however, no show on 12/13, as a Utility Player wedding will be taking place.) Tickets for all shows are available online at www.sandsregency.com, at the cage inside of the Sands, or at the door. Show begins at 8:00pm, doors open at 7:30pm. The show is Rated R for language and adult themes. For more information about the troupe and the show, check out www.utilityplayerscomedy.com.
Always Fresh, Always Funny, and guaranteed to make you laugh until it hurts! Don't miss Reno-Tahoe's funniest LIVE and UNSCRIPTED show, The Utility Players, this Saturday night at 8pm inside their own Jester's Theater atSands Regency! Buy your tickets online right now atwww.sandsregency.com, or inside the Sands at the ticket cage.
-Derek Sonderfan, Principal Musician
I've done my fair share of theatre in my life - heck, I have a BFA in Acting from Rutgers. I've done dozens of plays and, in my travels, there's a phrase that is often bantered about: Happy Accident. A Happy Accident, of course, is a mistake, and often a very glaring one.
In acting, you are forced into a pretty rigid structure. When all is said and done, you need to perform all the lines that were penned by the playwright. While a little bit of improvisation might occasionally be necessary when something goes wrong, it is your job as an actor to make it look as inconspicuous as possible and deviate from the script as little as possible. And I've seen some doozies - a chair broke on stage, someone's fake mustache was clearly peeling off to the point where it was only being held on by a few molecules of spirit gum, an actor simply didn't arrive at his cue because he was changing into an outfit for the following scene...
They never feel like Happy Accidents. I once forgot my line and the other actor and I improvised almost three minutes of dialogue while I frantically tried to think of the next line. I didn't think "oh wonderful, an opportunity for a Happy Accident!" I thought "holycrapholycrapholycrapholycrap!" Because in plays there is an expectation of what is SUPPOSED to happen.
Improv comedy is a totally different beast. Accidents actually ARE happy. While at the San Francisco Improv Festival two weekends ago, I was all ready to start our set in my normal place, behind the keyboard. I played a few big chords when my name was introduced and suddenly heard that my keyboard sound cut out. Entirely. As the keyboardist, MY ONLY JOB IS TO PLAY MUSIC, which at the moment had become impossible. I immediately started to think about how I could hum, whistle, and use handclaps to finish our set.
As our intros ended and the set started, I frantically tried to juggle cables to figure out the problem. But here's where acting and improv differ wildly. In one of the very few pre-determined cues I have, I was supposed to play the Sportcenter theme song when prompted by the introduction of Mediocre Olympics (our first game, naturally). Without any keys, what's a improver to do? Well, I just shouted out DUN-DUN-DUN-DUN, DUN-DUN-DUN-DUN, just like I'm assuming the guys on ESPN do when their sound engineer runs into problems.
Did it FIX the problem? Did it look inconspicuous? No, not in the slightest. But was it funny and did it work? Absolutely. It was a Happy Accident.
With Season 8 at the Sands ready to kick into full gear, we're in a new house with new equipment, some new games, and a whole slew of new opportunities for Happy Accidents. And I, for one, am looking forward to it with relish.
Reno isn’t known nationwide for a booming theater scene, but there’s a good chance that will be changing soon. With the innovative Good Luck Macbeth Theatre Co., the boundary-pushing blackbox Bruka Theatre, and Reno Little Theater, which has been in biz since 1935, Reno might just be the best little theater city in America.
This past weekend The Utility Players participated in the 10th annual San Francisco Improv Festival. Amazing does not aptly describe this weekend of improv jamming, watching master improvisers take to the stage, and all the lessons I took away from the experience. One lesson in particular has had a great impact on me; at a workshop we attended, we were asked to step into the middle of a circle and proudly proclaim "I Failed!". We were then met with cheering, clapping, and supportive affirmations. I have never witnessed so many individuals, and actors at that, openly admit that they had failed at something.
Typically, we do everything within our power to disassociate with failure. As part of our personal prehistory and cultural mythology, failure has become a dreaded state of being. As opposed to being able to admit a mistake, a label of "being" is attached to our identity. It is no longer "I failed in this one instance." Instead, we become "failures". And yet, I see an endless parade of memes stating how our greatest failures can be our greatest opportunities for growth and personal development. So why do we run from failure?
