BEAUTY LOVE TRUTH w/musical guest JEAN GRAE Aug 17, 2015, at Union Hall


BEAUTY LOVE TRUTH with musical guest JEAN GRAE

Jean Grae

Improvisers: Ed Illades, Ashley Ward, Matt Higgins, Rob Janowski, Louie Pearlman, Shannon Manning, Josh Sharp

Intro by Carolyn Castiglia!


Mon, August 17, 2015Doors: 7:30 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

Union Hall Brooklyn, NY$8 Advance / $10 Day of Show


This event is 21 and over

**Please note this event will be mixed seated/standing. Arrive early for best seat selection.

Beauty Love Truth

Join Beauty Love Truth for an adventurous evening of music, inspiration, and comedy. Guest musicians kick things off by playing a song, and after each song a rotating cast of improvisers create scenes inspired by the mood, images, themes, or words from the song. Nothing is planned; sweet, tragic, or ridiculous relationships unfold, worlds are created or destroyed, souls enlightened or crushed, and magic truths underscored with laughter.


Josh Sharp Links

Josh Sharp

Josh Sharp is a stand up and sketch comedian who was included on Vulture’s 2015 “Comics You Should Know” and was named a “Comic to Watch” by TimeOut NY. He was featured in NYCF’s “Best of Sketch” in 2013, 2014 and 2015. You can see his lewdy crudey queer musical “Fucking Identical Twins” now running at the UCB Theatre, his experimental comedy show “Cool Shit/Weird Shit” on the 4th Friday of the month at UCB-East, his gay variety show “A Gay Show For All People” monthly at the Duplex, or you can just stay at home and watch TV on your computer like a loser. If that’s your game, his web series, “How Shit Works”, is soon to drop on

Ed Illades

Improvisers: Ed Illades

Ed has studied and performed improv at Improv Olympic and Annoyance Theatre in Chicago, as well as various bars and festivals here and there. He was an instructor and coach at Improv Olympic until he set sail to perform on a cruise ship with Second City in January of 2008. Ed has performed with the groups Johnny Roast Beef, Brad Renfro, The Gambino Crew, and Pudding-Thank-You, written and performed sketch comedy with Sketchcore, and directed the sketch show Sandy Takes A Break, which played at the NY Sketch Festival and at Comedy Central’s performance space in Los Angeles (yes, that Los Angeles). He currently lives, teaches and performs in New York (Yes, that New York).
Ashley Ward Watch

Ashley Ward

Ashley Ward is an actor, singer and writer originally from Conyers, Ga. She has been performing improv and sketch comedy in New York for more than seven years and continues to perform with several groups, including PIT house team Big Black Car, musical improv group Baby Wants Candy, Taco Supreme, 30,000 khz of Sound, Cragg and Ward, Married Nate and Ashley and Poopy Poopy Fart Fart. Additionally she is a proud Striking Viking Story Pirate and a Jeopardy! champion. Ashley has a degree in Musical Theater from Webster University in St. Louis and loves singing and dancing and, when called for, prancing. In addition to performing live, Ashley has been in many comedic shorts and web series including featured roles in BOF (Best of Friends) and the TMZ parody, TMI, where you get some decent shots of her rack.
Matt Higgins Links

Matt Higgins

MATT HIGGINS is an Andy Kaufman Award finalist and original member of Burn Manhattan and Centralia. Matt helped kick off Human Giant’s 24-hour take-over of MTV. His stand-up has been featured on Comedy Central. Matt;s favorite TV role was on the season finale of CBS’s cop show NYC 22. Film credits include supporting roles in “Girl Missing” (Amy Poehler, Kate Walsh, Adam McKay and Will Arnett), “Approaching Union Square (IFC), and Shadowboxer a Lee Daniels film (Cuba Gooding Jr., Monique, Macy Gray, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Helen Mirren). Matt studied improvisation with Ralph Buckley and Paul Sills. Matt and Michelle Best co-wrote Halfway There a TV pilot, which was an official selection to the 2009 NYTVF. Matt is a founding member of UP Theater Company.
Rob Janowski Links

Rob Janowski

From Calgary, Alberta, Canada improv company The Kinkonauts!
Louie Pearlman Links

Louie Pearlman

LOUIE PEARLMAN is a comedic performer, educator and song-writer living in Queens, NY. He is a producer, director, puppeteer and performer with the nationally-recognized entertainment company The Story Pirates. He also teaches a series of popular improv classes for teenagers.Favorite past projects include playing J. Jonah Jameson in The Spidey Project, appearing in the music video for Tom Tom Club’s Downtown Rockers and DJing Where The Action Is! A monthly sixties music night with Allison Boron.
Shannon Manning Watch Links

Shannon Manning

Shannon Manning is a writer and producer, and creator of Beauty Love Truth (improv inspired by guest musician) which has run for over a decade at UCB, PIT, Magnet, Barrow Street Theater, Standard Toykraft, and now Union Hall. Shannon learned improv from the legendary comedy inspiration Del Close and loves to talk about it. 

