BEIRUT: The popular Hollywood Pop-Up Comedy night will be once again opening to Beirut audiences, this time during the Eid holiday, bringing a touch of LA/Sunset Blvd to Lebanon with the Pop-Ups curated choice of off-the-hook American comedians.
Featured at Teatro Theater Verdun of the business, playing such famous LA clubs as the Laugh Factory, Comedy Club and the Improv, several of the top clubs in the City of Angels, and all located on Sunset Strip.
All this talent is in town as part of The Hollywood Pop-Up Comedy Club, produced by Beirut’s Samira Kawas and Los Angeles-based Ron Senkowski, whom together are the central team of the Symply Entertainment company.
Symply's objective starting this project last year was to bring Big-City stand-up style comedy to MENA, starting with the Beirut shows of the Pop-Up Comedy Club.
“We were discussing one night about where to go out in Beirut and thought about the lack of an LA-style stand-up comedy club, we began to discuss the format and thought, why not do it as a “Pop-Up,” Kawas said.
Now the performance is in its fourth appearance, having started in April and then shown again in July 2018 at the famous St. George, the show then moved to Teatro in Verdun for November of last year.
“We’re keeping the momentum up – it’s a Pop-Up, so we come and go,” Kawas told Annahar Thursday. “We love working at the Teatro, it fits our style, everything is set up and ready to go and the team at the Teatro is great.”
Each show during 2018 and now the first of 2019 brings in a different crew of comedians each time. All of them have many stage acts under their belt, TV projects, and movie roles. They are creative persons who never lack for side-splitting comedy routines and the ability to riff off the audience to improve.
Serving as the evening's master-of-ceremonies will be Beirut’s Sara Gharzeddine, well-known morning host of Energy Radio's morning show.
Also, Lebanese Comedians Nour Hajjar (June 6) and Iyad El Hout (June 7) will be performing opening acts before the LA crew hit the stage.
Kate Quigley is a standup comedian & actress. She recently hosted the AVN Awards (airing on Showtime,) and can be seen on MTV2’s Add TV. Widely known as the “up for anything” star of Undercover on Playboy TV, Kate’s other TV credits include The Office (NBC), The Danny Comden Show (Pilot for Warner Bros), The Megan Mullally Show, and Talkshow With Spike Feresten (Fox). She also hosts a podcast, #DateFails (with approx 50k downloads per week.) She is a regular at the Improv, Laugh Factory, Icehouse, Comedy Store, and the Haha Comedy Club in Hollywood.
Rene Vaca was born and raised in the San Fernando Valley. He started his career at the age of 19 while he was studying at the University of California, Merced. Where he eventually dropped out for his dream of becoming a stand-up comedian. Rene Vaca has shared the stage with great comedians in the industry such as Willie Barcena, Joey Medina, Amir K., Bill Burr, Ken Jeong, Jamie Kennedy and more!
Tehran Von Ghasri is one of the hottest comedians on the Hollywood scene, Actor, TV/radio host, and activist, Tehran Von Ghasri, is a Washington DC native. Half Iranian and half African-American, Tehran is known for his multicultural humor, diversity, and unique life perspective,. With degrees in International politics, economics, and law, Tehran often brings his activism and social commentary to life on stage through his comedy. An LA Laugh Factory favorite, Tehran has been featured on Fox, Bravo, Pivot, Revolt, and Comedy Central.
Senkowski visits Beirut regularly and views the Hollywood Pop-Up Comedy Club, and comedy in general, as a universal bridge among international cultures.
“For me, some of the best nights out are at comedy clubs. I just thought, wouldn’t it be cool if we could have these fantastically entertaining comics perform for audiences who may never have experienced a night in a traditional LA comedy club," he told Annahar during a previous interview.
“We are offering the kind of stand-up comedy which is a mainstay of LA audiences. “We both love LA comedy clubs “The Laugh Factory,” “Comedy Store” and “The Improv,” Kawas said.
Adding, “We are bringing the hottest comedians from Hollywood to perform in Pop-Up Comedy Clubs around the world, with an initial focus on the Middle East.”
Beirut always has a thirst for something different -- some off the hook fun; and those in search of just this will want to stop by, and when they walk into Teatro's Verdun Venue, they will also be walking into LA, the City Angels, if just for one evening.
Showtimes Teatro 8 pm and 10 pm each evening, June 6 and 7, tickets can be purchased at door or through ihojz.
Next shows are shortly scheduled for Riyadh and Jeddah.
In related news, Kawas and Senkowski’s company will also start filming this January the acclaimed Amin Maalouf’s novel “Ports of Call” set in World War Two, about the romance between a Jewish resistance fighter in France and a Turkish Muslim student. Action takes place between Paris and Beirut.
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