‘Warm-Up to Halloween’ Show Features Six Teen Comics

Since nobody knows Halloween better than teenagers, Kids ‘N Comedy, New York’s leading presenter of young comic talent, will present “Warm-Up to Halloween,” a one-of-a-kind show of original standup material featuring six teen comics, October 23 at Gotham Comedy Club, 208 West 23rd Street.

Kids ‘N Comedy presents monthly shows at Gotham Comedy Club with a turntable of talented teens and ‘tweens from the tri-state area. This show will celebrate the season of rubber masks and candy bars with new material by Conor Caroll, Angela Citrola, Mark Cohen, Joe O’Hare and David Thompson.

Conor Carroll hails from Brooklyn and is the son of a retired NYPD Sergeant and a Grant Consultant/Homemaker. His hobbies include drawing comics impressions and annoying his 16 year-old brother. He has been acting since he was four years old and has performed in commercials, movies (“Away We Go,” “Phoebe in Wonderland,” “Perfect Holiday), TV shows and voiceovers. He’s a seventh grader at Professional Children’s School. He’s allergic to incorrect grammar, puns and basic idiocy.

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Mark Cohen trains himself for eating Halloween candy in The WarmUp to Halloween Show, to be presented by Kids ‘N Comedy at Gotham Comedy Club October 23, 2011. Photo by Jonathan Slaff.

Angela Citrola, grade 12, hails from Northport, LI. Her hobbies are performance, guitar and “everything that has to do with theater of any kind.” Her first standup experience was a school variety show at age 13 and she’s been with the Kids ‘n Comedy Troupe since October, 2009. She was a cheerleader but gave it up so she could do more theater.

Mark Cohen, an eleventh grader at Bronx Science, was born in Manhattan. His hobbies include computer games (World of Warcraft) and piano. He performed the role of “Hornbeck” in the Bronx Science Fall Production of “Inherit the Wind” last year. He attended The Heschel School (Manhattan), which is dual language school (English- Hebrew) from Nursery School to 8th grade. He lists as his passions computer programming, acting and physical fitness.

Joe O’Hare is a tenth grader from Broad Channel, NY, where he attends The Scholars’ Academy. For hobbies, he writes that he is a volunteer firefighter at Broad Channel Volunteer Fire Department. He’s an only child. His passions are standup and being a fireman. His sport is wrestling.

David Thompson, of Westchester, is a senior at Walter Panas High School, where he wrestles. His hobbies are Wrestling, Skateboarding and Drumming. He has an older brother, 20. He played the character of Stemler in “Win-Win” (2011), the film starring Paul Giamatti and Amy Ryan. His passions are acting, comedy and eating.

UPCOMING SHOWS

After the success of “The Spring Allergies Show” last May, Kids ‘N Comedy decided to present all themed shows this season. Each show will feature new material by the comedians appearing, which they are creating expressly for the varied topics of the shows.

November 20 will be “The Indoor Kids Show.” Teen comedians are not the type to play outside, and with cold weather closing in, this show rejoices in the relief of being locked indoors for another season. With: Andrew Vatier, David Thompson, Jake Sidransky, Aaron Greenberg, Eric Kurn and more.

December 11 will be “The Bah Humbug Show.” Nothing makes teen comics more grumpy than the smiling elves and joyous songs of the red-and-green season. This show is early in the holiday period, so they can get a head start on their kvetching. With: Mark Cohen, Charley Bardey, Leo Frampton, Luke Bergamini, Daniel Laitman and Dillon Heverin and more.

In January, the teen comics will crack books to prepare for “The Philosophy Show.” What better way to deal with the confusion of adolescence than by weighing Hegel against Kierkegaard? Lineup TBA.

In February, the theme show will be “Comics in Love.” Love hurts, especially when you have braces. Lineup TBA.

The themes of the Spring shows and lineups of all the shows are in development as of this writing. Complete info will be available on the Kids ‘N Comedy website, www.kidsncomedy.com.

