Ten West: Comedy Duo
TEN WEST is the comedy duo of Stephen Simon and Jon Monastero under the direction of Bryan Coffee. They blend physical virtuosity and inventive comedy with poignant writing, broad audience appeal to create their own theatrical style with strong influences of vaudeville, commedia, and clown.
Ten West originated in the sketch comedy world in 2003, and has been touring throughout the North American festival circuit, including performances in Vancouver, Seattle, Portland, Bellingham, Sacramento, San Francisco, Marin, Los Angeles, Chicago, New York and Toronto.
Ten West started to find its voice by losing it. Simon & Monastero’s love for silent comedy, vaudeville, clown and commedia started to figure more prominently in their material as more and more of their work had no dialogue whatsoever. Though nothing is said aloud, their shows are anything but silent – the pair often uses music from all genres, using it as a third character. Far from being museum piece restorations, Ten West has taken classic Vaudevillian physical comedy and applied it to modern life. Ten West currently has four “silent” shows: NIGHTS ERRANT, LIMONCELLO, INEFFABLE, and THE UNDERSTUDIES.
Jon and Stephen both have backgrounds in education, so it was a natural evolution to create a Ten West show specifically for schools. Together with their director, Bryan Coffee, Ten West created their latest show, The Fracas Brothers: Conflict Resolution through a Vaudevillian Lens. Partnered with the Orange County Performing Arts Center’s Arts Teach program they have been performing at schools throughout Southern California. Also, they’ve taught workshops in physical comedy and clowning at Rio Hondo College, San Marino High School, Animo High School and for Kids on Stage at the Morgan-Wixson Theater.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS:
Jon Monastero has performed as a clown with Cirque du Soleil in multiple special events celebrating the opening of “Iris” at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, including as a performer in the Rose Parade. He has twice performed at the Disney Concert Hall with the LA Philharmonic Orchestra; in The Spirit of the Cello (as The Spirit of the Cello) and in The Composer is Dead (Pall Bearer). Other theatrical credits include the The School of Night (Harlequin) at the Mark Taper Forum, Summersounds (Jack Donkey) at the Hollywood Bowl, L’Histoire du Soldat (Soldat) with the San Francisco Symphony, The Illusion (Matamore) at Open Fist Theatre and Fafalo (in the role of Fafalo) at the Miles Playhouse. He was awarded the 2008 Ticketholder Award for Special Events and Performances for his skill in commedia dell’Arte in The School of Night, and wrote and starred in sixteen episodes of Vatos in Space for Serial Killers at Sacred Fools Theater Company. Jon was also among a select group of artists asked to participate in the Soltanoff-Findlay Project with the Center Theatre Group. His commedia dell’Arte troupe Studio Zanni was a recent addition to the Orange County Performing Arts Center’s Arts Teach artist roster.
Stephen Simon was seen recently onstage by L.A. and NYC audiences in the silent comedy adaptation, Hamlet Shut Up (L.A. Weekly Award nomination for Best Male Comedy Performance for his work as Claudius/Yorick). Other theatrical productions include A Mulholland Christmas Carol (Sacred Fools), Accidental Death of an Anarchist (Unknown Theatre), The Composer is Dead (La Phil/Walt Disney Concert Hall), Strike Up the Band (Reprise!), Bye Bye Birdie (MWT – Geoffrey Award Winner for Best Actor) and Absinthe, Opium & Magic (Guignolers/Actor’s Gang). TV/Film work includes the pilot We’re Not Together (series regular), All That, QueerEdge, Cubicle the Musicle, VampireZombieWerewolf, and several voices in the animated Sony pilot, Liberty Meadows; feature films include Eagle Eye, Wasting Away and Water for Elephants (in production).
For more information about their work, visit their website:
VIDEOS OF TEN WEST