@mnfringe    youtube facebook twitter

jumper-image
My Fringe Free tools for planning your experience. Log in or sign up

The Gentlemen's Pratfall Club

Comedy
show image

The Gentlemen's Pratfall Club

By Comedy Suitcase

Created by Scrimshaw and Weinhagen



A struggling actor and a cruel French clown battle for the most coveted role in children's TV: Captain Clumsy. The creators of The Smothers Brothers Grimm bring you an uplifting comedy about falling down.

Comedy

Physical theater/Clowning World premiere

The creators say this show is appropriate for ages 7 and up

Other shows

The Gentlemen's Pratfall Club is recommended by City Pages and MPR's State of the Arts

A struggling actor battles a cruel French clown for the most coveted role in children’s television: Captain Clumsy.  The mysterious Gentlemen’s Pratfall Club holds the key to victory.  Membership is free… but what are the hidden costs?  One man will discover standing up for what you believe in is easy; falling down for it is hard.

 The Gentlemen’s Pratfall Club is an all-ages comedy about physical comedy.  What makes it funny?  Why do kids love it and adults pretend not to?  Is it lowbrow, highbrow or both— unibrow comedy for the whole family? 

 Written, directed and performed by Comedy Suitcase masterminds Joshua English Scrimshaw and Levi Weinhagen, creators of such wildly successful shows as Smothers Brothers Grimm, The Harty Boys Save Christmas and The Harty Boys in The Case of the Limping Platypus. 

Comedy Suitcase is a comedy production company dedicated to creating live comedy for all ages. Founded in 2010 by Joshua English Scrimshaw and Levi Weinhagen, Comedy Suitcase strives to bridge the gap between imaginative children’s theater and sophisticated comedy for adults.  In the words of Groucho Marx, “A child of five could understand this.

PREVIOUS PRAISE FOR THE COMEDY SUITCASE:

“Must See!” - St. Paul Pioneer Press

“Rife with madcap fun and sharp wit” – mnartists.org

“Thrilling enough for kids but slyly satiric enough for grown-ups” – The Onion

“Five stars… These people know how to craft a good comedy show” – TC Daily Planet

Cast + crew

Joshua Scrimshaw
Role: Creator/Performer
Joshua has been called many things including a "smart and clever voice in Twin Cities comedy theater" (Star Tribune), "Less awkward than Ray Romano" (TC Daily Planet) and "The Jackie Chan of Minneapolis Theater" (l'etoile). A Fringe Festival veteran, Joshua has created many critically acclaimed shows including Look Ma No Pants and The Scrimshaw Show with that other pesky Scrimshaw, Shut Your Joke Hole with wife and choreographer Adrienne English, From Here to Maternity with funny woman Shanan Custer and The Harty Boys in The Case of the Limping Platypus with fellow Comedy Suitcase Founder, Levi Weinhagen. Last spring, Joshua launched English Scrimshaw Theatrical Novelties with the aforementioned Adrienne English to create the pseudo historical steampunk silent comedy To Mars With Tesla or The Interplanetary Machinations of Evil Thomas Edison as well as the upcoming book club/variety show, Book Club for Barflies. When Joshua is not making the funny, he can be found parenting his two children and running the cheese department at the Lake Calhoun Whole Foods Market. All three of these endeavors have an embarrassing amount of overlap.

Levi Weinhagen
Role: Creator/Performer
Levi tweets sometimes funny words - @ThatLevi

The proud father of a clever but possibly nuts six year-old daughter, Levi Weinhagen is co-founder of Comedy Suitcase. He has written for and performed with several theater companies in the Twin Cities including: the Brave New Workshop, The Ministry of Cultural Warfare, HUGE Theater, Bridge productions, Pick A Line. He is a founding member of the improv sensation Sir Laffs-A-Lot. Levi has also written educational theater for the Science Museum of Minnesota.

