Here’s The Story: Free Laughs On The Lower East Side
“It’s a city of strangers; some come to work, some to play.
A city of strangers, some come to stare, some to stay.” -“Another Hundred People” from “Company” by Stephen Sondheim
A pitch perfect description of life in this urban environment called New York…we work, we play, we stare…then we stay. But we don’t want to remain strangers, and that is why UsedYorkCity is always on the prowl for the next big thing, for new ways to augment our carefully crafted comfort zones in our beloved Big Apple. We work hard, we deserve to play hard.
Our Fridays and Saturdays are chock full of plans and places to be by a certain time, but Thursday night in NYC has always been open to suggestion…this is the odd, can’t be too late, night out. It’s not quite a part of our long awaited and well earned weekend where a good deal of our energy is spent. Yet by Thursday, we are all sufficiently antsy and want the fun to begin without making too much of a planned night of it as the work week still beckons us for one day more.
However, NYC is tough to navigate, our kitchens are mere walk-ins, and our living rooms are a shoe box, we can’t do a lot of entertaining in the file cabinets where the majority of us live. A drink in with pals is a major big deal; we never quite have enough space, let alone seating, so there’s a real need for an affable, affordable place to meet, greet and hang with your friends and maybe make some new ones. Not necessarily where everybody knows your name, but where there are nods of recognition. So if you are looking for an off center, intriguing and inexpensive form of evening entertainment- far less challenging then taking in a night of theater or the intensive current crop of movies – I discovered the ideal solution for an easy, cost efficient Thursday night out.
Check out “HERE’S THE STORY” hosted by Jenny Rubin, and experience an evening of vignettes, stories, comments, trials, tribulations and tales.
For the price of a drink (or two) at 8 PM (give or take) every other Thursday night – including this upcoming January 24th – visit “2A.” Go to the southwest corner of 2nd Street and Avenue A, head up the back stairs to the 2nd floor. You’ll discover a hip, funky, skunky (and I mean that in the coolest way possible) duplex bar sitting unobtrusively on NYC’s infamous Lower East Side. A really funny but ultimately thoughtful show is going on up there. Jenny Rubin, a smart, sharp, perceptive 40 something shares her life– one fraught full of relatable foibles — and tells stories for adults in this upstairs living room. Then she encourages her friends and their friends to do the same. Everyday events from daily life in the buzzing Big Apple, filled with incisive humor, gags, pathos, and stories that can go way “blue” well before midnight rolls around are delivered…we all get it because we all live it. It’s always those talented clowns that instinctively elevate our troubles to an entertaining and ultimately livable level.
The fun here is Jenny’s banter with each of her contemporary bards. She carefully listens after their laugh out loud stories are delivered at the microphone, then asks these brave, sassy performers direct questions that can only elude more giggles. This sounds so simplistic, but you all know the line attributed to Edmund Kean on his deathbed – “Dying is easy, comedy is hard.” Even if this is not a true quote – and there has been some debate – it should be.
The night I walked in, I caught Chris Doucette (who I think had the funniest line of the evening….and I paraphrase …“Kim Kardashian and Kanye West have made it socially acceptable to hate babies!”) Then followed Yamaneika Saunders who actually crochets while she delivers her spot on diatribe concerning those sometimes questionable salad bars! I swear she never dropped a stitch while she stung us with her observations. Then Frank Liotti’s perceptions on today’s language had me howling at the moon, he was sharp as a beaver’s teeth, after a full day of teaching. Closing out the comedy end of things was Becky Yamamoto whose charming ditsy delivery provided the perfect comedy coda. The talented Rene Lopez officially ended the evening with his guitar and some fine singing, while sharing his strange true life “Prince” tale… yeah, THAT “Prince”… and this is no fairy tale. I’ll never name names and neither will Rene!
Stand up comedy has to be the toughest form of entertainment – an evening of edgy, observant, cutting and ultimately just plain funny jokes is yeoman’s work. Just when you thought affordable comedy nights out were over along comes Jenny and her pals.
So go downtown to a real neighborhood bar, and HEAR THESE STORIES being told in clever Jenny’s living room. Stay the entire evening or for a paragraph. It’s well worth a listen.
WHAT: “HERE’S THE STORY” hosted by Jenny Rubin WHEN: Every other Thursday at 8PM WHERE: “2A” located at 25 Avenue A (the Southeast corner of 2nd Street and Avenue A) New York, New York (212) 505- 2466 COST: FREE
By: Joanne Theodorou