Captioned, high-resolution photos of Kids ‘N Comedy performers are available for download at: picasaweb.google.com/jslaff/KidsNComedy#

For biographies of the young comedians in the Kids ‘N Comedy troupe, visit: www.jsnyc.com/season/knc_bios.htm.

The reservations number is 212-877-6115 and Online ticketing is available on the Kids ‘N Comedy website, www.kidsncomedy.com.

ABOUT KIDS ‘N COMEDY

Kids ‘N Comedy originated in 1996 as a talent show for kids at a The West End Gate restaurant on the Upper West Side that was owned at the time by Associate Director Stu Morden, Art D’Lugoff and Manny Roth (Cafe Wha). The talent of the kids caught the attention of BBC-TV, which filmed a documentary about them, which resulted in more media attention. Demand spiked among kids wishing to perform and this prompted Morden and his wife, Artistic Director Jo Ann Grossman, to establish Kids ‘N Comedy to serve these budding comics through classes taught by a rotating staff, an intensive summer comedy camp, and professional gigs. Their performance series started at The Knitting Factory in 1996 and moved to Caroline’s in 1998 and to Gotham Comedy Club in 2000. The founders point out that there’s a ten year ramp-up to a comedy career and stage time is essential to becoming a good performer. Before there was Kids ‘N Comedy, getting that stage time was nearly impossible, since comedy clubs are primarily bars and therefore off-limits to teens.

Parents report that their children’s involvement in Kids ‘N Comedy yields an increase in self confidence and a better attitude toward school. One parent wrote, “My son (like his father) has always marched to the beat of a different drum. As a result, he has had to take a lot of criticism from his peers and was not always the most secure of children: funny, pleasant to be with, but always uncertain as to who he was. As a result of your efforts my son has found that the road less traveled could possibly be the most rewarding.”

Distinguished alumni of Kids ‘N Comedy include Josh Peck, star of Nickelodeon’s “Drake & Josh,” and Lucian Maisel, who can be seen in the film “The Ex” with Zack Braff and Amanda Peet. Last Spring, ensemble member David Thompson made his film debut in “WIN WIN” with Paul Giamatti (directed and written by Tom McCarthy).

In the company’s showcases, each comic performs his/her own material, which is screened to be free of profanity and abrasive or cheap “low” humor, like fart jokes. They do, however, venture into edgy comic terrain: politics, getting old, even death. Laura Weiss wrote in Big Apple Parent, “This kid humor is quirky and often slightly mordant, with a sophistication that belies the comedians’ youth. Plus, these kids are hilarious.”

Beside their regular shows at Gotham Comedy Club, Kids ‘N Comedy performers have appeared at a variety of benefits and charity events, including events of the WB11 Care for Kids Fund, a fund of the Robert R. McCormick Tribune Foundation (supporting needy families, including teen mothers, homeless families and at-risk youth), Starlight Starbright Children’s Foundation (it brightens the lives of seriously ill children and their families) and the Toyota Comedy Festival.

TRAINING OPPORTUNITIES AT KIDS ‘N COMEDY

Kids ‘N Comedy offers a Class Series in which aspiring comedians spend Saturdays in the company of other hilarious teenagers, as well as a hot-shot team of writers and comedians from around New York, learning how to write, workshop and perform their very own stand-up routines. Classes meet for two hours on Saturdays for nine weeks, and are offered three times during the year. Classes begin September 24 and run nine weeks (through December 3). Hours are 11:30 -1:30 for kids ages 10-13 and 2:00 – 4:00 for kids 14-18.

All writing and performance workshops are taught by comedy professionals, offer a highly supportive atmosphere and are tuned to varying levels of experience. Complete information, cost and schedules for all workshops and camps are available on the Kids ‘N Comedy website, www.kidsncomedy.com.

This program has been made possible in part through the sponsorship of The Field, a not-for-profit, tax-exempt, 501(c)(3) organization serving the New York City performing arts community.

Jonathan Slaff writes on cultural events from the brainy, the edgy and the good. He helps us keep ahead of the curve in the world of the arts and culture.