Levi hosts and produces a podcast featuring conversations with artists who are parents called Pratfalls of Parenting. He's the social media manager of the online magazine Minnesota Playlist . Also, Levi does a grown-ups only improvised weekly comedy podcast called Trendz. To find out more about Levi things check out Levi Dot Com

Write a review

You will be able to write a review for this show during the festival.


User reviews

Enjoyable and perfectly set
by Christopher Harrington
Rating 4 stars
I enjoyed the space and the performance. They did a wonderful job filling the large room and keeping things moving along.

As pretentious as this may sound, I was a bit disappointed by the variety of pratfalls. I've attended dozens of pro wrestling shows with better executed and more varied spots. Some great opportunities were missed. If the show is about pratfalls, you should deliver the best there is.

It's wasn't quite clowning and it wasn't quite stage fighting bumps. And I wish it had a more satisfying conclusion that was related to the central plotline.

However, this was the most quintessential fringe show I've seen, which is a credit to the talent of the writer and performers.

I am in awe
by Andrew Troth
Rating 5 stars
Stupendously entertaining. The tumbling was just amazing, and I laughed almost nonstop. Incredible work by Joshua Scrimshaw and Levi Weinhagen.

Comedic noir? Hellz oui!
by Dwayna Paplow
Rating 5 stars
If you cannot stand gratuitous comedic violence, avoid like the plague. If you enjoy two men who kick, trip, slip, and slap their way through a clever story, then run to get to this show! Training montage guaranteed.

Pratfall's, Laughs, Oh My!
by Tristine Miller
Rating 4 stars
A fun show in a great venue, these fellows have it down when it comes to a solid story from start to finish, in addition to their trademark physical comedy routine. The only thing I found lacking was the opportunity to use more than one actor for some of the bit parts to draw me into the story more. Best part was that the show won the heart of the young kid sitting behind me, and I got to hear her giggles as the fellows threw themselves around the stage. I appreciate how this duo knows how to present a family-friendly show!

Less funny if it must be explained
by Publius McGee
Rating 4 stars
There is no plot. Just go with it. People falling down is always funny, Scrimshaws falling down the funniest.

Legends of the Fall
by Mark Mikula
Rating 5 stars
A loving homage to a bygone era rooted in a timeless approach to getting a laugh. This show somehow manages to present so many types of silly comedy without going for anything too easy. It appeals to children, childish adults, and adults. Nearly any aspect of the show that can be challenged for being too absurd is soon enough tethered to a believable, intelligently presented, and hilarious reality, which makes the show that much more endearing. It's a real standout that has earned its encore slot for its commitment to both the physical and the cerebral. Congratulations, Comedy Suitcase!

Fantastic on Every Level
by Jennifer Cummings
Rating 5 stars
There's Schrödinger funny and there's Saget funny -- how Scrimshaw and Weinhagen bridge these two over the wide gamut of comedy is nothing short of brilliant.

The Southern Theater performing area is massive, and yet, it's not nearly big enough for these two.

Ow
by Cato Brutus
Rating 4 stars
The plot is a paper-thin contrivance that's a tad light on strong jokes, but as long as it exists to get Joshua Scrimshaw to risk life and limb, I don't mind too much. No object is so innocuous that he can't somehow get his feet caught in it and land on his neck.

The farce of gravity
by Roy Close
Rating 5 stars
A very funny show about falling down. The opera sequence -- you'll know it when you see it -- is laugh-till-you-cry hilarious, the funniest sequence of physical comedy I've seen in many a moon. Don't ask, just go see it.

Fall Down Funny
by David Rust
Rating 5 stars
This is one of those perfect comedies that not only has a really complete and succinct story but brings out all the laughter in the world while telling it. Joshua Scrimshaw is a master of physical comedy. Watching him fall down, over and over and over and over and over is hilarious! His partner in crime, Levi Weinhagen, manages to walk the line between straight man and observational comic like a pro.

And that's what this show is: professional.

Far from stodgy, which the word "professional" implies, this is a balls-to-the-wall (or to-the-floor, in this case) celebration of fantastic comedy. The "training montage" scene, alone, is worth the price of admission. The two tell a hilarious story that celebrates physical comedy and having fun.

