Guess who was spotted inside the new UCB East comedy venue last night? None other than Upright Citizens Brigade founders Matt Walsh, Ian Roberts and Matt Besser, giving a press interview in advance of tonight’s start of the 13th annual Del Close Marathon.
At the DCM12 press conference, the UCB trio had announced the opening of UCB East — or UC Beast — would happen early this year. But the venue at 42 Avenue A, formerly the Two Boots Pizza cinema and video store, got mired in bureaucratic red tape and protests from neighbors about their “Hot Chicks Room” sign and other petty matters. Alphabet City and the East Village sure are different neighborhoods in 2011, aren’t they! UCB founder Amy Poehler handed over the “Hot Chicks Room” sign this spring to a nonprofit group to hang on a compost learning center with chickens on Governors Island.
UCB people told The Comic’s Comic last night that they’re “getting ready to open” UCB East, and I’ve already received word from some shows booking gigs there in September. The aim of UCB East is to provide a home for more stand-up and variety shows, thereby allowing the main UCB New York City theater in Chelsea to open up more primetime hours for improv and sketch.
The new UCB East has a bar in the front, theater in the back. It’s a block north of the old Mo Pitkin’s site, which currently is closed and has a real-estate sign on it offering it up for lease/purchase.
Expect to hear more details this afternoon when DCM13 kicks off with its press conference.