With so much tragedy going on in the world lately, sometimes a little humour can provide much needed levity. I was reminded of this after recently spending an evening at Absolute Comedy on Yonge Street just north of Eglinton Avenue.
When you first walk in the atmosphere seems like just a very casual pub, but it completely changes when you are led into the theatre in a separate area of the club. Picture the set of Seinfeld when Jerry does his standup routine at the beginning of episodes.
The theatre is set up in such a way that no matter where you sit, you will have a good view of the stage. The size is intimate, casual and cozy, with good audio. Although I did not eat anything, the appetizers and drink menu looked good, not to mention, reasonably priced.
The general age demographic seemed to be mostly twenties and thirties, with parties ranging from singles, couples out on date nights, groups and girls’ nights out. Everywhere I looked, I saw people who looked happy.
Patrons seemed to enjoy appetizers and cocktails before and during the show. (That’s right, you can order during the show!) The service is friendly and the venue is very clean, including the rest rooms.
People chatted animatedly in anticipation before the show began, but once it starts, the staff adheres to strict policies when it comes to forbidding texting or the use of cell phones. And there is zero tolerance for hecklers.
At first I was a bit apprehensive about going to a comedy club, being someone who feels extremely awkward watching a comedian who garners silence from an audience. Thankfully, I made it through the entire performance without having to suffer through any serious cringe-inducing moments.
The emcee, Perry Perlmutar, set the stage for the other performers. While Perlmutar was indeed funny, I suspected he was holding back. When I spoke with him after the show, he confirmed my suspicions.
Although he is a comedian himself by nature, that particular evening, he said, was not all about him. “When you host you have to make it about the other performers. If a headliner goes on and has a great show, I did my job.”
It takes talent to make it so the crowd enjoys him enough but is excited for everybody else, he said.
I was a bit taken aback by the opening act, and found the humour slightly crass and loud, but it didn’t take long for me to laugh in spite of the performer’s somewhat boorish attitude. The gentleman who was the feature act had a bit of a cynical side, which seems to be a common thread among many in the industry.
The best part of the show was — hands down — the headliner, Kate Davis, a wife and mom of three who has been taking her act all over the world for the past 15 years, and who was recording an album during the show.
Her performance was hilarious and a little bit daring, drawing in the audience with stories that made them howl in appreciation.
I spoke with Davis after the show, who told me, “Everyone has their own story and that story’s going to resonate with someone.”
For her, the show is all about connecting. “When you bring people into the same moment it allows them to bond in that moment.”
When the show was over after 90 blissful minutes of laughter, everyone left with a smile on the face and I personally felt in a surprisingly good mood.
I would highly recommend Absolute Comedy for a laid-back night that is sure to leave even the toughest critics in stitches. No matter what is happening around us, laughter is always the best medicine.
Prices range from $7 to $17 for the show or $29 for a buffet dinner and show.
Reservations are required. Call 416-486-7700 to book.
Absolute Comedy is also available for large private parties for corporate functions, bridal showers, stag parties and other celebrations and events, including fundraisers for charities and local sports teams. For more information go to www.absolutecomedy.ca.
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