"Clown" is not a verb; "fall" is
by Fringivitis Vulgaris
Rating 5 stars
They fell, I leapt! Beautiful physical comedy, performed with enthusiasm by fine actors who love their craft. I want to BE these guys! Comedy hurts... hurts my sides.

Fun for all
by Sheila Smith
Rating 5 stars
We all loved it, very funny

Winner!
by Tim Torgerson
Rating 5 stars
Funny show. Really enjoyed it.

Battered But Game!
by Patrick Pfundstein
Rating 5 stars
The cast, like the founder of the Gentlemen’s Pratfall Club are taking a real licking, but as of Friday night they were still ticking. Stairs, chairs, or follicles; no object is too mundane or small to start some trip-based comedy.There is a story in there somewhere, too, but it mostly just a vehicle to deliver wipe-outs and arms stuck down pants-legs. And laughter! And Rule #8!

Glorious!
by Jim Robinson
Rating 5 stars
When the lights came up after Joshua Scrimshaw's and Levi Weinhagen's show was over, the woman next to me exclaimed, with joy, "Oh, my God! Glorious!" I didn't know her, but I agree with her completely. "The Gentlemen's Pratfall Club" is glorious. It's funny and delightful and truthful and I loved every minute of it. I am smiling as I write this. Thanks to Levi and Joshua for making me laugh out loud and gush like this on the laptop computer. See this show!

GREAT!!
by Jimmy Leduc
Rating 5 stars
This show is absolutely stellar! Great performances! Amazing physical comedy! Absolutely loved this show.

Yes!
by Ian Baird
Rating 5 stars
So much fun! This show is absolutely gorgeous!

Love it!
by Erin Sheppard
Rating 5 stars
This is a great show. Great comedy, great for all ages, great message. Why do it if it's not fun?

I think everyone will take something a little different from this - the responses from the 8-year-old sitting behind me were nearly as entertaining as the show itself! Really fun physical comedy and an entertaining story.

Gravity is Mean
by John Middleton
Rating 5 stars
Since seeing this show I keep thinking about life and pain and comedy and how existence is really just a series of whacks to the shin and I won't put any of that into an audience review because, I mean, who cares? Instead, I'll say this show is quite good for a while and then, suddenly, it's fantastic.

Fall-down funny
by Rick Treece
Rating 5 stars
Great physical comedy, great characterizations, great script.

Bring the kids, but come even if you don't have any.

I fear for Joshua Scrimshaw
by Arnold Roos
Rating 5 stars
Yes, I do. He's a throwback--he reminds me of Chaplin, Keaton, Stan Laurel, Red Skelton. He and Levi play off each other perfectly, in a script that does contain TONS of brilliant pratfalls, but also lots of big laugh lines. They also have the improv chops to make hilarious bits out of mistakes and hiccups in the show. Why do I worry? I'm afraid the man is going to put himself out of commission. Seriously, he has no fear. Wonderful for us, scary for him. Get to the Southern, and bring the family. Before it's too late! BRILLIANT!

Adult diapers recommended
by Linda Breitag
Rating 4 stars
Like Fry and Laurie only more bruises. Do they have a secret painless way to slap, or does Levi just take it like a boss? Red chairs, OMG. Opera, ditto. And Levi with his dead legs--thought my husband would lose it. So refreshing after all the soul-searching Fringe shows, and I love soul-searching! Story more convoluted than necessary perhaps - I wanted even more physical stuff.

The only glitch: the insider-ish actor jokes and the over-the-top response to them from the late-entry Artist clump in the back. I got the references but didn't find most of them funny - too obvious/easy; at times Josh and Levi milked that or reacted too much, lost it a bit, which seemed kind of unpro. I guess people like to think they're on the inside.

