By ELizabeth Ann Foster
A refreshing comedy show of newly minted comics is available with every graduating class of the Manhattan Comedy School. The latest graduates from the Women Only Stand-Up took the stage Saturday, March 27, 2022, at the New York City Gotham Comedy Club. A talent scout’s comic store dream come true.
Hosted by the only male in the show Troy Bond, he held his own with the fierce female force that took over the stage for the next hour and a half. Bond made the audience feel welcome and was easy on the eye. He helped a woman with microphone adjustments that became a part of his act. He was funny, charming, and commanding, with a voice that did not need a mic, the loveable rascal he is.
The reason for the evening was the graduates. A refreshing repertoire of not only new faces in the comedy world but fresh material. Not a single word about politics was in this lineup. It was amazing. Truly amazing. One could relax, laugh, and be taken away for a short time to a safe “laughing” zone far from wars and strife. Most of the material was autobiographical- “nothing funnier than your own life story,” Bijou Kabeya Seviroli quipped after the show. She is from the Republic of the Congo and educated the audience about there being no tigers in Africa; “it’s an Asian thing.” She talked about the cooking skills of her son, who almost burnt down the home nuking popcorn for 17 minutes. He was in the audience and took it all in good stride – thankfully, no slapping occurred. He did admit to doing it after the show – good kid, but best for him not to hang out in the kitchen.
Our debutante comedians come from all walks of life. Dr. Melissa Heche is an audiologist and speech pathologist in Manhattan. She also performs cabaret and writes reviews for both OpeningNight.Online and TheFrontRowCenter.com. When approached for a comment, with a dramatic flair and gesture she exclaimed,”Be kind, be kind!”
Professional comedians and teachers at the Manhattan Comedy School opened and closed the showcase. Kicking it off was Corey Kahaney likening flight attendants to raccoons – the ultimate trash collectors of the skies. You wonder who would want to get dressed up in a uniform to collect garbage – now that’s a natural talent. Karen Bergreen, who taught this graduating class, wrapped things up with her love of cats or lemon of a dog. Yes, her name is the lovely, memorable Karen.
Melissa Heche “drove from Manhattan to New Jersey crossed the border into Pennsylvania where I parked my car, and I hid behind a bush so I could watch him go…and watch him come… I watched him come and go. I wasn’t stalking; I was checking up on him to make sure he was ok because I care.” Alyssa Katz wanted to know when her grown son would start paying for things, and he responded he had her funeral covered. Ali Estey is a hostess in a restaurant and is amazed that people ask if they have a bathroom, “Do you think I stand her for 8 hours straight? Why not ask where it is rather than does it exist? Of course, we have one.” Seviroli reminded us all that “feelings don’t pay bills.”
These lines are funny, but the delivery is what makes the comic, and these were precise. One after another, they kept coming. Each comic crams the best into 5 minutes. Better yet, “You can do stand-up comedy! It’s easier to get started than you think!” as the advertisements for the Manhattan Comedy School say. Put New School Talent Showcases on your calendar, even if you aren’t a new talent scout.
New School Talent Showcase hosted by Troy Bond.
With Cory Kahaney, Samantha Kochman, Heidi Aishman, Juliann Lajeskie, Bersalia Rodriguez, Pam Moskowitz, Liz Austin, Jessica Rozenshteyn, Rebecca Silverman, Bijou Kabeya Seviroli, Yogeswari Medepalli, Melissa Heche, Kiela Mellot, Ali Estey, Mary-Kate Mahaney, Raqshinda Khan, Alyssa Katz, Jennifer Lee, and Karen Bergreen.
Manhattan Comedy School New Talent Showcase Sunday, March 27, 2022, at 4:00 pm EDT. 18 and over. This month’s show was held at Gotham Comedy Club. For upcoming show schedules and classes, visit www.manhattancomedyschool.com. Classes are available both in-person and online. Offerings include Stand-Up Level 1, Women Only Stand-Up, Comedy Writing Bootcamp, Storytelling Level 1, Improv for Life, Podcasting for Beginners and Intermediates, Acting for Beginners. Each class is $450. Mention you heard about the school at Opening Night.Online.