Cavern of Whimsy #2 Recap

In my preview for this show, I promised “Nat Iosbaker does something live I’ve only ever seen once before, on a recent trip to Thailand.”

While that statement was deliberately designed to conjure images of the seediest aspects of Bangkok’s nightlife, I was referring to a nature preserve in Northern Thailand where trained elephants paint on command using their trunks.

The elephants are not good artists. They paint mostly trees.

At the start of Cavern of Whimsy #2, we got the audience suggestion “dinosaur.” Nat’s no elephant, but he spent the next hour at the back of the stage painting in watercolor and emerged at the end with this:


It was one of many whimsical such happenings.

Nick Luciano took the stage as “John”, a desperate man searching for love in all the wrong restaurants.

Jason Palmer, Tessa Williams, and Emerson Dibley also used the suggestion “dinosaur” to create the following characters: “Manuel, the tallest man in the Philippines”; “Helen, the DIY blogger who discovered a real human skeleton in her backyard”; and “Curtis, the urban archaeologist who dumpster-dove 15 minutes before the show in order to assemble his wardrobe.”

Joy Mamey sang songs of sad love and Scottish hip hop.

– I gave a guided slideshow tour of the Venice Beach Boardwalk. Hint: it included marijuana-themed merchandise.

– Finally, magic and mentalism duo David & Leeman read minds, then blew them. (Minds.)

I’m eternally grateful to both my performers and my audience for being a part of it. Tell your kids, tell your wife: next month we’ll do it all again, only completely different. If you want to be a part of it, all you have to do is ask.


CoW #2 – July 7, 2014


This one nearly drove me insane.

The poster, I mean.

I spent a few hours this weekend sketching, plus another six last night. After my girlfriend made me aware that the performers might actually care how they’re portrayed on the promotional material (sorry Matt Noonan and Mike Trehy of “Well Done“; I know you don’t really look like that), I got kind of obsessive about it. Hopefully no one is deeply embarrassed this time.

As you can tell, the CoW #2 lineup is hot.

Joy Mamey is a performer at ComedySportz and iO West. July 7th she’ll bring her guitar and regale us with a little light musical comedy.

Jason Palmer, Tessa Williams, and Emerson Dibley are three of my favorite improvisers from the LA indie scene. We’re going to try out a new format together — which will be, in fact, a blatant ripoff of an old format — live!

David and Leeman
(or David & Leeman) will be fresh off an award-winning run at the LA Fringe Fest and a network TV debut on America’s Got Talent. Look them up. I should be shot for asking them to do a show with tickets this cheap.

Plus, Nick Luciano debuts a new character and Nat Iosbaker does something live I’ve only ever seen once before, on a recent trip to Thailand.

Plus, even more whimsy from me, Mike Critelli.

The facts are on the poster, and here:

At 9:00, Monday night, July 7th, at The Ruby Theatre, inside the double doors at The Complex, on the right, Cavern of Whimsy will begin, again.

$8 at the door, CASH ONLY.

Arrive 20-25 minutes early to grab a seat and a free drink. I’m not kidding. The first show started late but this one won’t. It can’t.

Much like AmPm®, we’ve got ‘Too Much Good Stuff!’™


Cavern of Whimsy #1 Recap

This is a photo of the theater lobby, taken 30 minutes post-show, the last few audience members still trying to wrap their heads around what they just witnessed:

photo(1)They saw it. Did you?

Did you see Well Done playing their own fathers in a new sketch about watching their sons perform at my show? (“Why they don’t quit acting and do something sensible, like become longshoremen?”)

Did you see David Croom tell a heartbreaking/hilarious story about mouth-kissing his own dying grandfather?

Did you see Adam Trent make an audience member’s $20 bill disappear out of an envelope he ran through a shredder, then reappear inside of an orange?

If you missed it, guess what?

It’s never happening again.

My deepest thanks to Matt Noonan and Mike Trehy of Well Done, David Croom, and Adam Trent for putting on the perfect show. There are no additional photos to post. No video. No audio. Someone in the crowd might have filmed a few segments on their phone, but the only way to see the show was to actually go see the show.

This week, I’m visiting my family in Connecticut while finalizing the acts for next month. Then, around mid-June, I’ll post another flyer and a preview for the July 7th show, and we’ll start this all over again.

Where were you on June 2nd?

Where will you be on July 7th?

Where will you be on the first Monday of every month?

If your answer isn’t “Mike Critelli’s Cavern of Whimsy,” “Oops.”


CoW #1 – June 2, 2014

Cavern of Whimsy, June 2nd


This is it: “Cavern of Whimsy #1″

It goes without saying that we’re all excited. I’m not going to tell you how to live your life, but if you miss this show, you’ll waste yours.

Who’s playing?

David Croom

IMG_0229Great stand-up with tons of jokes, one-liner-style. Because one-liners are all we can afford in this economy.

Well Done

AmericaWellDoneSketch comedy duo. Played both Second City and Upright Citizen’s Bridge Theater; now it’s Cavern time. God Bless America, indeed.

Adam Trent

Screen Shot 2014-05-29 at 3.17.23 PMMagician, plus comedy. One of the best you’ll ever see. Period.

Mike Critelli

Photo Feb 13, 4 46 52 PMMe, the host. Near an uprooted tree.

The facts are on the flyer, and here:

At 9:00, Monday night, June 2nd, at The Ruby Theatre, inside the double doors at The Complex, on the right, Cavern of Whimsy will begin.

$8 at the door, CASH ONLY.

Arrive 20-25 minutes early to grab a seat and a drink, free with the price of admission. If you ever see a show better than this for $8, don’t tell anyone, okay?