The joy of the embrace of gravity
by Nick of Nick & Rosie Heille
Rating 5 stars
A satirical satire of pratfall humor from actors at their peak who create characters you care about as they embrace the pull of gravity.

delightful.
by Amber Bjork
Rating 4 stars
The chair crossing. Oh gods, the chair crossing. And the silent bit. Comedy Suitcase never disappoints.

So much FUN!
by Jake Scott
Rating 5 stars
These two are an outstanding comedy team. This show is a ton of fun to watch because Levi and Joshua seem to be having so much fun performing it. A good pratfall is a beautiful thing, and these guys do some amazing pratfalls in this show.

fun for all ages
by Vicki Joan Keck
Rating 4 stars
Josh & Levi present and old fashioned hour of silly fun for all ages. I never realized falling down could be so funny. Goofy characters, great physical comedy and a lot of laughs!

Funny that it makes you fall over
by Fan of Theater
Rating 4 stars
Funny as usual. Love the many different roles Joshua played. Show for all ages, so come and fall over it.

see it ASAP!
by Captain Heck
Rating 5 stars
What kind of sick and twisted person gets joy out of seeing others in pain? OK, I admit that I do. My little nephews who I brought to this also agreed that it was the most fantastic live performance they have ever seen. Yes, they are 6 and 8, but they have far more expertise when it comes to appreciating the prat fall than either you or I.

I'm completely serious when I suggest you not only see this but to see it as soon as possible. These guys might have perfected the art of physical comedy, but that often requires that they literally put their bodies through the ringer. I saw blood, I think I heard bones break, and I believe there were lose teeth on the floor afterwards. I don't know how long these guys can keep it up so see it ASAP

A Show That You Could "Fall" For!
by Hazen Markoe
Rating 4 stars
Once again, Comedy Suitcase presents a uniquely funny show that will leave you laughing. When an untalented actor (Levi Weinhagen) tries out for the role of "Captain Clumsy," he finds himself on a journey that pits him against a wild variety of characters (Joshua Scrimshaw) who attempt to teach him the fine art of the pratfall. Despite a somewhat slow start, the show picks up pace pretty quickly and the physical humor is delightful and spot on! Defiitely worth your time catching this one.

Celebrants felt a length lump
by Brian Watson-Jones
Rating 4 stars
Some damn, damn fine comedy here. A dark past, a painful present, and lots of falling down. Some of the standalone pratfalls grew old in the repetition, but the chair crossing alone is worth the price of admission. Seriously, that's the kind of nonsense where repetition makes it better and better. Bring the kids, and make sure they don't learn anything!

Great fun!
by Annie Johnson
Rating 5 stars
Watch gravity win (repeatedly) in this whip-smart, endearing, hilarious salute to physical comedy!

Romper Room
by Sergius OShaughnessey
Rating 5 stars
And we all fall down! If you love pratfalls, you'll bend over laughing! But watchout so you don't fall down. Scrimshaw and Weinhagen do Dick Van Dyke proud!

Fun for all ages
by Matlisa Semrad
Rating 5 stars
Terrific script, acting, and falling. As Checkov says, " once you introduce Barbie's throne into a plot, the audience waits for its demise."

Very funny physical comedy
by Marie Simpson
Rating 4 stars
This show was so fun. I only wish I had sat on the opposite aisle. Joshua Scrimshaw did the best pratfall comedy I have ever seen. I especially loved hearing adults and kids both laughing uproariously. Highly recommended

Uber fun
by Robyn Hendrix
Rating 5 stars
I can't say much to add to the reviews already posted. This show is really funny, as you have probably already heard, so you should probably go see it and get some good laughs.

Physical comedy hurts
by Scott Pakudaitis
Rating 4 stars
Josh Scrimshaw did one of the most astounding things I've ever seen happen within the confines of the Southern Theater. This show is physical comedy gold.

Cat flails wildly off a hot tin roof
by Michael Krefting
Rating 4 stars
I do love physical comedy. This show provided exactly what I had hoped. Two actors literally falling over each other. Even the kid behind me enjoyed it!

