By Dave Moran
Comedy is coming to Worcester, but it’s coming to a venue associated with lavish musicals, plays, fine acting, and elaborate sets: on November 22nd, Foothills Theatre will play host to Standup Comedy Night.
Featured on the evening’s bill ~ and it’s an impressive one ~ are three comedians with ties to the Bay State but wildly different comedic styles.
Jimmy Dunn is a “guy’s guy” comedian. You might recognize him as the former host of NESN’s Fan Attic, as the wisecracking “voice” of the NESN dating show Sox Appeal, from his numerous appearances on Comedy Central, or as the guy who shared a jail cell with Matt Damon in Stuck On You.
Brian Kiley, on the other hand, is the “smart one.” Billed as “quite simply one of the country’s sharpest comedy minds,” Kiley grew up in Newton and has worked as a staff writer for Late Night with Conan O’Brien for the past 14 years. Kiley won his first Emmy Award in 2007, and has logged more than 25 stand-up appearances on national TV, including the Late Show with David Letterman, the Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and in his own Comedy Central Special. Brian’s even had two jokes included in GQ Magazine’s “75 Greatest Jokes of All Time” list, so it’s a safe bet to say that the guy knows funny.
And that would leave Myq ~ pronounced Mike ~ Kaplan as the “sensitive one.” Kaplan, 29, is fast becoming one of the area’s “hottest young comedians.” He finished second in both the Boston Comedy Festival and Comedy Central’s Open Mic Fight, while the Boston Globe proclaimed that Kaplan “writes some of the best one-liner, quick hit comedy in town.” He also won Boston University’s Funniest Student Contest (impressive, as his website points out, because BU’s a “big school”).
“I’ve worked with them both before, and I think they’re both very great and very different,” Kaplan said of his bill-mates for the evening, Kiley and Dunn. “I’m sure everybody in the audience will have a different favorite.”
All in all, the comedic pedigree and divergent style of the three performers on display that night should offer something to please almost everyone.
Although the theatre is primarily known for its stage shows, Artistic Director Russell Garrett said that the Foothills has had similar comedy nights in the past – and they’ve always been greeted with a great deal of enthusiasm.
“We’ve had a lot of success with just getting some funny guys into the building,” Garrett said. “This type of an event is a lot looser than one of our regular shows. It usually tends to draw a bit of a younger crowd – people looking for a good time and just looking to laugh.”
The Foothills intimate setting – the theatre seats about 350 people – makes it the ideal venue for a show of this sort, too: the audience will be up close and personal with the performers, and could even find themselves drawn into some of their routines if not careful.
The Foothills Theatre is located at 100 Front Street in Worcester. Tickets are $15 in advance, $20 at the door; beer and wine will be available. For more info, call the Box Office at (508) 754-4018 or check out the theatre’s website: www.foothillstheatre.com.
Photos: Jimmy Dunn, Brian Kiley, Myq Kaplan