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Subdued Night

Priester charms relaxed crowd on Monday night in Delray Beach

by Chuck king
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DELRAY BEACH, Fla. – Comedy audiences in Delray Beach appear to be be a little more sophisticated than they are being given credit for.

Monday’s crowd at Delray Beach’s Tin Roof surprised headliner Chris Priester with its interracial integration.

Priester, who is black, opened his show by asking a series of questions to the mostly white audience designed to comedically elicit their level of racism. To Priester’s surprise, the audience passed his test.

While that opening didn’t go as planned, Priester quickly pivoted to his next bit and developed a rapport with his audience – something that proved elusive for comics who took the stage before him.

“Tin Roof is an amazing place to do a show,” Priester said following his 40-minute performance. “Enjoyed the time, I enjoyed the crowd. (Tin Roof manager Anthony) Terzo, you’ve got a great room here on Monday nights baby. Keep it up.”

APPLAUSE BREAK-DOWN

VENUE: Tin Roof, Delray Beach (Oct. 26, 2020)

LINEUP:

Randy Vega – Host
Jesse Cohen
Lalo Rodriguez
Perry Sak – Guest
Matt Ross – Feature
Chris Priester – Headliner

SHOW HIGHLIGHT: Priester had the crowd intrigued and entertained when he delved into his fascination with midgets. The 6-foot-5 Priester touched on binge watching Little Women: Atlanta discussing his physical attraction to midgets (a visual that’s amusing in and of itself). His alternate premise – at what age do children realize their friend is a midget? – makes for a great bit, and the audience responded.

BE OUR GUEST: A veteran of the South Florida comedy scene, Sak jumped on stage, injecting five minutes of energy into the evening. The New England native doesn’t miss a chance to take a shot at the Miami Dolphins during football season. Ross is an up-and-coming talent. The line he draws from older Floridians to iguanas could grow into something memorable. And any time you can incorporate drunk raccoons into your set, as Ross did, you’ve got a good chance to win over the audience. Rodriguez’s account of the first time his step-daughter told him he loved her is a warm tale with a punchline. Cohen mined his recent divorce – finalized earlier in the month at a courthouse down the street from the Tin Roof – for some material.

WORKING THE ROOM: Perhaps the Florida resurgence of COVID-19 cases weighed heavily on the audience, but the subdued nature of the crowd proved problematic early in the night. When one of his jokes didn’t get the response he was looking for, Sak turned his head, uttering into the mic “Alexa, make the crowd laugh.” Alexa worked her magic following that line.

THE COMICS’ TABLE: As the premier Delray Beach venue for comedy, the Tin Roof always draws a good crowd of comics even when they aren’t on the bill. Nadeem Awad and David Sadman both stopped by for Monday’s show. …Vega will be hosting The New Faces of Comedy show on Wednesday at the Palm Beach Improv. Ricky Cruz is headlining that show.

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ONE LINER: “Chris, he has a really funny way of being black but relating to the white crowd,” – Terzo.

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