Thursday, May 3, 2012

In an attic in Worcester

I wrote this a while ago and just realized I never posted it.  Silly me... Better late than never...  [Extreme tangent, but it kind of works with this post.  During my freshman year of high school, every Friday, my history teacher would tell a joke to end the week.  They were always TOTALLY CHEESY so I loved them.  She had one particularly famous joke that all of the upperclassmen talked about - Nate the Snake.  It took almost the entire class period to tell the joke and the best part was that her laugh was the funniest part of the production.  She was a tiny woman with this fully-bellied, high pitch, laugh that you couldn't help but laugh along with.  Anyway, using the phrase better late than never makes me, and probably every other NDA alum who had Mrs. Heeder, chuckle. If you want to hear the joke, you'll have to email me.  It will take me a while to type it out.]

Last night, my husband and I went to Biagio's on Park Ave for their Thursday night comedy show.  I had heard about this bi-monthly event from friends, but it has always slipped my mind.  Turns out, a friend of mine, Christina Thomas, happened to be preforming, so with this added incentive, Jack and I drove down the street to check things out for ourselves.

Biagio's is your run-of-the-mill, Worcester, Italian restaurant.  Not great, by any standards, but decent enough that the Italian population isn't offended and the rest of Worcester finds it comforting (like they do the other 100 Italian family restaurants in the city).  The comedy show isn't held in the main dining area (thank god) or at the bar.  The restaurant has an attic space they revamped with a small bar, smaller stage, and passable lighting and sound systems to create a comedy hut.  It's a bit awkward to find and feels a little shady walking up there, but these grassroots comedians make it work and the small audience (and I do mean small) has plenty of space to spread out and relax. 

We loved the host, Sarah.  She took the meager attendance and mostly very green comics in stride and had us cracking up in no time.  She's this adorable platinum blonde, who kind of reminds me of Rose McGowan ala Scream, who relies on her witty and sarcastic sense of humor to ease awkward silences and awkward comedians (read on, you'll understand).

Now to protect the innocent and myself (again, keep reading) I am going to give you a random assortment of the comedians that opened the show with nicknames.

1. Awkward kid.  He was young, new to the business and is exactly like his nickname suggests.  He had a few great jokes, but needed to work on his overall act.  I give him an A for effort and think over time he'll be fantastic.  I'm pretty sure he was barely out of high school, so he has plenty of time to perfect his act.

2. Mr. Flamboyant. He was outrageous and supposedly straight, contrary to his eye make-up, colorful scarf and skinny jeans - I should add, he was way too old to be a hipster to clear up any suspicions.  His jokes were like watching the last scene of Little Miss Sunshine - if the family hadn't joined the little girl on stage.  It was a train wreck. I'm pretty sure no one knew what was going on.  We were an easy to laugh crowd so I feel like his self esteem was still in tact, but it was rough.

2. Prison Tat.  I'm not kidding.  Still a little afraid of this guy.  His act was actually excellent, but I felt that if I didn't laugh he would hunt me down and kill me.  I might be over exaggerating, but when he brought up his jail time and illegal activities (and didn't want his picture taken) I tried not to make eye contact for the rest of the evening.  To be fair, he said his life was on the straight and narrow now, but he still intimidated the heck out of me.

Personally, our main event was Christina Thomas - though she wasn't the headliner.  She killed it.  I'll admit some of her humor, okay, most of her humor was not at all family friendly and had me blushing like a school girl, but I was in tears laughing for the majority. Her girlfriend, who I've known for years, was often featured in her jokes, so I had the added bonus of a personal connection.[Note: Christina went on that weekend to be a finalist in a huge comedy competition at Mohegan Sun (a large casino in Connecticut), so other people think she's an amazing comedian,too - it's not personal bias.]

The headliner was Orlando Baxter.  He was up from New York helping out as a favor to the host.  He wasn't bad, but you could tell he didn't take the gig seriously... but honestly, we were in an attic in Worcester and there were about 5 people in the audience, so you can't blame him.  I bet one of his larger shows would be stellar.

Either way, I had a great evening with a phenomenal cast of characters - in an attic in Worcester.  I hear that Biagios does comedy about three nights a week, so it's definitely worth checking out, plus they could use a larger audience.  One last warning before I go, when you are leaving, if you have been drink (and honestly even if you haven't) remember you've been in an ATTIC for a few hours and you've got a steep set of stairs ahead of you... I may have tripped a little on the way out.  It might have been one of the funnier moments of the night, because as long as no one is seriously injured, it is always HILARIOUS when someone falls.

<3 K