Venue Information:

Union Hall – Brooklyn
702 Union Street
Brooklyn, NY, 11215

Beauty Love Truth with Doug Gillard-Wednesday, Sept 10, 2014 at Union Hall in Brooklyn

A revolving cast of some of the best improvisers improvise a play inspired in the moment by the guest musician.

Wednesday, Sept 10, 2014, 8pm. With musical guest DOUG GILLARD!


Union Hall 702 Union Street, Park Slope, Brooklyn, right off of 5th Ave. - TICKETS $10.




Jon Bander (Magnet)
Matt Higgins (Centralia, Burn Manhattan)
Shannon Manning (Second City, IO, UCB, “Conan”)
Chris Mills (PIT)
Louie Pearlman (“Billy on the Street”, Story Pirates, Spidey Project)
Mary Regan(UCB, Magnet, PIT)
Micah Sherman (The Baldwins, The Scene-PIT)
Betsy Todd (UCB, Magnet, “Battle of the Bozos”)



Plus an introduction by CATIE LAZARUS (Employee of the Month Show) who will hold forth on the topic of beauty, love, and/or truth!


All this, plus drinks and a hang before and afterwards…for $10.
Advanced tickets available and recommended!



More about Doug Gillard:

Doug Gillard is a guitarist and songwriter who has performed with bands and artists such as  Guided by Voices, Nada Surf, Richard Buckner, Death Of Samantha, Gem, Cobra Verde,Children’s Crusade, Starvation Army, My Dad is Dead, The Mice, Bill Fox, Sally Crewe, Mascott, Anders and Kendall, Gramercy Arms, The Oranges Band, and as a solo artist.

This year he released the album “Parade On” (Nine Mile Records) to great reviews. Gillard has also scored several independent films, including American Cannibal. Gillard presently lives in New York and is a member of Nada Surf.

Get his new album at iTunes or band camp!

More about Catie Lazarus:

CATIE LAZARUS is a writer and hosts the podcast EMPLOYEE OF THE MONTH, which features a live monthly taping at Joe’s Pub, where she is an Artist-in-Resident. ECNY awarded her “Best Comedy Writer” and Lewis Black described her as, “More Brilliant Than She’ll Ever Know.” Lazarus writes a column for Out Magazine and has contributed drivel to The New York Times Magazine, Slate, The Daily Beast, Bust, Cosmo, Sesame Workshop, Tribeca Film Festival, Gawker, Funny or Die, Sundance, and numerous anthologies. She also does storytelling and voice overs.  Lazarus is a member of the WGA and involved with The Moth, Just Vision, Azahar Foundation, and UCB. She received her MA and BA from Wesleyan. Please do not hold any of these institutions liable as a result.

Beauty Love Truth w/Evan Wesley Acheson of Boreal Sons. Calgary, AB, Canada Sat June 14

JUNE 14 @ 8:00 PM - 9:30 PM 

The Birds and Stone Theatre

204 16 Ave NW, Calgary, AB T2MCanada
Evan Wesley Acheson of Boreal Sons


Live music inspires improvised scenes. Feat. music by Evan Wesley Acheson of Boreal Sons.

Boreal Sons are an art-rock band whose imaginative compositions are as emotive as they are intelligent, pairing sweeping instrumental arrangements with vivid lyrical imagery and pop-inspired melodies. Woven together by the dynamic voice of singer Evan Wesley Acheson, whose vocal style reimagines old jazz crooners with a darker edge, Boreal Sons’ music ebbs and flows—both overwhelming in its grandeur and captivating in its intimacy.

The BLT Q&A: Dave Foster by Nivea Serrao



Burnt out on electric grunge and looking to do something acoustic, songwriter Dave Foster found himself a band of like-minded musicians, and so the indie pop band known as ‘Bubble’ was formed.

Twenty years later and they’re still together, writing and producing their own songs (they have an album in the works) and playing shows where they cover whole Beatles albums – even performing at Lincoln Center Out of Doors.

Though before any of this, Foster was just a love-struck teenager trying to impress the girl he liked. But while the girl didn’t stick, the song writing did.

We asked Dave a few questions in advance of his appearance at Beauty Love Truth this Friday May 16th, 2014 at Standard Toykraft.