I have seen actors, when given notes, compete in a rousing game of mental gymnastics, talking their way out of personal responsibility and ownership. "It was the lights, the crowd, everyone else on stage, Mercury in retrograde, etc." As if admitting failure tarnishes and diminishes their skills or talents. What would our shows look like - and our lives for that matter - if when somebody failed, they shouted with jubilation, "I FAILED", and were met with sincere support and congratulations? I can say that it was definitely easier to step into that circle and admit my own shortcomings when others had bravely acknowledged their's first.
So, I am going to spend less time saving face by rationalizing and justifying my failures, and spend more time simply admitting "I failed," and use all that left-over energy on learning and improving for the future.
I hadn’t been that nervous for a long time.
Was the audience larger than in previous shows? No. Was there a lot riding on the gig? Not necessarily. Had I just foolishly eaten a large burger and some ice cream an hour before lights up? Yes. But the energy that flowed through my body and seemingly invaded my stomach was strong and would be present even without the uncomfortable digestion.
This gig was different.
The crowd was full of people who knew improv. This was truly a jury of one’s own peers. I felt like a fraud. I was afraid the first thing to come out of my mouth would be a block, or that I wouldn’t eat the cheese enough, or that I wouldn’t commit fully to a character. It would be like teaching a course on acting in front of an audience made up entirely of Meryl Streeps.
But then, standing in our Utility Player line as the Emcee introduced us, I lightly hugged Derek, our master keyboardist, and grabbed the shoulders of Chris, our master ginger, and it was like any other show. I was with my family and we were just gonna play for a half hour.
And we did.
We created conflict. We changed the location of a scene before the audience knew what was happening. We stopped time in Tokyo and we Parkoured. We made mistakes. And we left ‘em laughing.
AND WE’LL LEAVE YOU LAUGHING EVERY SATURDAY NIGHT STARTING SEPTEMBER 27TH AT JESTER’S THEATER AT THE SANDS REGENCY!
Sorry. Had to do it.
The Utility Players, Reno's #1 Improv Comedy Troupe, take the stage at The San Francisco Improv Festival on September 14th.
It was our first year ever receiving this email:
The Utility Players’ 8th Season is Live at the Sands!
Casino picks up Reno’s hit comedy troupe for 12-show run
Reno, NV, September 27, 2014: The Sands Casino partners with Reno’s Best Bet for Comedy, The Utility Players, for a weekly Saturday night improv comedy show at the newly revamped Jester’s Theater, inside the Sands. “The Utility Players Season 8: Live at the Sands!” premieres September 27th, 2014, and runs for 12 weeks at the Sands in downtown Reno.
The show is 90 minutes of hard-hitting, side-splitting improv comedy in the style of Whose Line is It Anyway?. Creator and Host, Jessica Levity (Homeslice Productions), takes suggestions from the audience, allowing patrons to co-create the experience with the troupe; each show is always fresh, and always funny. Players create characters, environments, and situations on the spot, based upon those suggestions from the audience. There’s a little bit of something for everyone: musical games, guessing games, and all-original games that The Utility Players have developed over their five and a half years as a troupe. “Any of our fans will tell you that you’re guaranteed to laugh until your face hurts,” says Levity. That’s exactly why everyone from first-timers to longtime fans (called Utilitarians) can expect a one-of-a kind, unforgettable show, each and every time.
This homegrown troupe is excited and thrilled with the opportunity to work with a casino with personality, and one that knows how to have some fun. "The Utility Players are a Reno favorite for comedy, and it's time to share their talents with all of our patrons. Their color and style makes a perfect fit to be “Live at the Sands!", says Ferenc Szony, CEO of Sands Regency. The troupe has much in store for their 8th season, including workshops, classes, a family-friendly improv show called “Big Kids”, another installment of their popular “The Game Show Show”, and performing another brand new, all-original murder mystery, written by Utility Player and local playwright, Chris Daniels. Also, the troupe was accepted into the 10th annual San Francisco Improv Festival for the first time, and will be performing with 27 other improvisational companies from all over the country on September 14.
Tickets for The Utility Players Season 8: Live at the Sands! are available now online at www.sandsregency.com, at the cage inside of the Sands, or at the door. Show begins at 8:00pm, doors open at 7:30pm. The show is Rated R for language and adult themes. For more information about the troupe and the show, check out www.utilityplayerscomedy.com.
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