TEN WEST is the comedy duo of Stephen Simon and Jon Monastero under the
direction of Bryan Coffee. Their signature blend of physical virtuosity and
inventive comedy, joined with poignant writing, broad audience appeal, and a
unique theatrical style inspired by vaudeville, commedia and clowning, has made
them critical and audience favorites everywhere.
Ten West originated in the sketch comedy world and quickly became one of the top
acts in the North American festival circuit, including performances in
Vancouver, Seattle, Portland, Bellingham, Sacramento, San Francisco, Marin, Los
Angeles, Chicago, New York and Toronto. From the beginning their work featured
strong physicality, tight writing, and an emphasis on human connection. As they
continued to create, they began experimenting with the parameters of the sketch
medium, blurring the lines between sketch comedy, dance, and clown.
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 masterfully applied it to modern life. The result has delighted
audiences around the country and earned the duo critical raves. No longer
limited by words, they discovered that their shows transcended language and
cultural backgrounds, making them a favorite of international as well as U.S.
audiences. They soon found the sketch/vignette format somewhat limiting and
began writing full-length theatrical shows in which no words are spoken at all.
In addition to their mixed-form show, YOU HAD ME AT VINCERO, and dozens of
stand-alone pieces, 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.
The duo continues to defy categorization and play in all venues and styles
around the United States and Canada. Frequently, artists who see their show
bring the duo in on non-Ten West projects. These endeavors include being guest
artists of the Los Angeles Philharmonic to create original material for their
production of The Composer is Dead at the Walt Disney Concert Hall, and being
brought in by writers and directors for the feature films, Wasting Away and The
Scream of the Bikini, and short films The Procedure and 10 Easy Steps for
Mortician Success. Their universal appeal has made them audience favorites in
all formats: corporate, cabaret, carnival, film & television, awards shows and
benefits, educational shows and stand alone theatrical events. Ten West is
two-man comedy at its most inventive.
The L.A. Weekly gave their most recent production, Nights Errant, a "GO!" Pick
and wrote "The two-man clown show is a wacky Dadaist trip.... all very goofy,
giddy, funny and executed with infectious charm."
Backstage West gave it a Critic's Pick and wrote, "...inspired lunatics...absurd
practical jokes, wild improvisations, comic deceptions and farcical battles of
will...highly endearing...performed with flair and terrific, Saroyanesque