Friday, June 9, 2023

Count on Comedy At The Staircase This Weekend

What do you call a group of comedians in Hamilton?

This weekend, you call them part of The Staircase’s lineup as the indie multi–purpose venue on Dundurn Street North turns into a comedy club.

On Friday night, Queer Coffee Hamilton partners with Uncloseted Comedy to offer a night of comedy and music beginning at 8pm. With a goal of celebrating queer talent, comedians featured at this month’s event include Clif Knight, Joelle Bolton-South, Kali Williams and Jason Dogleash. At 9pm, musical guest Luiz Grante will take the stage before comedic headliner Brendan D’Souza closes the night.

D’Souza is best known as the host and producer of Shredded: The Post-Breakup Podcast, which has been featured as one of the top five comedy podcasts in Toronto. The comedian has also been nominated as 2019’s Newcomer Comic of the Year. 

On Saturday night, Abbas Wahab headlines his first show in Hamilton starting at 8pm. The comedian, actor and host is known in the Toronto comedy scene and from appearances on CBC Radio’s The Debaters and the Just For Laughs Festival. He’s also performed on television in popular shows The Boys and The Handmaid’s Tale

For Wahab, the choice was easy when deciding where to perform.

“I actually know the guy who manages the venue and bookings, Matthew Surina,” the comedian explains. “We’ve known each other from the comedy scene for quite some time.”

Abbas is also known for his weekly podcast, The Immigrant Section, where he showcases rising talents, the experiences of newer Canadians as they learn about their new home and balancing life as an emerging performer. He also has a viral clip series where he acts out short job interviews.

While he is known in many contexts and a familiar face on many screens, Abbas is quick to clarify that his live stand-up, like what audiences will experience at the April 22 show at The Staircase, is a different experience than taping a clip.

“Some people don’t realize I do stand-up comedy. . .so sometimes they expect me to do a version onstage? It can be a pretty funny conversation.”

And while there are some differences between his online personas and live routine, Abbas notes that he’s still the same person, and his animated style of storytelling comes through in all of his pursuits. 

At The Staircase, Abbas will be joined by James Cummins, who has performed at Just For Laughs and NXNE. Toronto-based Korean entertainer Edworld Kim will round out the evening’s lineup.

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