What is your first memory of beauty?

Probably my mother…or the first time I saw the ocean.


Tell us something you love.

My 3 sons…not the TV show…actual children.


Where do you find the truth in music?

In the vulnerability of the voice…and the picture the words/melody paints.


Have you known other people who have done Beauty Love Truth?

My friends Lianne Smith, Matthew Caws and Lee Feldman


What are you expecting?

The unexpected


What are you looking forward to?

Watching how the improvisers riff off my songs.


When did beauty get you in trouble?

When did it not?


What is something you’ve loved since you were a child?



What is the greatest truth you learned as an adult?

Parents and teachers are real life superheroes.


It’s the end of the world and you’re asked to explain an instance of beauty/love/truth from your life. Which would you pick and what would you say?

Holding my first son just after he was born and looking into his eyes. He still looks at me like that with those eyes.


Where is the most surprising/unexpected place you’ve found beauty?

An abandoned house on the Williamsburg waterfront in the mid-90s (filming a Bubble video). It was like being in a cabin in the woods with the Manhattan skyline as a backdrop.


What is something/someone you love that would surprise people?

The Food Network. I have missed it ever since I ditched cable TV.


What is a truth about you that would surprise people?

I am ¼ Sicilian. So don’t mess with me (or at least a quarter of me).


Which is easiest for you to sing about, beauty, love or truth?

Love songs…nothing but love songs (with intermittent truth).


[box type=”shadow”]DAVE FOSTER will be joined by Rembert Block at Beauty Love Truth, Friday, May 16 at 8pm at Standard Toykraft.[/box]


Nivea Serrao is an entertainment journalist and sketch comedian living in New York City. She writes for NYU’s Washington Square News and the satirical ladies’ news site Reductress. Follow Nivea on twitter or tumblr.


Beauty Love Truth, Friday, May 16 8pm at Standard Toykraft w/Dave Foster (Bubble) & Rembert Block

A revolving cast of some of the best improvisers improvise a play inspired in the moment by the guest musician.


NEXT SHOW: Friday, May 16  8pm at Standard Toykraft with Guest Musician Dave Foster (Bubble) with Rembert Block!




Adam Feingold (UCB)
Ed Illades (IO Chicago)
Shannon Manning (Second City, IO, UCB, “Conan”)
Monique Moses (PIT, Story Pirates)
Louie Pearlman (“Billy on the Street”, Story Pirates, Spidey Project)
Tom Purcell (“Colbert Report”)
Mary Regan (UCB, Magnet, PIT)
Rylan Venegas (Magnet)

Plus an introduction by JAMI ATTENBERG (Author The Middlesteins) who will hold forth on the topic of beauty, love, and/or truth!



All this, plus drinks and a hang before and afterwards…for $10.
Advanced tickets available. Paypal button

Friday, May 16, 2014 8pm at Standard Toykraft 722 Metropolitan Ave, Brooklyn, New York. L to Graham or G to Metropolitan.




More about Dave Foster (Bubble)

“In the late ’70s, Television was among New York’s most exciting new wave bands. So when former Television bassist Fred Smith co-produces a CD, one is anxious to check it out. Smith co-produced Bish Bash, Bubble’s first full-length album, with two members of the New York band (singer Dave Foster and drummer Tom DeVito), and while his participation grab’s one’s attention, it is Bubble’s solid songwriting that ultimately keeps it. Although Smith does his part to make the album sound as good as it does, Bubble doesn’t need a former Television member to be validated. The songs are memorable, and none of them sound anything like Television. Bish Bash is retro, but not in a new wave sense. Rather, the songs on this CD have a strong late ’60s/early ’70s flavor. The Byrds, Big Star, Badfinger, and late-period Beatles are obvious influences, as are John Lennon’s early ’70s solo recordings. Bish Bash contains a few aggressive rockers (“Tell Me What You Want” and “Rainy Day”), but most of the material is reflective and dreamy rather than aggressive. Regrettably, Bubble didn’t do nearly as much recording as it should have in the 1990s; the band formed in 1994 and recorded an EP in 1995, and it wasn’t until this 2000 release that Bubble finally got around to providing a full-length album. This appealing, if less than groundbreaking, effort makes one hope that Bubble will spend a lot more time in the studio in the future.” 4 out of 5 stars, Alex Henderson, All Music Guide

Saturday, March 22, 2014 8pm at Standard Toykraft with Kaki King

A revolving cast of some of the best improvisers come to improvise a play inspired in the moment by the guest musician.

NEXT SHOW: Saturday, March 22, 2014 8pm at Standard Toykraft

with Musical Guest Kaki King!




