First Look: ‘Knockout’ by CSz Buffalo at The Arena, Buffalo’s Home of Improv


Knockout Logo (1)

In big cities like New York, Chicago, and Toronto, Improv comedy is a staple. There are numerous clubs and organizations that specialize in Improv, but it is an art form that isn’t known in smaller areas. Luckily Buffalo has a budding improv scene, and thanks to CSz Buffalo, located in Snyder, the laughs keep coming with their Saturday evening ‘Knockout’ Performances.

“Our ‘Knockout’ show takes place in our after hours slot, or after 9:30PM, and is held every third  Saturday of the month,” says Kelsey Wagner, Managing Director of CSz Buffalo. “It consists of 8 comedians who compete in-front of an audience by playing improv games, and the audience votes on who they’d like to knockout.” After hours programming is for those who are 18  or older.

Knockout gets their comedians from their improv shows, and puts them into the ‘knockout’ arena. “The audience loves getting a say in who is the winner, and that winner gets the bragging rights of the night,” says Wagner.

That’s not the only way the audience gets to be involved. “We choose a member of the audience to compete too, and if they win, they get a real award!” laughs Wagner.

CSz Buffalo offers other after hours programming on the other Saturdays during the month. “On the first Saturday of the month we have Babushka,” says Wagner, “Don Gervasi and Todd Benzin will create and improvise an entire hour play, based on the suggestions of the audience.”

On the second Saturday of the month, the Life of the Party show is offered. This is the fourth anniversary of the show where improv artists create a show that comes from crowd suggestions.

There is also a show called dotCOMedy where the troupe will perform a show based on the content of the internet.

Wagner says that audiences can expect a fun energetic environment when they come to see an after hours show at The Arena. “We have audience members who come and have so much fun at our shows that they sign up for an improv class afterward.”

CSz Buffalo also offers all ages programming and their 7:30PM performances. For a full calendar of events, click here.

Promotional Consideration Paid For By The Theatre Alliance Of Buffalo.


ComedySportz Improvises 25 Years In Buffalo

For the last twenty-five years, ComedySportz has been entertaining audiences around the Buffalo Area. For those who might be unaware, ComedySportz is Buffalo’s premier improv comedy show, where sportsmanship is key, as teams compete to see who has what it takes to be named nightly champions as the audience votes on a winner.

“We play games just like they do on ‘Whose Line Is It Anyway’, says Kelsey Wagner, Managing Director of ComedySportz Buffalo, “we hold short form improv competitions, in-front of a referee, who runs the evening, and our audience votes on the winner.”

Improv is the theatrical art form of having to employ two skills that many of us use everyday, listening and responding, to create a scene to entertain an audience without the use of a script.

“A typical night at ComedySportz is just like going to a sporting event,” says Wagner, “our ‘fans’ come to ‘The Arena,’ there is popcorn, concessions, music blasts to set the mood, and a referee comes out on stage to get the party started.” The performers are split up into two teams, Red Hot Wings and Blue Cheese, who compete during each performance.

ComedySportz provides programming for all ages in the hope of introducing new fans to the art form. “We need the audience to make the show,” says Wagner, “we need their suggestions, their ideas, and their audience participation otherwise we have nothing to work with.” Improv naturally works when the audience is able to interact with the performers and give them the ammunition to make the scenes fun and entertaining.

Comparing improv to a sporting event is not that far off for the team at ComedySportz, because they also compete with other companies across the nation to see who is the best, while practicing good sportsmanship. “We invite teams from across the country to compete, and we get the opportunity to meet great people who all share this art form with us,” says Wagner.

ComedySportz has chapters all across the United States and Europe, and teams get the chance to compete at annual competitions. “We won the competition in 2013, and we are excited to go compete in the competition in L.A. next year.”

Not only does ComedySportz perform on the weekends, but they also offer classes and corporate training workshops for offices who are looking to work on team building. “We all improvise everyday, and it is fun to learn these techniques with the people you work with,” says Wagner, “you get to have fun and work on things that will make you successful.”

ComedySportz has shows every Friday and Saturday at 7:30 and a CSZ Knockout show on Saturdays at 9:30. All shows take place at The Arena in Snyder. For more information on shows and class offerings, click here.

Promotional Consideration Paid For By The Theatre Alliance Of Buffalo