Gunnar Sadowey, Staff Writer
After signing a property lease in November of 2018, Positively Funny Inc. announced its Birmingham Improv Theatre opening date for Saturday, Feb. 16, 2019, according to a news release.
The opening gala on Feb. 23 will debut “Anything Goes,” a sketch comedy displaying performing artists from across the Southeast.
Ty Malugani, executive committee spokesperson of the Birmingham Improv Theatre, is excited to return to the stage after a brief hiatus and looking forward to the public debut of the sketch comedy performances.
“Positively Funny Improv has been on stage in Birmingham almost weekly since our inception in 2010,” Malugani said according to a press release. “After a summer off from over eight years of weekly performances, we were looking for the right place to move back into the city. After not finding the perfect venue we decided to create our own space.”
After lagging behind cities including Atlanta, New Orleans, Nashville and Orlando, Birmingham was one of the only major southeastern cities that did not claim an improv theatre. As organizers debated over locations, they eventually settled on a downtown location to host the new performance art center.
The Birmingham Improv Theatre, located at 2208 7th Ave. South, is one of many “firsts” in its neighborhood.
“We felt given the huge renaissance that Birmingham is experiencing, the timing for this new creative space is now,” Malugani said in the press release. “And what better place to open the Birmingham Improv Theatre than in a neighborhood of firsts.”
For example, Birmingham’s first distillery is being established just two blocks away; Birmingham’s first major hospital, the Hillman Hospital, now named UAB University Hospital sits just two blocks west of the theatre; and a variety of “first” restaurants lay scattered up and down 7th Ave. South, including Mooyah Burgers and Hattie B’s Hot Chicken.
Surrounding areas and features aside, a specific goal of the Birmingham Improv Theatre is to offer family-friendly entertainment six nights a week.
“In addition to all the people moving back into the city, there are 9,100 hotel rooms filled with guests who have a limited number of entertainment options available to them during the week,” Malugani said. “The theater will be a quick Uber ride away from Uptown, the convention center and all the downtown area hotels.”
Positively Funny Inc. is an option for families and friends to gather and watch local and regional artists perform material that has been perfected months in advance. All are invited to attend the opening gala, but tickets are limited in quantity.
“Anything Goes” will premiere Saturday at 7:30 p.m., with tickets available for purchase online starting at $25.
Gunnar Sadowey is the sports editor for the Crimson. He is a senior from Elkhart, IN. Gunnar is currently a journalism and mass communications major with a print concentration and a German minor.