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Decade Of Laughter

Casey Peruski and Spaz McGoorty celebrate 10 years of Comedy Corner shows at the Sunrise Theatre with two January anniversity shows.

by Chuck king
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DELRAY BEACH – Successfully producing anything for a full decade is almost always an accomplishment worth celebrating.

In the case of the twice-monthly Comedy Corner shows produced by Casey Peruski and Spaz McGoorty, it’s worth celebrating twice.

“Ten years is pretty cool,” said McGoorty.

The celebration commences on Saturday with a show headlined by Dean Napolitano and Steve Zimmerman. Robert Bass and potential other surprise guests are expected to perform. Patrick Garrity and Richie Minervini headline the January 22 show, which serves as the second half of the 10-year celebration. David Aguilar and Jim Moran are also expected to perform.

Peruski and McGoorty, Peruski’s uncle, will serve as host both nights, with the shows taking place in the room they’ve called home for a decade: the Black Box, located within the Sunrise Theatre in Fort Pierce.

The duo considered bringing a big name headliner to Fort Pierce for the show, but ultimately elected to stock the shows with performers who have taken the stage at least once during the past decade.

That adheres to their general booking philosophy which has made the second and fourth Saturdays of the month so successful for Treasure Coast comedy.

“I bring my comedy friends to come visit me, and we have a blast,” Peruski said.

A little more than a decade ago Peruski and McGoorty had been helping Rene Harte produce shows at the Sunrise Theatre. When Harte stepped away to focus on her duties at the Palm Beach Improv, she encouraged Sunrise Theatre Administrators to let Peruski and McGoorty produce the shows.

“We thank her,” McGoorty said. “She’s the reason we got 10 years.”

James Yon headlined the first official Peruski and McGoorty show. (Now the host of Funny Not Famous, among other shows, a schedule conflict prevented Yon from performing at either anniversary show, Peruski said.)

Since that show, the likes of Mike Vecchione, Bobby Collins, Greg Hahn, Michael Winslow, Jim Florentine, Maryellen Hooper and what Peruski calls the “best and brightest of Florida” have performed at the Sunrise Theatre.

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“Casey and Spaz, from Day 1, hit the streets with GREAT marketing and really good shows!” Harte wrote in a text to Applause Break. “Their longevity is the result of bringing solid headliners in every week, mixed with their personalities. The people of Fort Pierce love them and they have become a staple.”

Prior to 2020’s three-month COVID shutdown, the lone interruption in shows came when a break in the theater’s air conditioning during a summer month prompted a cancellation, Peruski said.

At one point during the run, the duo produced 40 consecutive shows headlined by 40 different comics. And most of the top local comics residing within the Miami-Orlando-Tampa triangle can list a Comedy Corner show among their credits.

“We like a diverse show with variety – but always funny first,” said Peruski, whose Dry Bar comedy special launched in December.

By going out of their way to treat comics well, word of quality Comedy Corner shows quickly spread among the comedy community, turning the Fort Piece theater into a destination stage.

“We get a lot of referrals just from comedians,” McGoorty said.

Peruski and McGoorty also go out of their way to cultivate relationships with their audiences, often greeting them at the door as they enter. That practice helped build steady audiences even with the headliner might be an unfamiliar name.

“We keep bringing it and they keep coming,” McGoorty said. “That’s a beautiful thing right there.”

For the celebration shows the audience will be seated at tables, as opposed to the normal stadium seating utilized in the 200-guest capacity room. The new seating could become permanent.

Both Saturday’s show and the January 22 show begin at 8 p.m. and are listed in the Applause Break Events calendar. Tickets are $25 in advance, $30 at the door.

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