Prior to his great showing at the Industry Night, Sam Brown had been emceeing shows at Stand-Up New York and raking in the laughs in New Jersey at The Comedy Vault, Comedy Cafe, Comedy Shop, Catch a Rising Star and Red Robin. He also booked a group of fellow comedians to perform in showcases at Del’s.
Among his star performers was Dan Kornfeld, who recently won an amateur comedy contest at Shooting Star’s in Yonkers and the title of “New York’s Funniest College Comedian” at Banana’s in Poughkeepsie.
Also working with Sam was Judith Currin, who has been performing at Off-Center and starred in a feature Telecom Japan produced on The Stand-Up Comedy Experience.
Alladin Ullah is appearing as a regular at Catch a Rising Star in New York and touring on the college circuit.
Frank Girese, another of our rising stars, is now a regular hit at Tatou’s.
Appearing as house comic at The Uptown Comedy Club is our own Daryl Bowser. Daryl has been playing the corporate circuit at fundraisers, parties and The Corporate Comedy Laugh-Off and hots an open-mike show at Vinnie O’s in New Jersey.
Also with his own open-mike show is Brad Trachtman, who hosts auditions on Sundays and a showcase on Mondays at a new comedy venue, Tommy’s Red Caddy.
In the booking department, Rick Dorfman is working for Barry Katz as a booking agent for New York Entertainment and manager of Boston Comedy Club. One of the comics they represent is workshop veteran Casey Fraser.
L.A. member Victoria Edwards had a guest shot on The Tom Arnold Show. She has recently been showcased at The Improv in Santa Monica and Igby’s in L.A.
With a new baby Max at hand, Liz Margoshes is in the midst of writing a one-woman music and comedy show, “Where The Boys Are.” Liz also won a slot in one of the first “Stars of Tomorrow” showcases at The Duplex and has appeared at Stand-Up New York.
Producer Collette Black put on a show in January at 55 Grove Street featuring several of our comics – Park Borchert, Jim Gaffigan and Annie Sopher. Jim quipped, “I’m on the road and enjoyin’ it.”
Kristine Zbornik, who has for years delighted patrons of Don’t Tell Mama and 55 Grove Street with her musical comedy, recently completed a run with fellow comic George Sanders in “Dakota George”. Kristine was booked as one of the first comics to work The Russian Tea Room’s new comedy nights, and recently won a MAC Award for her cabaret performances.
Joe Monagas has worked the outer boroughs, to raves at Bay Ridge’s Crazy Country Club and Staten Island’s Pip’s.
And further out, Steve Tennenbaum plays to crowds around New Jersey, Casy O’Toole’s being his favored spot to hang. He’s also been seen at pre-shows at several New York City comedy clubs.
Wendy Stuart appeared on The Jerry Springer Show on NBC, several commercials and earned her stripes in the smokey rooms at The Comic Strip, Coldwater’s and The West Bank Cafe.
Mary Dimino is a regular at the New York Comedy Shop, Rascals, Giggles & Bits and The Uptown Comedy Club (Lancaster). She had her own show at 55 Grove last summer, and recently won the “Stars of Tomorrow” competition at The Duplex. Mary has appeared on America’s Funniest People and is the head writer for the Bob Gonzo Show, on local cable.
Rob Pitaccio, our former office manager, won the recent Red Robin Comedy Club’s “Laugh-Off Contest”. New office manager Danielle Broussard emceed a show at The Comic Strip that starred such noted performers as Phil Nee, Alladin, and Shades of Comedy. She’s also been a hit at Ye Olde Triple Inn and Flamingo’s, and is booked for a run at The New York Comedy Club in September.
Working the northern lights, David Cleary performs regularly at Treehouse in Westport, Connecticut.
Fred Fortunato keeps finding himself on stage at Joker’s in New Haven, The New York Comedy Club in Holyoke, Massachusetts and The Brass Rail in Providence.
Down south and west, Peter Fox has appeared at Havana in New Hope, PA and Jester’s at Trump Castle in Atlantic City. He recently auditioned for a slot on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Peter is forming a film production company in Atlantic City to produce art films.
Also on stage at Havana is John McMenamin. John performed and emceed at The Corner Inn in Trenton, NJ, played a recent trade show for the Society of Association Executives and appeared before a convention for Marriott Corporation in Florida.
In one of the more unusual acts we’ve heard of, Ken Savoy recently performed for a Boy Scout jamboree… by telephone.
