One of the many things that I try to do with VaudVil and with this website is to attend shows and write reviews. I am often unable to attend most shows but I had the opportunity this week to enjoy some standup comedy open mic style. I arrived a little early to have time to enjoy a beer before the show at The Surly Wench Pub on Tucson’s Historic Fourth Avenue. There were various noisy drunks whose behaviors were nowhere near as idiotic as the things they said. These things are to be expected in a bar setting.
The show was billed for 10:30pm though they started ten minutes late. Not unusual in show business. I myself like to start five minutes after the start time just in case there are any stragglers who were stuck in traffic or got lost on the way to the venue. I wandered over near the stage with half my beer in the glass and waited for the hilarity to ensue. I may have missed it from the noise but I do not recall the opening act saying their name as the show began but it was one of the hosts, Roxy Merrari (sounds like Ferrari).
She bounced on and off the stage for the first half introducing each comedian to the stage. The audience turnover was high as people left and returned with more drinks but the majority of them were comedians awaiting their time on the stage. Actual audience members (not including myself) added up to about ten people in front of the stage. I have no idea how many people were listening over by the bar but a few people nearby were playing pool and almost clocked in the jaw with the pool stick a few times; a poor seating choice on my part.
The second half of the show was hosted by Mo Urban. It should be pointed out that Roxy and Mo are two female comedians in a mostly male comedian community. There were only two other female comedians at the show and there were fifteen performers in all. One of the females, Steena Salido stood out from the rest because she was very animated during her performance. She had a lot of movement and this added an element to her jokes though only her movements stuck out in my mind.
The man of the night was Dominic DiTolla who was celebrating his birthday. I won’t tell you how old he is but he’s younger than me and that’s all you need to know. He was very funny but mostly because he was so hammered that he didn’t care if he was funny or not. Some of the best parts were not jokes but him reacting to the crowd. He stayed for the whole show and maintained the same level of intoxication the whole time and I applaud him for that. It was a birthday well spent.
Each of the comedians offered different styles and one of them was better with storytelling than the others. Josiah Osego told stories of working at the rehab clinic and some of them were funny situations but I had to appreciate the job he did. It is not easy working with people who are trying to overcome addiction. Another notable joke teller was Matt Ziemak. I have seen Matt perform many times but he was at his best that night. That was the most I laughed during the whole show. They are taking a break for Independence Day but will return every Tuesday after to bring Tucson the surliest comedy in town.
The many other notable comedians were Drew Volk, Eli WT, Joey G., Leland Long, Marcus Gallegos, Randy Ford, Rebecca Tingley, Rich Gary, and Rory Monserat. You are likely to see many of these folks at all of the different standup open mics around town, many of which are listed on our links page. I hope to have more of these little reviews of different shows (at least once a month) and if you would like me to review your show, please get in touch and we can work something out. Thank you for reading.