"What is better than lots of laughter on a Wednesday night while sipping a fine adult beverage?" asks The Comikaze Lounge co-producer Stefani Silverman. "Not much." And she's right, isn't she? That's why Silverman and fellow San Francisco comic Kate Willett came together to produce the free monthly comedy showcase at Café Royale.
Run by two of the strongest female figures in Bay Area comedy, The Comikaze Lounge at Café Royale is emerging as a top local showcase in the city. With special guests frequently dropping into the show and a lineup of the Bay Area's finest performers each month, producers Silverman
bring another must-see show to San Francisco's Tenderloin
"We both wanted to showcase a variety of comics to a packed house," Silverman explains, "but just as importantly, wanted to provide a packed house for the comics." The team works hard every month to promote the show, book top-notch performers, and create an environment inside the cozy Tenderloin neighborhood bar that is more akin to a comedy club. They want to stay away from the dark, loud atmospheres of what we like to call "ambush comedy" shows -- the ones with, as Silverman puts it, "no audience -- or worse, an audience that did not show up for the show, and just wants to talk and get drunk."
The Comikaze Lounge normally happens the third Wednesday of every month, but this month's show comes tonight, to leave room for Thanksgiving festivities next week. Headliner Brendan Lynch will "top off the evening with his assertive, acerbic, and intelligent humor," the producers promise. A seasoned local comic, Lynch has established himself as a Bay Area favorite. Stroy Moyd hosts tonight's show, which will also feature Griffin Daley, Drew Harmon, Myles Weber, Melanie O'Brien, Ben DelCastillo, and, as always, the duo of producers.
Both producers say they strive for a quality show with varied but complementary talents each month. "Both of us were really drawn to intelligent, literate material," Willett says. "I tend to like edgier, more self-revelatory material, and Stefani really has a knack for picking out whip smart comics who are also silly and fun."
The showcase also benefits from the atypical support of the venue, Silverman says. "The owners of Café Royale are true fans of comedy and have been supportive at every turn," a privilege many local bookers do not experience. With a smooth run and consistently packed shows since the showcase premiered this summer, Silverman says the only challenge the team faces is, "What next? Keeping the show vibrant, popular and fun is our main concern."
The Comikaze Lounge is Wed., Nov. 14 at 8 p.m. at the cozy Café Royale, 800 Post Street, San Francisco. It's free! For reminders about upcoming shows, and a sneak preview at the lineups, you can sign up for The Comikaze Lounge Mailing List.
Awkward Silence is a weekly column covering local stand-up comedy in San Francisco.