What do we do in Rochester now that the holidays are over and the cold weather is getting on our nerves? Where do we go to assuage the cabin fever that is fanning the beast within?
With no sunny festival, lakeside craft show or outdoor concert on the horizon, how on earth are we supposed to maintain our joie de vivre?
When I’m besieged by cabin fever — you know, ready to take my husband to task for crunching chips too loudly — I turn to humor. I read it, I watch it on TV, I attempt to write it and I go see it live, right here in Rochester whenever I can.
While, over the years, I’ve certainly enjoyed top comedians at some of our bigger venues (and still do), their appearances are too few and far between to make a serious dent in my brewing winter blues. Plus, ticket prices for these shows at Blue Cross Arena, Kodak Hall or Auditorium Theatre can cost a pretty penny.
For my live humor fix, I’ve had good luck at Comedy @ The Carlson, a fairly new comedy club located next to Radio Social in the historic Stromberg-Carlson Building. Fossil that I am, I appreciate all the parking outside and all the seating inside. I also like that there’s a nice-looking bar alongside the show room (they also offer tableside service) and some decent eats (we go for the big Bavarian pretzel).
Logistics aside, I’ve been impressed with the caliber and variety of the acts, which include some pretty big names in the world of comedy. Next up for me: Moses Storm, a comedian/actor who has been tapped to host Conan O’Brien’s new variety show. Next up for my friend who can handle raunchier humor: Bob Saget, of “Full House” and “America’s Funniest Home Videos” fame. On average, most shows (R-rated, unless stated otherwise) run around $15. Not bad for live comedy.
Photo City Improv, once solely dedicated to live comedy and improv, has broadened its entertainment repertoire to now include live music and burlesque. Tucked behind the former Sticky Lips BBQ on Atlantic Avenue, the eclectic club offers food, drinks and plenty of parking. Check out current and past events on the club’s website, and you’ll know in a New York minute if this venue is for you. On the comedy front, Tommy Davidson from “In Living Color” and “Booty Call” will be performing Jan. 18, culminating the “It’s Just Comedy” festival — a five-day festival that features local and nationally known comedians.
Want to hone your comedic chops? Observe some budding comedians as they hone theirs? Or, watch some of Rochester’s most talented improv troupes perform live? Focus Theater may be the place for you and your funny bone. A performance venue and training center for some of our area’s best comedic minds, Focus Theater offers classes, workshops, free improv jams and live Saturday performances. Consult the theater’s website for event dates and other pertinent info.
Big-time comedians are coming to our area, too: Jerry Seinfeld, Brian Regan, Ron White and Dennis Miller. “Hard Cell,” a madcap comedy of errors and mistaken identity, will be playing at Geva Theatre Center through Feb. 3. The National Comedy Center in Jamestown — the first state-of-the-art museum dedicated to telling the vital story of comedy in America — has all the ingredients for a fun-filled getaway.
Oh, and Anne Palumbo’s column … heh-heh … we can’t forget that!
Anne Palumbo writes this column for Messenger Post newspapers. Her email is avpalumbo@aol.com.