To be 100% honest, I was totally unprepared for what I was to see when I attended 702 Punchlines and Pregnant, Sheba Mason’s show, written by her Mom Ginger Reiter. The show has been running for two years at the Broadway Comedy Club.
I’ve known Sheba for quite a while and enjoyed her performance as a comic, but I had no idea she was so multi-talented, and had such a great voice. I’m assuming she gets her talent from her Mom, Ginger Reiter who wrote this entire show, (with Sheba), plus the music and lyrics to about 25 songs, which were expertly arranged by Markus Hauck.
I truly did not expect a performance of the caliber that I saw. I expected maybe a .22 caliber and this was like a .357 Magnum caliber! (LOL) It’s the story of how Sheba came to be as the result of a love affair between her mother and comedian Jackie Mason.
It’s set in Florida and one of the sets is The Rascal House, a well known Miami Beach coffee shop. In the show, Jackie denies fathership of the baby, until it’s proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that it’s his. In real life all you have to do is look at Sheba to see the resemblance. Thank G-d she’s a pretty girl!
Unfortunately, the actor that plays Jackie Mason was hurt in a bike accident as was Sheba who performed with a bandaged leg, but she still managed to show up, dance and do her part. What a trouper! That’s the essence of “the show must go on!”
A talented actor named Trevor Crane, who is a Conan O’Brien impersonator, took the role of Jackie, and was introduced as a tall Gentile playing a short Jew. The essence of acting is being someone you’re not, and in this case he definitely stretched, (or maybe shrunk would be more accurate!), to play the part, and it worked well!
The entire cast is very talented and includes Jara Jones as Wooley, and The Schlepalong, Gary Lizardo as Nelson Zee , and Bari Hyman as Rosa the waitress.
Ginger gets to come onstage a couple of times, and be part of the production and stand-out voices besides Sheba were Remina Neshida, who played Trixie, the other-”other woman”, and Jennifer Yadav who played Mrs. Olivier, Ginger’s Mom. In the beginning of the show, Sheba plays herself, and then for the rest of the play she plays her Mom.
It plays on Sundays at 3 P.M. Do yourself a favor and go see it!
In most clubs you’re glad if they have one show. Broadway Comedy offers at least two and sometimes more! Standing out front I ran into Aaron Haber who produces shows at The World, the sister club which adjoins Broadway Comedy, also owned by Al Martin.
Aaron produces shows featuring new talent at The World, produces the monthly comedy show at the legendary Friars Club in NYC, teaches comedy at Princeton, and is the editor-in-chief of www.evilnewsdaily.com, a blog written by supervillains. So on my way to the main show in the downstairs room of Broadway, I stopped in to The World to see what was going on.
The room was pretty full for a Wednesday night, and everyone was laughing, because new comics are funny too. They just need stage time, and this is one of the places they get it!
The downstairs show had a great line-up. Ricky Velez was the MC, and he’s always funny. If he has a kid he wants him to have Diabetes, so it’ll be harder for a pedophile to lure him into his van with candy.
Then there was Sam Morrill, who I’ve performed with many times. I like his laid back, easy delivery, and clever punchlines. He discussed manners during sex. He was having an interlude with his girlfriend when he urged her to go faster. Her response was ” Please”! She requested him to say “Faster please.” He was like, ” Now I have to have manners during sex? I’ll tear that ass up, … if I may! With your permission!”
He was taking a girl home from a bar and she asked him, “you’re not gonna kill me are you?” When he said ” No” she agreed to go home with him. He was like, ” That’s your screening process? I’d have to be a terrible killer to admit I was going to kill you just by you asking me!”
Nore Davis took the stage next. Nore is a very funny young comic, and lately has been opening for Tracy Morgan. I like when he tells about getting his own apartment and he gave the landlord his entire savings of $1300. for his first month’s rent. The next month the guy came back and asked for another $1300! Nore was like, ” Do you have any idea how long it took me to save up a thousand dollars? And you want $1300. every month? That’s 32 billion dollars a year!”
Joe DeVito is always funny and a favorite of mine. He has a friend who does nothing but talk about his i-Phone. He told Joe they could even watch a movie together on it. Joe was like, ” What would those circumstances be like? What would we do, watch cheek to cheek on a 4 inch screen?
