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Theater in pajamas? Ethel Mertz is no longer Albuquerque's most famous icon

A Pajama party, cheeky?
A Pajama party, cheeky?
Author's collection

The most famous person we know from Albuquerque is Ethel Roberta Louise Mae Potter Mertz. We now need to add The Pajama Men to out short list. These two guys---high-school pals Shenoah Allen and Mark Chavez---are bringing their trademark style of blink-of-an-eye character switches and sidesplitting humor to Pittsburgh. They are sketch comedians and masters of improv who have become stars of the international comedy circuit, earning five stars from the London Times and comparisons to Abbott and Costello, Monty Python and the crew from South Park. We are a bit sad that just 'cause they are men they haven't been comparsions (yet) to Ethel and Lucy.
Pittsburgh gets the debut of The Pajama Men's new show Just the Two of Each of Us, opening at City Theatre’s Mainstage on August 27 and running through September 7, 2014.
“Without elaborate costumes or props, The Pajama Men produce a riotous, theatrical evening of smart comedy—the kind that makes you laugh so hard it hurts,” explains Tracy Brigden, City Theatre’s Artistic Director. “Expect fast-paced physical comedy and outlandish characters that you won’t find watching stand-up at a club. It is truly something you have never seen before. These guys take hilarity to new heights.”
The duo met in the early '90s, auditioning for an Albuquerque high school improv team. It was at a time when having three side-by-side mohawks seemed like a good idea to Shenoah, and Mark was annually being voted class clown. They were teenagers. They didn’t know where they were headed, but they found, in each other, a vast ocean of bizarre, imaginary worlds that they chose to live in. The immeasurable blandness of their suburban surroundings became a blank canvas, and they spent their time talking in ridiculous voices to each other, absentmindedly creating long soap operas between characters that they spent more time inhabiting than they did being their “normal” selves. Eventually the lack of creative influences in the vicinity allowed, for better or worse, their unique comic voice to emerge in the form of partially-improvised, multi-character, narrative-sketch comedy shows. They have since written nine shows together and toured them to theatres and festivals around the world, receiving awards and acclaim, including “Double Act of the Year” by the London Times.
Ethel will be proud.

Performance Schedule
Wednesdays at 7 pm
Thursdays and Fridays at 8 pm
Saturdays at 5:30 and 8 pm
Sundays at 2 pm

City Theatre, 1300 Bingham Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15203 (South Side); tickets: $40 and $35
For more information, call 412.431.CITY (2489) or visit

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