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Back in South Florida for a limited time, Matt Bellak tamed an energetic crowd in first appearance at Delray Beach's Tin Roof.

by Chuck king
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DELRAY BEACH – Like several national touring comics before him, Matt Bellak emerged from his performance at Delray Beach’s Tin Roof raving about the show and the venue.

“It seems to be building, and the more and more and more that it builds that comedy show night will become more of a staple,” Bellak said. “Dude, it’s Monday night in a bar. What they pulled off here is pretty impressive.”

Having started his stand-up comedy career in South Florida Bellak is quite familiar with the local scene.

Monday, however, marked his first time performing at the Tin Roof, which started hosting shows on the final Monday of the month less than one year ago. Bellak headlined a show that ultimately included six comics, five of whom made their first appearance on the Tin Roof stage.

Not everyone’s performance captivated the crowd like Bellak’s did.

Much of the crowd in attendance for the early comics were holdovers from the Motown musical act that ended less than an hour before the comics took the stage. Those patrons proved to be a less than ideal comedy crowd.

“The first couple comics, I tip my f*cking hat to them because they had to deal with so much – just crowd noise and everyone’s ordering drinks,” Bellak said.

The show took a turn for the better when local favorite Nadeem Awad made a surprise guest appearance as the night’s fourth comic.

“One thousand percent turned with Nadeem,” Bellak said. “I’m not poo-pooing anyone that went on before him, it’s just hard. What Nadeem did – and it’s a big feather in his cap – he went on and turned a random group of bar patrons into a comedy audience in about eight minutes.”

New York comic James Camacho did battle some unruliness during his feature set, mixing polished material with more crowd work than he likely intended.

Having recently moved back to South Florida – at least temporarily – from Los Angels, Bellak quickly pulled the audience into his laid-back world, one they certainly seemed to enjoy.

“Once you got them going, if you got a couple of jokes in a row going they would come in and listen to you,” Bellak said. “And then you had one [joke] that didn’t hit and they’d tune the f*ck out, and you had to get them again. But it was fun, dude.”

APPLAUSE BREAK-DOWN

VENUE: Tin Roof, Delray Beach (Feb. 22, 2021)

LINEUP
Danny Fineman (Host)
Jim Hudson
Chad Ridgely
Nadeem Awad (Special Guest)
James Camacho (Feature)
Matt Bellak (Headliner)

SHOW HIGHLIGHT
Bellak started strong by discussing his embrace of drugs, noting that a presentation by DARE – an organization dedicated to keeping students off of drugs – actually sparked his desire to try them. His explanation drew a roar from the crowd. Later, noting that urine is a common home remedy to negate the pain from jellyfish stings, Bellak wondered about other potential medicinal uses of pee.

BE OUR GUEST
Camacho hit with a few bits. This audience in particular identified with his issues about going clubbing – and how he’d often run out of money before ordering his first drink. …Awad is working on tightening a few of his bits, including his distrust of cruise ships and worries about the people of Lake Worth. …Ridgely’s idea for penalizing the poor driving of older Floridians has merit. …Hudson did his best to tame what, at the time, was a borderline unruly crowd, scoring some laughs by noting that going to Publix for a vaccine has thrown off his sensibilities. …Fineman brought plenty of energy to the room as host.

WORKING THE ROOM
Bellak offered a surprising show highlight: “Honestly the high point was the front table of old guys that stuck it out for the whole show – and they took a beating everyone laughed, made fun of them, made them part of their joke – and they sat right in the front row, took every punch in the chin. They were cool, man.” …Responding to a series of random comments yelled by audience members, Camacho inquired, “What is it, Tourette’s night at Tin Roof?”

COMICS’ TABLE
Bellak is in town for another week, before heading to Texas and Oklahoma for five shows with Tim Hanlon in five days. …Awad, Ridgely and David Sadman, who attended the show but didn’t perform, are all on the bill for Wednesday’s debut of the Sadman Comedy Speakeasy Lounge at Arturo’s in Boca Raton. …Local comics Eric Rosenblum, Fasil Malik, Rebecca Loveless and Minda all enjoyed the show as fans.

ONE LINER
“The show was amazing. This place is amazing. You’ve got to come out and watch comedy at the Tin Roof. I hosted it and had the best time ever.” – Danny Fineman

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