Tuesday may not be an attractive night for college town entertainment, but Davis‘ own Bistro 33 has us covered nonetheless. The restaurant’s “Curtain Call at City Hall,” a comedy night held every Tuesday at 8:30 p.m., has and will continue to be a weekday outing through the hot summer nights.
The restaurant, which operates out of the renovated former City Hall at 226 F St., also holds Poetry Night every first and third Wednesday of the month.
Each Curtain Call showcases a three-piece performance, made up of a host, headliner and feature comic. Sacramento and San Francisco-based comedian Eric Miller, who finds and books comedians, puts a tremendous amount of thought behind the entire presentation to create a well-balanced mix of performers.
“I spend a lot of time putting together a very good host to compliment a very good feature,” said Miller, who occasionally hosts the event himself. “I look for [a host] who will make the headliner look hilarious.“
Many well-known comedians are set to take the stage in the following weeks. Tuesday’s performance will feature Gene Pompa, a comic who has appeared on NBC’s Scrubs and Late Night with Conan O’Brien as well as on a special on Comedy Central. Other features will include San Francisco International Comedy Champ Johnny Steele and Comedy Central and VH1 stand-up veteran Jerry Corley.
Past performers include Robert Mac, Flight of the Conchords‘ Arj Barker and comedian and actor Todd Glass, who is currently on tour with David Spade and has appeared numerous times on NBC’s Last Comic Standing.
The close, intimate atmosphere of City Hall is designed for a personal and comfortable setting. Miller said that comedians are clean to semi-clean, drinks have no minimum and hecklers are shunned.
“People will have their meal beforehand, and will go in to the [show] and have a couple drinks and maybe a dessert,” said Brian Fernandez, manager and events coordinator for Bistro 33.
“Bistro 33 is perfect for what I do,” said Joe Klocek, a Bay Area comedian who has performed at Bistro 33 multiple times. “I like to talk to people, and I feed off of that energy.“
In the past, the performance has attracted a wide range of audiences from both Davis and surrounding areas, and many audiences include Sacramento and Woodland residents as well as locals.
“There’s a very good mix of townspeople and students, and I’m surprised there aren’t more students because of the price,” Miller said. “A lot of regulars have gotten to see America’s best comedians and can still be home by 11.“
When asked about the differences of performing to a college crowd as opposed to other club audiences, Klocek offered a mixed response.
“The college crowd will sometimes not get a joke, or will just respond to dirty jokes,” Klocek said. “Other times, I’m in front of a college crowd and they get the stuff that you don’t think they’re going to get. They like the more avant-garde stuff or the stuff that you can’t always do for a typical audience.“
Tickets are $5 and are available at the restaurant, which is located at 226 F St. For more information about the event and upcoming comedians, go to bistro33comedy.com.
JUSTIN HO can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.