He also talked about the new condoms that heat up while you’re wearing them. “Who is that for? The guy who likes safe sex, but misses that burning feeling?”
Mike Vecchione is another favorite of mine, and I could watch him perform every night without getting tired of seeing him. When he thought the audience wasn’t paying enough attention, he started telling his jokes at a very fast pace, until they DID start paying attention!
He feels like every person in the world should have to take a standardized citizenship test, and the results would determine what country you had to live in!
He got a Taser instead of a gun and his favorite place to Tase people is the Renaissance Fair. It makes him feel like a wizard from the future!
Harrison Greenbaum closed the show. Harrison is also a big talent. I had him on my Diabetes comedy fundraiser last year, and he killed! He has a one man show called “Harrison Greenbaum – What Just Happened”, which is a mix of his stand-up and magic, that debuted to a sold out crowd at UCB in 2010. He’s also a talented magician. It’s the show he’ll be doing this summer at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland, but next week,April 3-5th, it will be playing on 42nd Street and 8th Avenue at the Dan Sperry Theatre inside of Times Scare. Check it all out at http://www.whatjusthappenedshow.com
And check out Broadway Comedy on West 53rd Street if you’re in the mood to laugh your ass off, and have fun food and drinks!
I like dropping by Broadway Comedy Club unexpectedly because you never know who you’ll see there. Saturday night is usually packed so I thought it would be a good time, and I was right.
I got to see a great line-up of comics, hosted by the very funny Chris Murphy, who looks more like a rock singer than people tell me I do! Chris is very funny and commented on his appearance by saying that as he was walking in the street some guy yelled out ” Faggot”, and he was pissed off, but of all the guys on the street, he was the only one that turned around!
He also commented on his Irishness and their proclivity towards the drink! He said his own father got a DUI while taking his driving test! And it was on the written part! That’s hysterical!
Next up was Dustin Chafin, who I know for a long time, and who also has a look of his own! He’s originally from Texas, and always wears a cowboy hat, but describes his look as a guy who “should be selling meth at a gay rodeo!”
He says he’s from a little town in Texas called “Racism.”
On dating a girl who encouraged him not to eat meat from animals, and eat salad instead, she said to him, ” If you really liked animals you’d stop eating meat”, and he said, ” if YOU really liked animals, you’d stop eating their food!”
Bill McCarty is a real pro and has been performing for a long time. I think that’s why they gave him the infamous “check spot”! It’s the hardest spot to take cause people are reviewing their checks and arguing over who ordered “gratuity” and things like that! Bill said his health insurance plan is so bad, if he gets sick, he has to find the nearest school and go see the school nurse.
Brian Scott McFadden who I covered in a recent Blog post was also on the show and killed it as he always does. He recently came to the attention of the producers of the new “In Living Color”, who I was helping to find people to audition, for the new show, and I told them about Brian’s strength doing characters. There aren’t many comics who can do so many strong characters. Hope he gets it!
And Russ Meneve was also on the show and is a favorite of mine. You’ve seen him on Letterman and Leno. He’s very edgy and even more than he was before. He’ll say things like, ” Did you ever get a girl so turned on you can feel her nails through your ski mask?” Very edgy!
On finding a condom in the street: ” Are you telling me that there’s a person so reckless that they’d have sex in the street, yet so responsible they use a condom?” That’s funny!
He told about the Asian delivery man who got stuck in an elevator for hours because he couldn’t find the “R” for “Robby”! That’s like my joke about going into a Chinese restaurant so drunk, I tried to order a sandwich. They got so confused they called the police. And all I remember is someone yelling, ” No blead! We no have blead!” ( Bread, get it??? LOL) And I was like, ” I don’t bereave you!”
What’s also cool about Broadway Comedy is that they have these big flat screen TV’s around the room so you can see the performer wherever you’re sitting.
Russ is also a good ad-libber which is so important and a skill I’m working to improve onstage. He asked one guy in the audience what he does to get sex, and the guy said he goes out “clubbing.” And Russ said, ” By “clubbing” you mean you club women and drag them into your van?” That was really funny!
All in all a great night at Broadway Comedy on West 53rd Street in the heart of Manhattan’s Times Square area!
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