This review of the Stand-Up Comedy Show "Straight Out Of Vinnie's Closet" at Stand-Up NY Comedy Club was written and published by Dr. Thomas Robert Stevens and appeared in Volume I, Issue 2 (December, 1997) of Applause! Applause!
"Straight Out Of Vinnie's Closet" - Assorted Comics
Stand-Up NY Comedy Club (236 West 78th Street, NYC)
The first Sunday of every month at 6:45 p.m., Vinnie Costa M.C.'s a show with a great line-up of comics with varied sexual orientations and preferences, from homosexual men who claim they like men, to heterosexual men who claim they like having sex with their comatose grandmothers. Lesbians were well represented on stage, but were under-represented in the audience.
Far and away, the best comic of the evening was Linda Hershovic. She has excellent material, and perfect timing and delivery. She explained that she recently came out to her mom. She wrote her mom "a long note on flowered paper, folded it in three, and then threw it on her grave and ran." While on the beach in Provincetown, a young girl stole the unhooked bikini top of a woman sun-bathing and then ran down the beach. Of course, the woman had to get up to run after the child. Hershovic says she "got a good look and it only cost me a piece of candy." I look forward to catching her act the next time she appears as a headliner.
Vinnie Costa was also excellent both as an M.C. and as a comic. He refers to Lifetime Television as "television for women and gay men." He said that when he was younger, his mom "only let him have boys in his room." So he says, "Thanks mom, you're the best!" Costa did great impersonations of Louis Armstrong and Carol Channing from their roles in Hello, Dolly. He also stated that he "almost lost his gay membership card" because he "wasn't a good dresser." But people said, "Don't worry. You look like a lesbian. You're fine!!"
The "straight" John Viner had a powerful stage presence and I loved his material and his willingness to go where many comics fear to tread. However, he lost his guts in a confrontation with a black lesbian audience member. The only advice I have for him is "No Balls. No Glory!". Alex Sanez has tremendous energy and a great future. Deke Haylon and Sharon Williams can both carve out a niche for themselves and were a cut above the rest of the comic pack! Paul J. Williams, who will soon have a one-man show at Don't Tell Mama on Tuesdays in January told one hilarious joke. He is originally from Dallas and said he misses the grocery stores in Texas which are "so long that you can't see the back of the store because of the curvature of the earth." If he comes up with more material like this, his show will be a success. Also on the program were Janine Driver, Gabby Rubin, Rob Tyler, Ellen Rosenfeld, Poppi Kramer and Lorne Newman. Each had some funny bits to offer and while they might shine on another program, tonight they came in second best, which is not all that bad!