In the brick-lined subterranean showroom of Wise Guys Comedy Club & 201 Bistro, nationally touring rib ticklers ply their craft. The intimate comedy den comfortably seats up to 110 revelers and allows for prime viewing of top-notch comedians from every angle. Tableside cocktail service allows guests to stay seated throughout the shows, and Wise Guys doesn’t require standard drink minimums. The bar beckons with sterling woodwork and bar-side tarot-card readings. Before or after the side-splitting comedy shows, 201 Bistro satisfies guests with a hearty menu of steak, pasta, and seafood entrees.
The Comedy Club sticks to the basics: nationally known acts; booze, burgers, fried foods; one microphone; and a brick wall. Renowned standups Jim Norton, Tom Green, Orlando Jones, and the late Patrice O'Neal have all graced the stage, and regularly scheduled Open Mic nights fuel an eternal search for undiscovered talent. The club proves its commitment to local humorists in its annual Funniest Person in Rochester Contest, semester-long classes on standup comedy, and always remembering their birthdays.
Of all the positive things that have led Joke Factory Comedy Club to succeed, two may be the most potent: the regular lineups of local and nationally touring standup talent at all four of its locations, and the sheer moxie of veteran comic Artie Fletcher, sometimes called "New York City's Bad Boy of Comedy". The latter of those two helped nurture the venue's capacity to host the former, prompting popular southern comic Eddie Caylor to dub the Joke Factory "the little club that could and did." Joining the extant Joke Factories in Indiana, North Carolina, and Florida, the Rochester branch (located inside a Holiday Inn) allows Fletcher to introduce acts from around the country to the local audience, visitors to town, and hotel enthusiasts.
Beloved boy bands New Kids on the Block and the Backstreet Boys rev the engines of adoration among droves of fans with their poptastic summer tour. New Kids on the Block has been plucking heartstrings and handcrafting harmonies since 1986, combining a collection of international hits such as "Hangin' Tough" and "Step by Step" with five-part choreography and fashionable duds. Following in their footsteps, the Backstreet Boys began blowing up charts in the '90s, producing a songbook replete with favorites such as "I Want It That Way," "All I Have to Give," and "Everybody (Backstreet's Back)." The NKOTBSB Tour brings both acts together for a songful extravaganza, forming the more perfect union prophesied nearly 50 years ago by the Constitution. The May 25 concert also includes the vocal virtuosity of special guest and American Idol winner Jordin Sparks, adding to an ear-pleasing stew of dulcet melodies sure to soothe the most savage beast or most irascible mail carrier.