Andrew Benedict
Ryan Crossman
Brian Fountain
Risa Sang-urai Harms
Shannon Manning
Branson Reese
Mary Regan
Robin Rothman
Doug Stoley
Sean Taylor
Betsy Todd

Plus an introduction by ZEBADIAH KENEALLY who will hold forth on the topic of beauty, love, and/or truth and their buddy MAGIC!



All this, plus drinks and a hang before and afterwards…for $10. (Donations welcome!) Limited number of advanced tickets available.

Paypal button

Saturday, March 22, 2014 8pm at Standard Toykraft 722 Metropolitan Ave, Brooklyn, New York. L to Graham or G to Metropolitan.




More about Kaki King:

Hailed by Rolling Stone as “a genre unto herself,” Kaki King is a true iconoclast, a visionary musician/artist whose singular work rightly stands out amongst the easily formatted.  Over her decade-long career thus far, the Brooklyn-based guitarist/composer has recorded five extraordinarily diverse and distinctive LPs, performed with such icons as Foo Fighters, Timbaland, and The Mountain Goats, contributed to a variety of film and TV soundtracks (spanning Golden Globe-nominated work on Sean Penn’s Into The Wild to scoring – and appearing in as guitar-playing hand double – the acclaimed 2007 drama, August Rush), and played to ever-growing audiences on innumerable world tours.  Each twist and veer marked the turning of a page, another step forward on a truly exceptional musical path.  Beginning with 2002’s Everybody Loves You – to date, her only fully acoustic guitar recording – King has expanded and reconceived the role of the solo instrumental artist, constantly kicking at the boundaries of what’s expected. MORE


The BLT Q&A: Stranger Cat by Nivea Serrao

Stranger CatYou can take the musician out of the wilderness, but not the wilderness out of the musician. That’s how Stranger Cat was born.

The latest project from Cat Martino, it is the result of Martino’s brief sojourn in the Sierra Foothills in search of a respite from city living, writing and recording songs that blend together synthesized instruments and electronic beats and layering it with her powerful voice. Still an organic quality is retained.

A few years ago, the Brooklyn native was afflicted with an undiagnosed neuromuscular condition that left her isolated in her bedroom. Physically constrained, she turned to her microphone and loop pedal for musical expression.

Now, having fully recovered, Martino has thrown herself into her music, employing the loop effects she’d taught herself in her songs, giving them an almost dream-like quality. However, she notes these new songs balance an ethereal layering quality with a rawer and more aggressive energy.

She’s also spent the last few years touring and recording with friends – first fellow songstress Sharon Van Etten, then frequent collaborator Sufjan Stevens and now, Stranger Cat co-collaborator Sven Britt. In fact, they’ve even recorded an as-of-yet-to-be released EP together.

We asked Cat a few questions in advance of Stranger Cat’s appearance at BLT this Saturday, October 19, 2013 at Standard Toykraft.


Tell us something you think is beautiful.
Our bodies are a mini-verse to the macro universe. Inside of us is mostly water, and the elements oxygen, carbon, hydrogen and nitrogen. And essentially we are the same stuff of the stars. Scientifically and metaphorically this is beautiful to me.

What is your first memory of love?
My father holding me as a newly adopted child. I was only 3 months old, so perhaps it’s just I’ve envisioned the story so many times… I don’t remember it in my mind, but definitely in my body.

What is something you know to be true since you were a child?
Cinnamon Toast Crunch is the best cereal.

What do you love most about making music?
The constant return to being a curious and playful child, and having a raw expression through sound. Also, the fringe benefits are off the hook, never-ending hummus…

Have you known other people who have done Beauty Love Truth? What are you expecting? What are you looking forward to?
Nope! No clue, surprise me, bring it ON! I am looking forward to what I just found out about improvisation and comedy – improvisation has always been a huge part of my creative process before a song becomes fixed. It allows one to be completely in the moment, and find intuitive truths come out when there is no time for plotted thinking. I also love comedy. I am not funny always, but I am a ridiculous person.

Where is the most surprising/unexpected place you’ve found beauty?
At the bottom of a bottle of Hornitos – copyright Hornitos 2013.

When did the truth get you in trouble?
Every. Single. Time.

The aliens have landed and one asks you to explain beauty/love/truth [choose one]. How do you explain it to them?
As a precursory, I would need to test and see if they use what we understand to have the sense of vision. If so, I would explain Truth through interpretive dance, obviously. I keep a unitard on hand in case surprise, said situation arises.

What’s something/someone you love that would surprise people?
Miley Cyrus.

What is easiest for you to sing about, beauty, love or truth?
I guess truth combines beauty and love, so I’d have to say that. Love and beauty are not always pretty, but they are most always truthful.


