DELRAY BEACH – A sold-out crowd at the Movies of Delray traded celluloid heroes for live, real life, humorists in a comedy premiere that exceeded lofty expectations.
Operators actually had to turn away patrons at the 115-seat theater prior to starting because there wasn’t even standing room remaining.
“Tonight was absolutely fantastic,” Movies of Delray co-owner Glen Gray said. “It was a sold-out crowd. We’ve had this theater here for 35 years. With it I’ve always, deep down, had a desire to want to do a comedy night. It far exceeded my expectations.”
Veteran comedian Carl Rimi headlined the night that included a drop-in from national act Jimmy Shubert, who used the night as a successful test of new material ahead of next month’s scheduled taping of a new special.
Like Shubert, Rimi delivered new material with aplomb.
“I was messing around with some stuff,” Rimi said. “These are the venues to do it. It’s all a process. You’ve just got to say it a few times and it will start to mold into something you want for it to stay like.”
The Movies of Delray is a familiar venue to Rimi. He’s spent the past two years writing, producing and starring in the movie “iPossessed,” and held a screening at same theater a few months back.
Prior to the show several comics wondered whether the audience, many of whom may have been alive prior to the invention of talkies, would find their brand of stand-up comedy to be the bees knees.
Those concerns dissipated quickly.
Producer and host David Sadman’s early joke about his semi-erotic use of a COVID mask landed, freeing co-features Jim Patterson and Nadeem Awad to pull from any bit in their repertoires. Both enjoyed applause breaks during their sets.
“I saw them responding positively to everybody’s material, and that’s a testament to the quality of the comedians that we had on stage tonight – but it also says that this generation of audience members have some really thick skin,” Sadman said. “They had a lot of fun with us and we appreciate it.”
Rimi had the crowd enthralled throughout his 45-minute set – even when he included a bit about the pornography section at 1990s movie rental stores. What could have been an uncomfortable topic met with welcomed howls of laughter.
That the risque bit garnered such a response didn’t surprise Rimi.
“People that are on-board are on-board,” Rimi said. “It’s stand-up comedy. Usually they know what they’re getting into when they come to a comedy show.”
The night went so well that by its conclusion the Movies of Delray and Sadman Comedy Productions had agreed on dates for two more monthly shows. With February being a short month, the first of those shows will come on March 1, the second on March 29. Both dates are Wednesday.
A line-up has yet to be determined for those shows.
“I think it was a huge success tonight,” Sadman said. “We were expecting it to have great reception but it was even beyond what we were expecting. We are excited to continue this series and we’re looking forward to next month.”