Do aspiring comics ever quit? Not the young gentlemen standing outside Jokes and Notes at 6:15 p.m. on a Wednesday evening, waiting for owner Mary Lindsey to arrive and allow them to sign up for the evening's open mic. A slew of nicknames fly out of their mouths in jest, quickly followed by someone's post-show sex fantasy described in vivid detail. Howls are hooted into the air and sets of eyes roll because everything, for now, is one big joke.
Silence falls as Mary pulls up in a fancy black sedan, parking her car in an unloading spot right in front of the club. Her sneakered feet are the first to exit the car, giving way to a suit-clad woman with a perfectly shorn bob. She walks up to the entrance of the club and everyone flocks into the box office after her, waiting to ensure they've secured a coveted spot performing in the 150-seat auditorium. They're as impatient to sign up as they were waiting to get in, and someone believes it's appropriate to inform Mary of his dissatisfaction. The joke is over, and Mary's caramel-colored face turns dour in the midst of the red lobby. She motions for everyone to leave after signing up, stating that she's got a club to set up before the show begins.
When eight-thirty comes around, host Lil' Rel will psych up the audience as each rookie or seasoned performer does his thing. Guests will sip on $5 martinis and laugh-or not. Either way, the comics will keep doing what they do.
Centerstage Reviewer: Nola Akiwowo