"Comedy Connection," wrote the Providence Phoenix, "is our Comedy Central." The winner of the paper's "Best Comedy Club" award for five years running, Comedy Connection lives up to its accolades by populating its stage with a slew of up-and-coming and established comedians. Throughout shows, bartenders sling domestic and imported brews while mixing both basic drinks with Jack Daniels and dessert substitutes, such as s'mores and caramel-apple martinis. Aside from regular standup sets, Comedy Connection?s fundraising program helps members of the community host charitable events that benefit non-profit organizations, youth sports teams, and families in need.
Since 1993, Cirque Dreams' family-friendly variety extravaganzas have called upon a cast of acrobats, strongmen, and daredevils to wring the oohs and aahs out of audiences with tremendous feats of derring-do. During each themed production, more than 100 performers garbed in dazzling outfits twirl high in the air, contort their bodies into impossible shapes, and solve long division problems to earn uproarious applause from the crowd. At Dream Studios in Pompano Beach, Florida, hundreds of contracted artists from around the world develop their skills and prep for Cirque Dreams performances under the direction of Neil Goldberg and his team of choreographers, contortionists, and designers.
During fast-paced Friday-night shows, a troupe of improv comics, ranging from professionals to up-and-coming goofballs, takes the stage to belt hilarious musical numbers and innovatively quip its way out of improvised skits and interactive sketches. The performers' ad-libbed bits brim with comedic gems such as unexpected associations, absurd imagery, and reenactments of Plato's famed cave puppet show. Nestled in a cozy 70-seat theater, the audience feels intimately involved with the action, even sometimes getting to participate in the scenes and ditties. Accompanying the onstage action, Bertrand Laurence's live guitar music enhances the songs' clever lyrics in the same way a plastic skull enriches dramatic monologues. Many of the performers hail from the Everett School, an organization of professional artists who meet across generations and cultures to cooperatively create original performances and mentor young artists.
Meatball Comedy Stop travels to a variety of venues presenting standup sets during the night. But regardless of its latest resident bar, restaurant, or whoopee-cushion factory, it always brings along a brick-wall façade. It's served as the backdrop for a variety of national headliners. Audiences lounging in cabaret-style seating sip cocktails and munch snacks between chuckles.
Every Friday, the Firehouse Theater hosts a merry evening of witty improvisational comedy, performed by Newport’s The Bit Players. Watch the zany troupe as they drolly play off the suggestions of the audience and make off-the-cuff remarks in a series of short-form skits. Firehouse Theater is BYOB, so show-goers are obliged to bring beer, wine or a cask of aromatherapy bathtub gin. For teetotalers, free hot teas, cocoa, and cookies accompany every performance, helping audience members feel welcome, cozy, and primed for incessant giggling in the 49-seat theater.
New Bedford Festival Theatre is devoted to musicals. Since 1990, they have entertained over 200,000 audience members with Broadway-style shows that span the genre's past and present. Staples such as Cats and The Producers balance lesser-known works such as La Cage aux Folles and The Producers 2: Playbill of Revenge to enrich the cultural knowledge of the public. And their efforts have not gone in vain. The New England Theatre Conference awarded New Bedford Festival Theatre the Moss Hart Award for its performances of Les Misérables and Hairspray.