Editorial credit: Caroline Coppel
The District got a little funnier Wednesday night when Riot Act Comedy Theater hosted its soft opening party. The event brought a mix of comedy devotees and media members to Penn Quarter, where they enjoyed an evening of stand up, snacks and drinks.
Riot Act is surprisingly spacious – two floors and two full bars, along with ample seating on both levels. The stage itself, though small, brings an intimate feel to the otherwise large theater; each performance felt like it took place in some tiny, hole-in-the-wall club.
The stand-up acts were certainly heartfelt, although the comedians achieved varying success with the audience. Big Al Goodwin started the night, and gamely performed not once, but twice when his follower, Tony Woods, was late. Woods definitely made up for his delayed arrival by stealing the show. His material – especially the account of his trip to China – was the highlight of the night. Charles Fleischer ended the show; while the veteran comic made some friends in the front row, the rest of the audience seemed a little disengaged. He was able to reel them back in at the end with an impressive harmonica solo, however. If you like a little music with your comedy, you should check him out; he’ll be playing at Riot Act through Saturday.
Riot Act will be open seven days a week and will feature regular theme nights as well as national and local acts. The club will host an open mic night Tuesdays, to give some budding comedians a chance to shine.