Pomona College Magazine
Volume 41. No. 1.
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 Groundings Theatre
Laugh till you drop at a comedy shop.

You’ll find plenty of comedy clubs to choose from, but the funniest improv in town, we’re told, is at The Groundlings Theater, on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles. The Groundlings is a hip spot where budding comedic actors are born, according to Sarah Wheeler ’05, director of the five-college improvisational comedy troupe known as Without a Box.

 “It’s one of the top three improv/comedy theatres in the country, boasting such alumni as Phil Hartman, Maya Rudolph, Lisa Kudrow and many, many more,’’ says Wheeler. “They’re constantly having old performers come back, many of whom are famous. I’ve seen a lot of ‘Mad TV’ cast members perform there, and the lady who played Frau Farbissina (Mindy Sterling) in Austin Powers. They do improv and sketch comedy in a character driven, edgy style.’’

Several Without a Box members have taken classes at The Groundlings, including former director Mac Barnett ’04. “It isn’t exactly a clubby club, so don’t go expecting overpriced drinks and food,’’ says Barnett. “It’s one of two top-quality improvisational outfits in the country, the other being Second City in Chicago. Plus it’s on Melrose, so afterwards you can wander along looking for overpriced drinks and food.’’
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