Civic Theater presents Comedy Central’s newest class of clowns
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“The Comedy Central Half Hour” records 13 brand-new half-hour long stand up specials at The Civic Theater for a bright new batch of comedians. All of the comics have made appearances on television, TED Talks and the web, but “The Half Hour” is a chance to show America what they bring to the table. The Arcade picked out a few can’t-miss comics.
Solomon Georgio, 9 p.m., April 22
Solomon Georgio stands out as the leader of this up-and-coming pack. As a gay African immigrant, his storytelling draws from a place mainstream comedy rarely goes. That place is Africa. His mother, who he describes as a Grace Jones-Oprah hybrid, acts as a focal point in his storytelling. Plus his natural warmth and friendly demeanor on stage couple beautifully with a few scattered genocide jokes. Everything about his presentation suggests professionalism and a dedication to his work. His delivery, characters and carefully crafted jokes make him the absolute must-see of the group.
Adam Cayton-Holland, 7:30 p.m., April 20
There is nothing more entertaining than ripping into one’s parents for comedic effect — sorry, Mom, and we both know Dad is not reading this. Denver native Adam Cayton-Holland steadily delivers his biting wit. His style is not deadpan or flat, even when he discusses his mother’s death with the same enthusiasm he has for the origin of corndogs. “Things are bad, but funny,” generally sums up this suburban lumberjack of a man’s worldview.
Joel Kim Booster, 7:00 p.m., April 22
For Joel Kim Booster, both his life and name have never been easy to understand. A Korean infant adopted by a white family from the Midwest, Booster confesses he knew he was gay before he knew he was Asian. He acknowledges his name and interests may not align with stereotypes of Asian Americans, and he does an excellent job of exploring identity through a comedic lens. Booster’s likability might be annoying if it were possible for such a magnetic personality.
Jenny Zigrino, 7:30 p.m., April 21
She is covered in vaginas and ready for action. No need for alarm, Jenny Zigrino isn’t breaking out in genitals. She just knows what a drunk stranger taught her: A vagina is anywhere skin folds to meets skin. Zigrino takes her audiences for a ride, perfectly using misdirection to stand out. Her jokes lead you down a winding path, wrapped in her adorably perky persona. Zigrino is one of four women to land a spot on “The Half Hour” this year and confidently asserts herself as one of the brightest comics coming to The Civic Theatre stage.
Sam Jay, 9:30 p.m., April 21
The nuance Sam Jay uses to address racial humor makes her notable in the lineup. As a black lesbian, she feels she has neither time to feel sorry for broke white men nor the change to give them. Her approach to racial commentary has a humanistic flair. She encourages others to play up racial stereotypes for self-serving needs, like creating a space on public transit where white people won’t sit. She is an expert when it comes to what the tears of a white woman can get you in life — spoiler: anything.
Julio Torres, 7:30 p.m., April 21
“Saturday Night Live” lucked out when it hired Julio Torres in 2016. He has written stand out sketches such as “Wells for Sensitive Boys” and his stand-up keeps pace with his sketch work. Torres jokes about veganism, sexuality and his Salvadorian heritage. This New Yorker’s reserved style is not uncommon, but the precision of his writing shines in his muted performance. He knows exactly when his audience will laugh because it is essentially written into the script. Torres might have the sharpest mind of this squad.
While Arcade fully endorses these picks, there are still seven other promising comedic talents performing. Take a look at Josh Johnson, Shane Torres, Yamaneika Saunders, Anthony DeVito, Chris Redd, Casey James Salengo and Jo Firestone to get a taste of the full roster.
It is with a heavy heart that Arcade reports, Lashonda Lester, who was scheduled to appear on “The Half Hour” passed away on April 6. Her humor and heart deserve remembrance. She was a rising star, and not enough of the world got a chance to laugh along with Lester’s work.