Bloodied and Bruised
by Sarah Bizek
Rating 4 stars
I must admit, it took me a little bit to get in to the story. But after about 20 minutes, they had me! My favorite was the opera scene. I almost cried, I was laughing so hard! Also really enjoyed the shout out to Levi's chin accident.

Stellar performances. I'd recommend this show!

Men falling down
by Andy Kraft
Rating 5 stars
This show is amazingly funny and you should see it now! So much physical humor! My favorite part was when they reenacted the scene from the movie, "ALIVE!"

Funny Show!
by Susan Colins-Hearth
Rating 5 stars
I've been following Comedy Suitcase ever since The Harty Boys show and this year they don't disappoint. This is defiantly the most physical show I have seen from them. I have no idea how Joshua Scrimshaw can walk after each performance! I saw this show with a packed audience and everyone loved it. Great for kids and adults. Go see it!!!

These Guys Will Bleed Internally For You
by Josh Carson
Rating 5 stars
Joshua and Levi love comedy, and they want people of all ages to love comedy as well. Which is why they will do anything, ANYTHING, to get a laugh. And they rightfully earn some big, big laughs. These gentlemen quite literally throw themselves into this production no matter what the sacrifices. Which, sometimes are physically visible. T

There might be blood.

And, you know what, I'll just say it right out loud: More inspiring than Cool Runnings. And I LOVE Cool Runnings!

Soooooooo good!!
by Florence Brammer
Rating 5 stars
What a wonderfully affectionate homage to the lost art of physical comedy. Just great. I was in the second row behind two kids in the front row and now I know what the phrase "bent over with laughter" means. They literally were laughing so hard they couldn't sit up. I enjoyed watching them as much as the wonderful show. A really brilliant concept, beautifully executed. And LOTS of crazy, courageous pratfalls.

Not just for the kids
by Kelly Rosenthal
Rating 5 stars
I don't consider myself a big fan of physical comedy, so while I expected to enjoy the show, I didn't expect to like it as much as I did. Great fun!

Wonderful physical acting
by Claire Alexander
Rating 5 stars
It was a delight for 50 minutes. The physical acting was well done and lovely. Go see this show!

Disappointed.
by Eric Salo
Rating 3 stars
This was not a bad show by any means but for whatever reason it just wasn't my cup of tea. That said, the house was full to bursting and a great many people were laughing a lot; I simply wasn't one of them. I wasn't interested in the story and the physical humor, while well done, wasn't enough to carry the show.

One word.
by Haunch Keller
Rating 5 stars
Claaaaaaaaaaaassic!

Brilliant physical comedy
by Daniel Pinkerton
Rating 5 stars
Comedy rule #10: The line between silly and sublime isn't worth looking for. SEE THIS SHOW. And please: pee before it starts. You'll thank me.

Polished and Witty
by Larry Ripp
Rating 5 stars
Comedy Suitcase is presenting a must see for Fringe this year. Joshua English Scrimshaw is becoming an absolute master of physical comedy.If you've ever laughed at Dick Van Dyke tripping over the footstool you will have a rib tickling experience here. All others can enjoy the witty, joke-filled script that is without one mis-fire. Every minute of this show is amusing. Some of it is jaw droppingly great!

Yes!
by T. W.
Rating 5 stars
Are you kidding me with these falls? Amazing. I understand there was a mishap in the first show; way to bounce back and have us w/ our mouths agape at the physical comedy here.

It also helps there's a nice, concise story to follow and with which to root for the characters.

Ooh la la!
by Amy Bonifas
Rating 4 stars
Joshua Scrimshaw literally wears many hats in this fine production. Don't miss this one. And try to grab a seat near the stairs!

Boing
by Matilda ZombieQueen
Rating 4 stars
Build up was s little slow, but the payoff is great. However, inner stage manager would like a cocktail if she is going to have to watch people hurl themselves down the house stairs.

Great fun
by Laurie Goldberg
Rating 4 stars
This play is a lot of fun. I've been a fan of Levi Weinhagen and Comedy Suitcase for a number of years. Don't hurt yourself, boys! But thanks for throwing yourself into it.

