2015 Funniest Person in Austin Week 2 Roundup

Ella Gale has advanced in the 30th Annual FPIA Contest (photo credit: www.ellagalecomedy.com).
Ella Gale has advanced in the 30th Annual FPIA Contest (photo credit: www.ellagalecomedy.com).

This year is seriously shaping up to be the most competitive Funniest Person in Austin that I can remember.

Sunday, 4/12/15: Round 3

Raul Sanchez, Jay Whitecotton and Yusef Roach all moved on to the next round in May. Doug Lewis grabbed the alternate spot.

I’ve seen Raul Sanchez at a couple of places around town. He’s got a style that tickles the nostalgic part in my brain. I grew up in S. Texas and Sanchez reminds of that kid in high school who was the class clown everyone liked, including teachers. I can’t explain it better than that but it translates well into his comedy set.

Whitecotton aggressively takes on controversial topics like religion and sexuality while Roach pokes fun at pop-culture and turns it on its head.  It looks to me like the judges are pretty eclectic this year, which is good. These three comedians are an exceptional cross section of Austin’s comedy scene.

Monday, 4/13/15: Round 4

Monday’s results are indicative of my opening statement. Ella Gale, Brendon K. O’Grady and Joe Halfkey all moved forward in the competition while Aaron Brooks earned the alternate spot.

Each of the winners host, or co-host shows around town. Ella Gale has a cool show the first Sunday of every month at The New Movement Theater called Naughty Bits. Brendon K. O’Grady is co-host of the wildly popular Sure Thing! showcase at the Austin Java on Lamar and Parkway. Joe Halfkey and his partner (former FPIA winner) Mac Blake host Jazz Cigarette at the Spiderhouse Ballroom and All’s Well at Cap City.

Tuesday, 4/14/15: Round 5

Week two wrapped up with Avery Moore, Daniel Webb, and Mary Bourke moving on up in the 2015 FPIA. Christina Parrish earned the alternate spot.

I am a big fan of Avery Moore. I’ve seen her many times at many venues and she never fails to entertain me. Whether she’s singing at Kat Ramzinski’s benefit event or expounding on the awkward side of dating. She’s clever and charming and if you’ve not seen one of her sets, you’re missing out.

Daniel Webb is a dude who made waves last year thanks to an interaction with President Obama at Franlkin’s BBQ. This most definitely shouldn’t be his only claim to fame as his comedy reflects the complicated situation that being gay in Texas presents. It’s scathing, brutally honest, and sincere. Oh and don’t let Mary Bourke’s sweet Irish accent fool you. Her comedy is sharp commentary of the senility of humanity.


Cap City Comedy Club’s Funniest Person in Austin Week 3 kicks off tonight with round 6. The show starts at 8pm. Call the box office at 467-2333  or visit their website for ticket information and details.

Chris Trew Redefines Improv at The New Movement Theater

Sign outside the New Movement Theater
Chris Trew holds the Air Sex Championship Belt
Chris Trew co-founded The New Movement Theater with Tami Nelson. He’ holds the Air Sex Championship Belt.

Despite its devastation, Hurricane Katrina has had positive effects on America.  In the greater Austin area, we’ve been given Let’s Big Chipper (a subject of one of my articles on The Austinot) and more pertinent to this website, Chris Trew.

From New Orleans to Austin and Back

The New Orleans native has always had an interest in comedy and dabbled in stand-up.  Eventually he joined a sketch comedy group while enrolled at LSU and was featured on the university’s television channel back in 2000.  This was when he got serious about comedy.

After the hurricane, he came to Austin and helped found Coldtowne Theater with Tami Nelson and other partners.  In 2009, due to creative differences, Trew and Nelson founded The New Movement Theater and

Entrance to The New Movement Theater.
The New Movement Theater is located at the corner of 7th and Lavaca.

they haven’t looked back.  Trew’s frequent trips to and from New Orleans has lead him to help found Dallas Comedy House with New Movement alumni Clay Barton and his partner Amanda Austin.  He also founded the Dallas Comedy Festival in 2010 (this is where he met Chris Tellez).  Barton and Austin have since taken the reigns of the annual festival.  Still not satisfied, Trew founded The New Movement Theater in New Orleans in 2012.

A New Movement in Austin Comedy

The New Movement Theater sits nonchalantly on the corner of 7th and Lavaca in scenic downtown Austin.  The BYOB club showcases stand-up, improv and sketch comedy through a variety of shows.  Their longest running showcase, and Austin’s longest running long-form improv show,  is the Megaphone Show.  This event has a local celebrity telling a real life story while The New Movement Theater’s main cast act it out through improv.   Like I stated earlier, it’s not all about improv though.  Chris Tellez’s showcase, Shit’s Golden, got its start at The New Movement Theater.  Rob Gagnon and Lane Krarup both host stand-up showcases there as well.

Aside from their regular shows and events, The New Movement Theater puts on special events like the annual Megaphone Marathon.  Starting today, 7/14 and running all the way to the 20th is the Austin leg of the Megaphone Marathon.  This marquee event features a variety of interpretations of The New Movement Theater’s long-form improv performed by every group between the Austin and New Orleans theaters.   Once they’re done in Austin, the groups join up again in New Orleans to entertain the denizens of one of the America’s oldest cities.

New Movement Theater Mural
The New Movement hosts a variety of sketch, stand-up and improv comedy shows.

But wait, there’s more!  While Trew and the New Movement crew are entertainers, they are also teachers.  Improv and comedy classes are available to aspiring yucksters wanting to learn long form improv.  As always, events, classes and all other details are available on The New Movement Theater’s website.  You can follow Chris Trew’s comedy, Air Sex shenanigans, and work as professional wrestling manager on his website ChrisTrew.com.