This Week In Comedy: Nonna's Party, Derick Lengwenus ft. Nathan Macintosh, Nick Beaton, Mike Epps, Laughstache
German fathers, Italian parents, ghetto Power Rangers, TTC admonishers and Caucasian battle rappers. Follow me into the comedy melting pot as I walk you through This Week In Comedy...
WED NOV 28 / NONNA'S PARTY / GLADSTONE HOTEL / 1214 QUEEN W / 745PM / $35 ($55 FOR ANTIPASTO AT 630PM)
This show is a tribute to Ashley Burton's mother and grandparents. In her one-woman show, you'll see a mix of dance, comedy, film, and music. I know: it sounds like a lot for one person to handle, but Ashley Burton's up to the task. Heck, she's been part of the Oakville Canadian Dance Company, studied musical theatre at the Randolph Academy of the Performing Arts, and played Lisa in some show called Mamma Mia! In my opinion, this one was made by Italians, for Italians. Why? Because I didn't get most of the jokes in the trailer, in stark contrast with the fans in attendance who were visibly dying of laughter. But hey, that's ok. After all, they say that it's better to be a meaningful specific than a wandering generality. But I digress.
WED NOV 28 / LAUGHSTACHE: A COMEDY FUNDRAISER / COMEDY BAR / 945 BLOOR W / 9PM / $15
Last week, Pat Thornton and friends did an absolutely stunning job of raising over $25,000 to fight AIDS in Africa, and this week a stellar line-up bands together to raise money to battle prostate cancer. Darrin Rose (NBC's Last Comic Standing), Ben Miner (Yuk's), and Debra DiGiovanni (toured with Russell Peters) will be your stand-ups. There will also be sketch comedy provided by Vest of Friends and Falcon Powder, with the event being hosted by Rob Baker and Carmine Lucarelli.
WED NOV 28 - DEC 2 / DERICK LENGWENUS feat. NATHAN MACINTOSH / 2335 YONGE / 8PM / $6-15
Winning both the Audience Choice Award at Just For Laughs AND Best Comedy at the Montreal Fringe? Wowzers. Hold on...you haven't seen his German Father bit? Stop right now and jump to 1:57.
WED NOV 28 - DEC 1 / NICK BEATON / YUK YUK'S / 224 RICHMOND W / 8PM / $11-20
Nick Beaton's thoughts on the TTC pleading with their customers to refrain from abusing their staff? "If you get spit on enough to warrant an ad campaign, you probably deserve to get spit on" Love it. I'm a particular fan of his delivery, too. I get the impression that his words are well-measured and precise, but he somehow makes them come off very casually, which is no simple feat. What about his opinion on bus drivers admonishing us to keep moving to the back of the bus? "I don't expect you to be a physics major but I can't occupy the same space as this guy; I'm not negative space, I'm reality."
FRI NOV 30 / MIKE EPPS / SONY CENTRE FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS / 1 FRONT E / 8PM / $57-97
Having grown up in Malvern, I enjoyed a steady diet of Martin Lawrence, Chris Rock, Richard Pryor, Eddie Murphy, and Paul Mooney. Everyone laughed at their jokes, but I laughed harder because I could relate to a lot of the things they'd talk about. Mike Epps (Next Friday, The Hangover) is another guy that's not afraid to spit that real-ish. I recognize that not everyone is going to get Mike's stuff, but I do, and it's gold to me. Skip to 7:46 to see if you can relate.
FRI NOV 30 / RAPP BATTLEZ / COMEDY BAR / 945 BLOOR W / 1030PM / $10
In 2003, Smack DVD introduced us to Jae Millz and Murda Mook, rappers who would insult each other poetically until one of them finally ran out of steam. The producers of, Rap Battlez have run with this idea but have also added a twist: they've opted to hold these lyrical face-offs in the Comedy Bar, rather than in a barber shop or a children's parkette. I'm shaking my head because, well...it's such a great idea. Watch the video and you'll see what I mean.
About the Author: This is Michael Jagdeo, and I refuse to write about myself in the third-person. My blog, Diary of a Stand-up Comedian, teaches you how to be - and how not to be - a comedian in Toronto.