Great Start to Fringe!
by Lena Lyle
Rating 5 stars
These actors will do anything for a laugh. They warn you that physical comedy hurts, and you can sure see it. This show packs as many pratfalls as possible and yet they are funny every time. Poor Levi split his chin during the performance, but he seemed to be okay. Hopefully they can make it through the rest of Fringe with getting more seriously hurt. In any case, it was good fun suitable for the whole family.

Hilarious!
by Ana Kaveh
Rating 4 stars
The whole family had agreat time at this show! Our kids, ages 6 and 9, laughed out loud through much of it. Lots of crazy pratfalls to enjoy and marvel at and tons of silly jokes. Hope Scrimshaw and Weinhagen make it through the rest of their performances without breaking any bones. Definitely add this show to your list of Fringe shows you must see!

Comedy Hurts!
by Eric Wentling
Rating 5 stars
These guys were seriously crazy, throwing themselves into chairs and landing flat on their backs on the floor. At one point Scrimshaw actually rolled, leapt and sprawled all the way down the stairs of the theater right past my chair! Insane stunt! The other actor actually split his chin and was bleeding all over himself during the last part of the show, but he just incorporated it into the banter and dialog. Fantastic!

Funny, family-friendly
by Naomi Kritzer
Rating 4 stars
My kids (aged 11 and 8) came out and promptly threw themselves down the stairs outside the theater. Very funny, really good physical comedy, a little more inspirational to my children than I'd have liked. A really good way to start the Fringe.

Delivers as advertized
by David Trudeau
Rating 4 stars
Masterful well worked physical comedy by Joshua Scrimshaw set in an amusing story that carries through well. Weinhagen is a great straight man to Scrimshaws amazing feats that include the longest tumble down a stair case I have ever seen. Lots of small kids there who loved it as much as I did.

Everybody loves a good pratfall
by Steve Smith
Rating 3 stars
Some excellent pratfalls. Real blood! Great cast of characters. Even a good story to tie it together. But a little draggy at times. Maybe it will crisp up later in the run.

Worth seeing. Just not my top pick.

great start!
by Claire Avitabile
Rating 4 stars
great fun for young and old - however there were a few parts i didn't feel were appropriate for children... other than that, cute story, and joshua was amazing in multiple roles (no surprise there)!

So Much FUN!
by Mary K Weinhagen
Rating 5 stars
A fantastic start for the fringe! Sharp writing combined with spot on delivery makes for silly (and sometimes startling) fun for all ages. Highly recommend you add this to your 'must sees'

Comedy that hurts!
by Jennifer Eckes
Rating 5 stars
Very enjoyable show with a creative plot (outstanding writing), funny characters, and lots of real falling down which makes for some great comedy. Side-splitting (or in Levi's case, chin-splitting) good humor that bleeds with spirit.

Take the Leap.
by James Coleman
Rating 5 stars
Excellent show for people who are fans of physical comedy. Family friendly with a bit of nostalgia thrown in.

Do not attempt at home
by Will Weisert
Rating 5 stars
Other than a slightly slow opening to set the stage, this show keeps everyone, even the performers, rolling down the aisles. Great physical comedy and definitely family friendly.

Joshua and Levi do it again!
by Bradley Johnson
Rating 4 stars
Great show to start the Fringe! Fun and laughs for old and young. They always deliver and this performance was more than Levi expected!

A great way to start Fringe
by Kay Kirscht
Rating 5 stars
Five Mimes, well-earned. An Original, funny, death-defying, hour-long Razz-berry to Gravity.

Schedule

Thursday, 8/25:30 p.m.
Sunday, 8/58:30 p.m.
Thursday, 8/910:00 p.m.
Friday, 8/107:00 p.m.This performance is audio described
Sunday, 8/122:30 p.m.
Sunday, 8/128:30 p.m.

Venue

Southern Theater venue information
1420 Washington Ave. S