Mike Capalbo is sticking around the Hackensack, New Jersey area, working on developing a comedy writing career. There was a “Just Married”sign on the back of his car late last year. Founding member Eli Krupnik, who is developing a comedy training kit, also recently tied the knot. On the same front, the workshop has produced its first reported coupling, with Rachel Robbins and Doug Willen announcing their engagement.
On other fronts, Jaz Dorcey coaches singers and has tucked some comedy patter into the routines of many of his students. Jaz wrote a play which is currently being produced for television, “Eat Crow.”
Tony Alicata is directing at the Nat Horne Theatre. His most recent shows are “Poet’s Corner” and “Stalling.”
Dan Burke can be seen doing improv with the group Soho Loco. Craig Bitet, in a parallel life, is showing his improv talents with Comedia Improviso.
Argentinian TV comic Enrique Dura, who joined us to brush up on his English stand-up presentation, has turned his attention towards a professional cartooning career.
Last summer, Manhattan Cable TV ran the variety show “Mondo Television” which starred Michael Gold. Michael, who works as a TV production assistant, at last report, was writing a script for the hit sitcom Seinfeld.
Marybeth Mooney has been working her way ’round New York’s open mike circuit, and with friends and co-members Judy Sheehan, Bambi DeVille and Annie Sopher, formed a stand-up and sketch comedy quartet. We’re Naked Under These Clothes, which had a successful run for many months. She also recently filmed a sitcom pilot, Violet Fields and was cast on an HBO promotional spot.
Judy was a regular at Coldwater’s and The Duplex but is concentrating on writing. She has two plays in production, a one-act, “Baby It’s Cold Outside,” being done for summer stock in Ann Arbor, Michigan and a full length called “Bright Girls, Stupid Lives” in New Jersey.
Annie has been a regular on the open mike circuit and last winter won the “Stars of Tomorrow” contest at The Duplex.
The pre-show and late night circuit has always been popular with up and coming comics. Trocader’s, Stand-Up NY, The Comic Strip, The New York Comedy Club, The Improv, The Village Gate, Glady’s, Pip’s, 55 Grove Street and Don’t Tell Mama have all opened their doors to new talents from the workshop. Regulars include Angel Hernandez, Rick Diaz, Gabriel Falcon, Guy Ellis, Sam Goodyear, Glynn Borders, Karen Hamilton and Jonas Best.
Rick was recently booked for a series of twelve community fundraisers for the New York City Housing Authority and is exploring the college comedy loop.
Guy has competed at The Apollo and more recently been exploring some acting, appearing in the stage drama, “Decisions.”
Sam continues to concentrate his talents as the general manager, producer and performer at The Leather Stocking Theater Company in Cooperstown. He recently headed off to teach music in Australia and work with author Bryce Courtenay (The Power of One) on a musical adaptation of the book.
Glynn is focusing on a directing and writing career, with recent shows “The Dark Star from Harlem” at the Josephine Baker, “From Ragamuffin to Riches” at La Mama Etc and the sketch comedy group, Out of Control with hit “Midsummer’s Night Scream.” He’s also writing for comic Terry Hodges.
Karen, our operatic star, continues her work with The Amato Opera Company.
Also singing is Gayle Humphrey who recently showed up behind the mike at the jazz festival in Vail, Colorado. Gayle has also appeared in several recent industrial films.
Fun news from a favorite team, Paul Weinstein and his puppets. Paul and his sponge-filled family have been out entertaining the nursing home set. Entertainment therapy is the new rage, and Paul is leading the pack. He and the puppets even cut a pilot for a TV sitcom.
Dan Perlman continues to perform and write comedy freelance.
And our own head coach, Steve Rosenfield was recently the subject of an article that appeared in The London Times and a feature documentary on BBC. On top of that, WABC-TV, Channel 7’s Joel Segal, produced a week-long special called “Comedy New York Style” that first aired in March. The episode looked at the future of comedy and was devoted to Steve’s training programs and focused on his teaching, and followed Esta Berman and Aprele Elliot though the creation of their sets, from workshop sessions to performance night. The show also picked Casey Fraser as a comedy star of the future.
In the late 80s/early 90s I got involved with The Stand-Up Comedy Experience (now, American Comedy Institute) and had fun performing stand-up in clubs, and honing my comedy writing skills… the latter, at least, seems to have stuck with me.