Banned in Boston: Pols/Celebs Act Up, Attempt Funny for Urban Improv Friday April 11 at House of Blues

Martha Coakley, Jim McGovernIt can be excruciating painful and/or funny and/or both. It’s Banned in Boston, the annual fundraiser for Urban Improv (more on this later) at the House of Blues: Friday, April 11. It’s a comedic and musical revue that corrals local celebrities, media personalities, politicians, and arts and business leaders to attempt make them “actors” in skits written for them by real professional writers. Sometimes hilarity ensues, and, if not, embarrassment and you know how much fun it can be to watch famous folks embarrass themselves. This year, we’ve got Governor Deval Patrick and wife, newly christened Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, longtime Urban Improv vet Aerosmith bassist Tom Hamilton (expect to see him in drag), WGBH/Greater Boston’s Emily Rooney, Attorney General Martha Coakley – interview to come with her, see update! –  and many others. Your host: KISS 108’s Matt Siegel. And we’ll be seeing an exclusive and we believe potentially comic video from the putative Next President of the United States – or maybe we should just say former Secretary of State – Hilary Clinton. My friend and colleague, Boston Common editor Lisa Pierpont is stepping on stage for her sixth year. “I started out as a dancer,” says says, “and now have an official part where I cough a lot and….spoiler alert…die. The show is a GAS to be a part of, particularly backstage where you are in an elbow-room-only space with the city’s most successful leaders and colorful personalities; it’s a level playing field where the unspoken credo is: we’re all in this together, laughing, and making fools of ourselves for an unbelievably relevant cause.” Who else will play the fool? Forever candidate for governor, Charlie Baker; CNN political analyst, David Gergen; co-host of NESN’s Dining Playbook, Jenny Johnson; Boston Foundation President and CEO, Paul Grogan; Massachusetts Cultural Council Executive Director, Anita Walker; host of WGBH for the Arts, Jared Bowen; Managing Director of JP Morgan, Marc White; Director of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Anne Hawley; Managing Director of the Huntington Theater Company, Michael Maso – here’s a man with theater experience! – Harvard Men’s Basketball Coach, Tommy Amaker; COO Red Sox of the Boston Red Sox, Sam Kennedy. Now, what’s Urban Improv? It’s a group uses improvisational theatre workshops to teach violence prevention, conflict resolution, and decision making. The program’s innovative curriculum helps students deal creatively with major life issues including racism, cyberbullying, homophobia and violence Founded in 1992, the program currently serves more than 5,000 students from Boston and throughout New England. This is UI’s big money event of the year – this is year 22 – bringing in $500,000. There is a pre-show soiree, with food and drink from 15 of the city’s top restaurants, including Lansdowne Pub. Ashmont Grill/Tavolo, Bully Boy Distillers, Eastern Standard, Flora, Harvest, JP Seafood, La Morra, Mei Mei, Middlesex Lounge, Scampo/Towne, Steel & Rye, Stonehearth Pizza, The Fireplace, Tremont 647 and Union Bar & Grille.That kicks-off at the Lansdowne Pub at 6 p.m. The show begins at House of Blues at 7:45 p.m and ends at 9. Tickets are $250 or $150 for attendees 40 years old and younger.  (In photo: Coakley and Jim McGovern from 2012.)

l5 Lansdowne St., Boston, 617-524-7049 www.Bannedinboston