Nivea Serrao is an entertainment journalist and sketch comedian living in New York City. She writes for NYU’s Washington Square News and the satirical ladies’ news site Reductress. Follow Nivea on twitter or tumblr.


[box]Stranger Cat is the musical guest for Beauty Love Truth, this Saturday, October 19, 2013 at Standard Toykraft.[/box]

More from Cat:


Beauty Love Truth with Stranger Cat – Saturday, Oct 19, 2013 at 8pm at Standard Toykraft

Beauty Love Truth Oct 13

A revolving cast of some of the best improvisers come to improvise a play inspired in the moment by the guest musician.

NEXT SHOW: Saturday, October 19, 2013 at 8pm at Standard Toykraft

722 Metropolitan Ave, Brooklyn, New York. L to Graham or G to Metropolitan.

Musical Guest: STRANGER CAT
(Cat Martino and Sven Britt).




Matt Higgins (Centralia, Burn Manhattan)
Dan Hodapp (PIT, UCB)
Ed Illades (IO Chicago)
Shannon Manning (Second City, IO, UCB, “Conan”)
Doug Moe (“Doug Moe is a Bad Dad,” UCB’s MOTHER, “30 Rock,” “Conan”)
Louie Pearlman (“Billy on the Street”, Story Pirates, Spidey Project)
Alexis Saarela ( C. Monster, Taco Supreme)
Rylan Venegas (Magnet)


Plus an introduction by LIAM MCENEANEY who will hold forth on the topic of beauty, love, and/or truth.

liamOn October 1ST, ASpecialThing Records released Liam McEneaney’s debut album, “Comedian.”
Liam has appeared on Comedy Central, Showtime’s “Caroline Rhea & Friends,” Vh1’s “Best Week Ever,” and his concert film, “Tell Your Friends! The Concert Film!”
He has toured as a headliner across North America and throughout Europe.
He’s also made multiple appearances on top podcasts including WTF with Marc Maron, Keith & The Girl, Put Your Hands Together!, The Steven Brody Stevens Festival of Friendship, Myq Kaplan’s Hang Out With Me, and many more.

More about STRANGER CAT:

Raised in the urban sprawl, Stranger Cat was born out of a respite in the wilderness. As most stories go, she was seeking a noiseless place for musing, but found instead a sentient beast stalking through the woods, be it animal, alien, or deity; she memorized its sound.

Stranger Cat is the new project from Cat Martino. Her penchant for loop effects was inspired by homebound isolation from a debilitating neuromuscular affliction several years ago that mysteriously could not be diagnosed. Isolated to her bedroom for the better part of a year, a simple microphone and loop pedal became her new choir. Now restored to health, she celebrates her freedom of movement by creating lush layers with voice, synthesizers, and electronics that gamut ethereal, soulful, and turbulent chaos, inspired by the body in motion.

Cat retreated from Brooklyn, NY to winter in the Sierra Foothills and wrote and recorded new songs. Simple melodies or beats morphed into powerful walls of sound to melt in through snowstorms, howling winds, or stark silence nestled by gargantuan oaks and the infinite starry dome.
Joined by co-collaborator Sven Britt for a week, they traded recording each other on casios, synths, guitars, drum machines, branches and spoons.

Often a cat would come to the door to listen, meowing to be let in. When it appeared daily they called it Stranger Cat, observing its alien supernatural powers, as she’d heard tell of the Foothills’ history of UFO sightings and ghost haunts. One day they let Stranger Cat in. The plump feline ate all the kitty food and left.

The Brooklyn native was Sufjan Stevens’ right hand woman for Age of Adz andAll Delighted People records and world tour, and will co-release a Flexi-Disc with Stevens on Joyful Noise Records Fall 2013 they co-wrote/produced. Cat sings on the new Son Lux record Lanterns, recorded/toured with Sharon Van Etten circa Epic, appeared with The Shins on SNL and Williamsburg Park, played in Passion Pit at Governor’s Ball. She has opened tours in US or EU for Indians, Night Beds, Rufus Wainwright, Marissa Nadler, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Patrick Watson and more. She also really likes to jam and create with many of her brilliant creative friends you may never have heard of but will hopefully soon!

Featured on NPR’s All Songs Considered (video by our friend Deborah Johnson!)

All this, plus drinks and a hang before and afterwards…for $10. (Donations welcome!)

Saturday, October 19, 2013 at 8pm at Standard Toykraft 722 Metropolitan Ave, Brooklyn, New York. L to Graham or G to Metropolitan.




BLT Press Release OCT 2013