Comedy on a roll with popcorn
When David Pike took over operations at the Screening Room last year, he says, “Booking comedy was only a matter of finding the right person. After that it was mostly about who you know.” The right person turned out to be Marcus Raymond Gallegos. An actor and recent graduate of the UA School of Journalism, Gallegos started doing standup at Laff’s open mics before he was old enough to drink. In a meeting last June, Pike gave Gallegos a monthly slot on the second Wednesday. Thus began the reboot of comedy at the Screening Room.
For a few months in 2016, the theater hosted comedy five nights a week. That ended with a large gap in the comedy scene as management changed and work was done on the building. Pike began his own programming last May. He’ll celebrate the anniversary early next month with merch and special events, including a Cinco de Mayo comedy night. Tell us more! “It’s a secret,” Pike says. On May 9, though, standup comedians perform sets between shorts at Reel Tucson–Comedy. It’s a special edition of the monthly filmmakers’ showcase hosted by drag queens Zoey Ruby Bernard and Mary Jane.
Pike recently moved Gallegos’ showcase from the second Wednesday to a Friday or Saturday. Good news for the show’s status, but hard on fans. The exact date will change every month.
Meanwhile, Pike’s “who you know” angle landed the venue two shows with big production values for local comedy: Rich Gary’s Battle at the Roast Room and Keep Tucson Sketchy, a sketch comedy show. Both take full advantage of the venue’s deep stage and wide screen. Gary came to Pike’s attention through Frank Powers, whom Pike knew from multiple shows at The Screening Room. “Frank knows everybody,” Pike says. Yes. Yes he does.
Hosted by Powers, Gary’s Battle at the Roast Room won the most buzz of any show in the recent CATcomedy520 LOL Crawl. The popular event repeats at the Screening Room at 8 p.m., Saturday, April 27. Sixteen comedians face off in a bracketed competition to determine who can snap the hardest. The audience keeps its own brackets; judges are comedians Rebecca Tingley, Jade Silence and Collin Chomiak. They determine the winners in each face-off. Comedians Cindell Hanson and Autumn Horvat offer color commentary between brackets. Andrew Applepie deejays.
Contestants are reigning champion Monte Benjamin, Lex Schau, David Ross, Cody Stucki, Kathie Hedrick, Julian “Jules” Moreno, Alex Kack, Danyella Renae, Jack Fletcher, Roxy Merrari, Jeremy Segal, Joel Martin, Paul Fox, Harjap “Logan” Khangura and Daniel Villa. Tickets are $5 via battleattheroastroom5.eventbrite.com.
Keep Tucson Sketchy returns to The Screening Room on Saturday, May 18, with all new sketches, videos and sets projected on the big screen. Follow Keep Tucson Sketchy on Facebook for details as they are available.
So it’s a couple days late, my dude. Chillax, OK?
Roxy Merrari and Comedy at the Wench host a 420 comedy showcase on Monday, April 22. Take your time, but the show starts at 8. Requested donation is $5 at the door or via Venmo @comedyathewench. Tucson’s undisputed comedy king Pauly Casillas headlines. Nicole Riesgo, Marcus Gallegos, Julian “Jules” Moreno, Valdez Rene and Danyella Renae round out the bill.Tony Bruhn hosts. Vapen CBD will be on hand with swag.
Romo does Che’s. What?
Thursday, April 18 at 9 p.m., Steve Romo hosts the first known comedy show at Che’s Lounge. Incredibly, it’s free. Jericho Davidson tops a bill that includes some of Tucson’s best: Alex Kack, Rory Monserat, Leslie Barton, Matt Ziemak and Roxy Merrari, plus special guest Joe Tullar. Paul Jenkins provides live piano fills.n
Meanwhile, across the river ….
The indefatigable Mo Urban has started yet another show and it looks like it’s here to stay. The third BlackRock Brewery Showcase happens on Friday, April 19 at 7 p.m.; free. Pauly Casillas headlines; the rest of the bill includes Matt Ziemak, Bridgitte Thum, Joe Tullar, Steena Salido, Jana Gojic and Megan Gossen.