Out of Bounds Comedy Festival Recommendations

OOB is almost upon us! The Out of Bounds Comedy Festival is August 30 – September 5, 2011. And its a treat for local improvisers, because hundreds of comedians, some of the top in the country come to Austin to perform shows, teach classes, and party with us. It’s a big festival, with 4 venues: The Hideout, Coldtowne, Velveeta Room, and the newly renovated State Theater downtown. I recommend getting a festival pass and digging in. But there’s a lot of shows going on and it’s hard to sort through what’s worth watching. As a general rule, the strongest shows are on the weekends, and the stronger the show the larger the venue. But there are still exceptions. Part of the challenge is there are so many good shows going on at the same time. So my recommendations are by no means exhaustive. Sometimes it’s fun to just show up not knowing much about a troupe and see what you get.

Here are some of my recommendations to make this OOB a sweet one.

Tuesday 8/30
This is simple because there’s only one lineup for the night. I’d shoot for the 8pm show, but both should be fun.

The Hideout Theatre

You’re Not My Real Dad(ATX)
Magician vs. Clown(ATX)

The 3$Bills(ATX)
The Dukes of Bedside Manor(ATX)

Wednesday 8/31
All the venues are kicking, so some decisions have to be made. For the early show I’d head to Coldtowne. These ensembles are young, but promising:

Shades of Brown(ATX)

This should be a strong show, with some veteran local troupes:

Thursday 9/1
If you like musicals, come see GGG and Rango, a musical duo from Minneapolis.

The Hideout TheatreDownstairs

Girls Girls Girls Improvised Musicals(ATX)

Then head upstairs at 9:30pm for :

Final Foxtrot(CHI)
Skinny Bitch Jesus Meeting(NYC)
710 Split(LA/ATX)

Skinny Bitch Jesus Meting are not to be missed, if you’ve never seen them.

Friday 9/2
Okay, this day is just impossible. Any of the shows this night will be stellar. You just gotta decide if you wanna see Sketch at the Hideout Upstairs, Improv mix of locals and visitors, narrative and short form at the Hideout Downstairs, or head to the State for some out-of-town headlining goodness. That being said, of course I gotta plug my show:

The Hideout Theatre

Get Up(ATX)

My must-see for the night is:


Saturday 9/3
So many good things on this night. Again. My can’t be missed recommendation is the 10pm show at the State Theater.

The State Theater
Confidence Men: Improvised David Mamet(ATX)
FUCT consistently performs some of the most talked about shows of the festivals. Warning: not safe for young audiences. Confidence men should help class up the set.

If you can’t make it to The State, go see
The Hideout Theatre

The Frank Mills(ATX)

Sunday 9/4
It gets a lot easier. Just camp out at The State Theater for the evening. I’ll be playing in the 7pm show with Greg Proops (from Whose Line Is It Anyways?) in Gorilla Improv.

The State Theater

Monday 9/5
And don’t forget the fest is still going on on Monday night. Finish it off with a night with Tim Meadows from SNL. Maybe you can play in a show with him!

The State Theater
Uncle’s Brother Feat. Tim Meadows(CHI)The Lottery w/ Uncle’s Brother Feat. Tim Meadows

My other recommendations: Take Classes, Play Miniature Golf, Go to Parties, Get Some Sleep, and Drink Plenty of Water. 

About Shana Merlin

Merlin Works is the brainchild of Shana Merlin: improviser, teacher, and performer. Since 1996, she’s been leading classes that stretch people’s imaginations, push them out of their comfort zones, and make them laugh out loud for hours at a time.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.