L.A. Scene April ’09: “L Word” Finale Viewing, GenderPlay, Stand-Up, and Dinah

DRUNK ON STAGE AT AKBAR

The best deal on gay and gay friendly comedy happens every Tuesday night at Akbar in Silverlake. For only $5 and no drink minimum you can see some of Los Angeles’s hottest comedians. Hosted by Bruce Daniels (former opener for Margaret Cho and star of Bam Bam and Celeste), and Erin Foley (Last Comic Standing and Comedy Central Presents), the show is a must-see.

Erin Foley

On a recent Tuesday night, seven comics performed, five of who were women, a very unusual ratio in most comedy clubs. Bruce Daniels opened the show with the question "Anyone here have a Wii?”

After lots of cheering from the audience he proclaimed "Oh, I see we have lesbians here!”

Out gay comic Justin Martindale performed next, followed by Erin Foley who did a great bit about being tagged in albums on Facebook. "Hey, how about some pictures of me in my 20’s when I was trying to figure out if I was gay and I was overeating and overdrinking and had a pumpkin face. Yeah, dig those up and slap ‘em online!” Oh Erin, you are not alone.

Comic and comedy teacher Cynthia Levin had a great set, followed by Shawn Pelofsky, an hysterical comedienne who has embraced her uncanny resemblance to Barbara Streisand. Comic and television producer Page Hurwitz talked about her friend’s desire to fix her up with geriatric women, which she resisted, instead going on a movie date with a younger woman only to have her tooth fall out a few scenes in.

Always funny Karen Kilgariff (comic and long-time head writer for Ellen), also brought up Facebook. She had printed out the list of people who had confirmed that they were coming to the event on Facebook and took attendance. Not a good idea to RSVP and then not show up if you don’t want to be publicly called out.

Bruce Daniels founded "Drunk on Stage at Akbar” two years ago when he got sick of performing at traditional comedy clubs. "Many clubs are very racist, homophobic, misogynistic… I wanted to find a safer place for my friends and me to perform."

Bruce Daniels

Akbar is just that. It provides a welcoming environment for gay, lesbian, and straight female performers in an intimate space. Comics know the room as a non-threatening environment where they can try new material. A few weeks ago, Margaret Cho did a set, a mix of older jokes and new songs. That’s right, you can see Margaret Cho for $5.

Past performers of note include Gina Yashere, Julie Brown, SNL alum Melanie Hutsell, The Office’s Kate Flannery, and Kathleen Madigan.

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