This weekend at Carnegie Stage will be the debut of the Mares & Kaps Comedy Show!
And full disclosure folks, yours truly is Mares! And Jonathan Kaplan of Valley Stream, Long Island is Kaps. And together, we are Mares and Kaps!
Ok, but who are they? We need to go back to 2003 for that…
As I may have mentioned before, I am actor with a natural leaning towards comedy. At 22, I moved to NYC and did all the actor-y things you do when you’re that age (work at a restaurant). After 3 years, I wasn’t where I ‘thought I was supposed to be’, so I left on a whim (and daddy’s checkbook) to study clown with the incredible (and abusive?) Philippe Gaulier in Paris, France. After my tutelage, I returned to the states and decided that yes, in fact I still loved acting even though while abroad I was reminded each day how ‘hor-ri-bul’ I was (Thank you, Phillipe).
Fast forward to 2008… I traveled from Boston (where I was now living) back to NYC for another clown workshop (this time with a much nicer teacher). There, I met a bunch of the cats in the New York City clown world. Yes, there was a clown world then. And to be clear, maybe I should have said this earlier, when I say ‘clown’ I do not mean Ronald MacDonald or scary IT clown. Clown, as I understand clown, is an expression of one’s individual ‘ridiculous self’. The clown likes to play with the audience, be present with them and share the truth of a moment. Clown is a spirit or attitude to approach any type of performing: stand up, acting, improv, dance, etc. So, I don’t do clowning at parties (though I did try…) and I don’t do hospital clowning (they didn’t want me)… but when you meet me, you’ll see what I mean. I am truly a clown at heart.
Back to 2008… I was meeting clown peeps and there was one that laughed at my jokes, was funny himself and also very savvy with technical stuff. By that I mean he and another clown friend were giving voice to a cartoon he had created which was being screened at a theater. I was very impressed. That clown was Jonathan Kaplan.
It wasn’t until 2014 that Kaps and I reconnected once again. I’d moved back to NYC to work on a TV show and he was hosting a ‘slow improv’ class at the PIT Theater. I saw him post about it on Facebook and I started to attend them. Soon enough, we realized we had a lot of fun ‘clowning around’ together and it turned out he was still very technically savvy.
Shortly after those fun moments in 2014, I moved back to Boston and Kaps and I began our joyful and often challenging long-distance creative relationship. From 2015 to late 2017, we wrote and shot our web series Killing it! (his technical skills and connections came through!) while I moved from Boston to Pittsburgh (now making my 4 hr drive to Long Island a 7 hr drive) and then got married (not to him but to a samurai). At the start of 2018, we began to write an epic ‘Season 2’ for Killing it!, which later was renamed Mares & Kaps . In November of last year, with the support of producer Carrie Collins and director Steve ‘Stevo’ Parys and an incredible list of local artists and crew peeps, we shot the pilot eppy of this new show.
And THAT is Mares and Kaps. Here is a video about us:
So what is the Mares and Kaps Comedy Show?
It’s like this:
The show will feature our 9 episode web- series, Killing it! (Amazon Prime) which was released in 2017. In the series, Mares and Kaps, a pair of over-grown adult children, meet up every day at Kaps’ shitty apartment and explore some new-fangled threat that Mares perceives she is facing. Mares is petty, superficial and often jealous. Kaps is fun loving, masochistic and always up for an adventure. These shorts were our first swing at making videos, and we think they’re pretty great!
Intermingled with the series will be appearances by Celine Dion (!) and her beloved late husband Rene Angelil. Jonathan Kaplan will do stand-up and lead some classroom-like presentations based on his popular web series, Grading Animals.
Local musician Gary Musisko will be playing songs from his soon to be recorded solo album, and Gun Talk, a performance piece about gun violence in America, will be presented by Mike Vargo and John W. Miller.
I’d love to see you there! Stick around after and say hi! We are so excited to share our stupid flavor of fun with everyone.
Mares and Kaps Comedy Show
January 24 and 25 @ 8pm
Pittsburgh's alternative theater company
equal, diverse, inclusive