In business for 30 years, Nick's Comedy Stop has served as an essential venue for up-and-coming comedians, having hosted Jerry Seinfeld, Jay Leno, and other notable jesters before their big breaks. A seasoned or emerging comic tickles ribs during an 8:30 p.m. show preceded by a host, two opening acts, and a moment of silence for misunderstood punch lines. Upcoming performances include the spirited rants of local sidesplitter Harrison Stebbins (February 17–18), and a chortle-wrangling stint from Dan Boulger (February 24–25), whose deadpan musings on the absurdities of the English language earned him first place at the Boston Comedy Festival in 2006 at the age of 20.
Dick Doherty's Beantown Comedy Escape has three homes: Below Howl at the Moon in Boston, New England Seafood Restaurant & Lounge in Methuen, and Park Grill & Spirits in Worcester. While the Methuen and Worcester locations bear the name Dick Doherty's Beantown Comedy Escape, the Boston location is known as Dick's Beantown Comedy Den. The Boston location recently moved to the Comedy Den from their previous location at the Vault, where they hosted standup comedians, including Dane Cook, who held a weekly gig there for more than a year, and fellow Boston natives Bill Burr and Joe Rogan. Dick Doherty's comedy clubs as a whole continue to detonate laugh dynamite with their rotating casts of national and local comedians.
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.
Formed by a pack of game-changing new comedians, The Comedy Studio's casual laugh lab hosts both acclaimed funny people and fresh faces. The jam-packed schedule ensures plenty of opportunities to take in a show. The 8 p.m. shows break up the monotony of a chaotic workweek but end early enough (10 p.m.) to curb next-day exhaustion. Seating is determined on a first-come, first-serve basis. The all-ages facility provides a funny-bone-fondling venue for blind dates, out-of-town visitors, or disgruntled neighbors.
As the audience applauds in anticipation and sweat begins to bead on their heads, the jokeslingers at Wisecracks Comedy Club hold on tight to their mics while their standup routines stir up storms of laughter. Boasting a schedule of upcoming acts ranging from lesser-known locals to Comedy Central regulars, Wisecracks Comedy Club offers a full spectrum of rib-tickling performances. Jose Murphy's, a restaurant-venue hybrid, nourishes guests with a menu of Mexican fare. Audiences at Halligan's Sports Bar and More can practice their dart- or pie-aiming skills on four league-ready dartboards during comedy intermissions. Wisecrack Comedy Club's newest venue, the Woodbound Inn, is a resort located on the shores of Lake Contoocook that recently added live comedy to its list of amenities.
Longtime Whose Line Is It Anyway? stars Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood have toted their quick-witted, improvised comedy around the country for years. Not bound by scripts, the duo takes suggestions from the audience and fluidly bounces off each other's screwball bits to craft hilarious scenes on the fly. As the evening rolls on, they draft game but uncoached audience members into the onstage action. Though audiences can expect daredevil games and easy patter between the two stage vets, the form of any given show won't unfold until the night of the performance—as Mochrie reported to the Herald-Review, they've "developed an aversion to ever performing the same joke or routine twice." Built in 1920 to commemorate World War II veterans, the auditorium suffuses even the most lighthearted events with a sense of history and the patronage of local bald-eagle populations.