‘Mares & Kaps Comedy Show’ at Carnegie Stage

The variety show format will feature several acts.

Jonathan Kaplan and Marianne Bayard are trying to be serious for this publicity shot for their comedy team of Mares & Kaps, but you know they are ready to bust out laughing at any moment.

Jonathan Kaplan and Marianne Bayard are trying to be serious for this publicity shot for their comedy team of Mares & Kaps, but you know they are ready to bust out laughing at any moment.

Between the weather, New Year’s Resolutions (at least through the first week), and the holiday hangover of bills, January can be a cruel month. So get out and get some good yucks for not a lot of bucks ($10) with the Mares & Kaps Comedy Show at Carnegie Stage January 24 and 25.

The Mare is Marianne Bayard, by day the mild-mannered marketing director for off the WALL productions. On other days and times she is an actor, writer, producer, and comedian who is also a member of the Screen Actors Guild.

Her performance education not only included a degree from Emerson College, but also the clown training school, Ecole Phillipe Gaulier of Paris, France. Bayard has developed solo diva parody shows such as Spending Time with Celine and Cher: A Love Story, and has had supporting roles in films Knives Out, Joy, The Possession of Hanna Grace, and the TV series “Mindhunter.”

Jonathan Kaplan, based in Lindenhurst, New Jersey is a stand-up comedian who created the Instagram web series “Grading Animals with JKAPS,” founded and produces the comedy podcast “Low End Gigolos,” and has toured the Canadian Fringe Festival Circuit with Found in New York Productions.

Together as Mares & Kaps they have produced the successful Amazon Prime web series “Killing It!” In the series Mares and her best friend Kaps contemplate motherhood, why Mares isn’t famous yet, death, day jobs, and facial disorders.

Now the dynamic comedy duo have written a new nine-episode story, “Mares & Kaps,” which follows the same characters from “Killing it!” on an adventure of a lifetime to Glitzburgh (the fictional indie film capital of the world). They have shot the pilot episode which will be premiered during part of the comedy show. Financial backing is in the process of being secured to shoot the remaining eight episodes in Pittsburgh.

“The support we’ve received from the people of Pittsburgh has truly been outstanding,” says Bayard. “We shared our script with Steve Parys in July 2019. Stevo is like the mayor in the Pittsburgh film world; he knows everyone and has worked on everything. He loved our zany story and agreed to direct us.” Veteran producer Carrie Collins produced the episode.

In addition to the screening of the pilot, look for Mares & Kaps to perform some of their top comedy sketches from their solo careers and time together.

While Mike Vargo ponders the meaning of a pine cone, John W. Miller snaps a usie (a multi-person selfie) while also showcasing his banjo, when they are supposed to be rehearsing their 'Gun Talk' performance piece.

While Mike Vargo ponders the meaning of a pine cone, John W. Miller snaps a usie (a multi-person selfie) while also showcasing his banjo, when they are supposed to be rehearsing their ‘Gun Talk’ performance piece.

The variety show will also feature another happening duo: Entertainment Central’s own theater and art reviewer (and former Newsweek journalist) Mike Vargo, with John W. Miller (former Wall Street Journal reporter and recently co-maker of the documentary film Moundsville), in a performance piece about battling gun violence called “Gun Talk.” Vargo, who also performs as a storyteller around the ‘Burgh, says, “I’d been wanting to do something about gun violence—which has touched many people in my life—but didn’t want to do a heavy emotional thing or just repeat what’s already been said. So John suggested this rap-style, 2-man talking piece with a bit of banjo.”

Providing non-comedy musical entertainment for the event is Gary Musisko, an Americana/folk musician. He will perform songs from an upcoming new album.

This wallet-friendly Mares & Kaps comedy extravaganza will be held at Carnegie Stage, a performance emporium in downtown Carnegie, PA, just over the hill from Greentree and just off the Parkway West at 25 West Main Street. Performance time for both shows is 8 p.m. For tickets and more information visit the Carnegie Stage website. This could sell out, so if interested get your tickets early.

Rick Handler is the executive producer of Entertainment Central.