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Bust A Move

Arcade Comedy Theater is taking a stroll down Liberty Avenue. The theater is not just moving down the block, from 811 Liberty Avenue to 943 Liberty; it’s expanding from its modest space into a custom-built, three-floor, two-theater, state-of-the art performance venue.

The Arcade Comedy Theater opened its doors in February, 2013. It was the first space in the Pittsburgh Cultural District dedicated to comedy: stand-up, sketch and improv. The theater, which continues to win Pittsburgh Magazine’s “Best of the Burgh” award, and City Paper’s “Best of Pittsburgh” award, gained national attention when Katie Couric featured the comedy venue in a short documentary about Pittsburgh for Yahoo! News. Iconic Pittsburgh celebrity Rick Sebak also highlighted the venue in his WQED documentary, “Another Trip Downtown.”

The Arcade Comedy Theater is run by four of its five founding members: creative directors, Michael Rubino, Abby Fudor, Kirsty Nolen and Jeff “Jethro” Nolen.

Fudor said, “The past four years have been non-stop. But enthusiastic support from our community and the impact we’ve made on people’s lives showed us how necessary it was to expand into something more permanent.”

The new facility will have two stages on two different floors of the building. Rubino said, “The plan is to have shows running on both stages every weekend.”

The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust has been aiding the endeavor. Fudor said, “The Trust has always been extremely supportive and excited to have a theater offering affordable, accessible shows that bring people downtown every single weekend, and classes that bring people downtown during weekends.”

The Arcade Comedy Theater has an extensive education program. The program consists of multiple classes in improv, musical improv, sketch and stand-up comedy four nights a week.

Arcade’s new space is anticipated to open later this summer. The 811 Liberty Avenue space will remain active until the opening.

Michael Buzzelli
Michael Buzzelli is a stand-up comedian and sit-down author. As a comedian, he has performed all around the country, most notably, the Ice House, the Comedy Store and the Improv in Los Angeles. As a writer, Michael Buzzelli has been published in a variety of websites, magazines and newspapers. He is a theater and arts critic for 'Burgh Vivant,’ Pittsburgh's online cultural talk magazine. He is also a Moth Grand Slam storyteller and actor. His books, "Below Average Genius," a collection of essays culled from his weekly humor column in the Observer-Reporter, and his romantic comedy,  “All I Want for Christmas," are on sale at Amazon.com. He is working on a LGBTQ romantic comedy called, “Why I Hate My Friends.” You can follow him on Facebook and Twitter. (He / Him / His)