Review and photographs by Jason Spiro
Everyone, well, most everyone has something that they’d consider the breath of life: a hobby, avocation or leisure activity that provides literal or virtual sustenance. Foodies have their new restaurants. Aesthetes have jazz, classical and dance. But I need the comedy. I crave it. Until recently I’d absented myself from any live stand-up comedy experiences. I’m finding, lately, that I’m getting pulled back in, that I’ve got the bug.
It’s a little surprising and very heartening to know that there’s a dedicated group of comics who book local shows in smaller rooms, who bring talent from Western Mass, the mid-Hudson Valley and, more to the point, New York City or even Boston. When a New York comic of note is coming to town, I certainly make note. When two or more NYC comedians and a bevy regional talent is advertised, I have to make a point to attend. If it’s downtown and I don’t have to worry about drink minimums, that’s a huge bonus.
It was a kind of DIY comedy show, but in an environment styled after “big room” comedy. The dinner crowd looked well fed, sated and ready for more when the show began. Emcee and Schenectady resident Russell Davignon delivered his jokes, introduced the acts and provided a firm hand (yes, apparently even pros need “the light” to know their set is over) to keep the show tightly paced.
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