Matt Koff’s Debut Comedy Album Who’s My Little Guy? Release Party

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On Friday, November 1st, Matt Koff will release his debut comedy album, Who’s My Little Guy? Koff will be celebrating at QED in Astoria along with famed comics Jo Firestone (The Tonight Show), Ronny Chieng (The Daily Show, Crazy Rich Asians), Matt Wayne (Comedy Central) and Brendan McLaughlin (Best Week Ever). Fans know Matt from his writing on Comedy Central’s The Daily Show with Trevor Noah and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, for which he won an Emmy, as well as his stand-up appearances on Adam Devine’s House Party and The History Channel’s I Love the 1880s. After doing comedy for over a decade, Matt decided it was time to fulfill his dream of releasing an album because his therapist told him to shut up and do it already.

As a late-night TV show writer, Matt typically deals with current events, so for Who’s My Little Guy? he wanted to shift gears and delve into more personal experiences, like what it’s like breaking your arms in a bicycle accident in New York City, getting fired from a game show, having a neurotic mother who believes that every day may be your last, and how awkward it can be to celebrate Christmas when you’re a Jew. Recorded at Union Hall in Brooklyn, Who’s My Little Guy? provides an escape from the times we live in by offering a delightfully strange comedy experience.

Tickets are $10 and are for sale here.

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More about Matt Koff
Matt Koff is an Emmy-winning television writer and stand-up comedian from Westchester, NY. He currently writes for The Daily Show With Trevor Noah. He’s also written for The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. When Matt isn’t writing jokes, he is saying them into microphones at comedy venues throughout New York City. Additionally, Matt has written for IFC’s Onion News Network, Comedy Central’s Onion SportsDome, and the White House Correspondents’ Dinner with Hasan Minhaj. He is also genuinely flattered that you’ve read this far.

As a stand-up, Matt has appeared on Adam Devine’s House Party on Comedy Central and The History Channel series I Love the 1880s. He has toured with John Oliver, Michael Ian Black, and Bo Burnham. When Matt is not doing stand-up, he is usually eating a gyro in the rain.

Matt Koff Online
http://www.mattkoff.net/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/mattkoff
Donald Trump parody account: http://twitter.com/TrumpComedyNerd
Instagram: http://instagram.com/mattkoff

 


Astoria Comedian Katie Compa’s HARD PASS – Out on Friday the 13th (of September)

Photo by Mindy Tucker

Photo by Mindy Tucker

Astoria comedian Katie Compa, whose debut album Hard Pass presented by Little Lamb Recordings is out on digital platforms today (Friday the 13th of September), is witty, astute, and most importantly, very funny. One of her main topics is men (gay guys, straight guys, her father), but she keeps it light and none of it comes across as offensive or cruel. The 51 minutes of the album goes by quickly, and many parts were laugh out loud funny. We recommend you check it out! You can purchase it digitally here.

[More info] Katie is a woman who knows what she wants, or more importantly, what she doesn’t want, and is more than happy to let us know exactly why. Hard Pass was recorded in front of a live audience at the legendary Duplex in Greenwich Village. Katie is based in New York City and her particularly brilliant brand of deadpan sarcasm has earned her recognition at San Francisco Sketchfest, the Brooklyn Comedy Festival, and stages throughout the country and around the world.

Katie Compa developed a biting sense of humor as a highly effective defense mechanism growing up an ugly duckling outside Washington, DC and now uses it to write and perform comedy. Equal parts sassy, smart, and sarcastic, Katie cracks up audiences worldwide. Katie cut her teeth in the Bay Area comedy scene, and is now based in New York City. She has been featured in the San Francisco SketchFest and (don’t tell her mom) on HighTimes.com.

www.katiecompa.com

To buy the album on iTunes, click here.

Written and performed by Katie Compa at the Duplex Cabaret Theater in New York City
Recorded by Ezana Million for Little Lamb Recordings
Photo by Mindy Tucker
Album artwork and design by Catherine Isaacs

Photo by Mindy Tucker

Photo by Mindy Tucker

 


Top 10: Brunch

We love brunch, and Astoria does not disappoint with the quantity of places or the quality of food and drink. Here’s our Top 10 favorite places to get brunch in Astoria:

10. Oliver’s Astoria
9. Sugar Freak
8. Gastroteca Astoria
7. The Thirsty Koala
6. Sanfords Restaurant
5. The Shady Lady
4. The Bonnie
3. Sek’end Sun
2. The Royal Underground
1. Beans & Lager

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Omelet and side salad at Beans & Lager


“Message in a Bottle” interview

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Michelle Drozdick in “Message in a Bottle.” Photo by Melissa Parker Caron

It’s not easy breaking free of a toxic relationship—whether it’s a bad boyfriend or a googly-eyed bottle of vodka named Tito.

Comedian Michelle Drozdick confronts this challenge in her solo show, “Message in a Bottle.” Coming off well-received appearances at SOLOCOM 2018, The Pit, HACPAC and Smush Gallery, Drozdick will present her show at QED August 18-20.

Drozdick describes the show as a “surreal but true love story between a woman and a bottle of vodka, from the early days of awkward first love to the ultimate betrayal, and the realization that life going forward isn’t just doable, it can be beautiful.”

BOAST writer Lisa Huberman sat down with Drozdick to discuss the evolution of the show, and what she is looking forward to about bringing it to QED.

Lisa Huberman: What was the initial inspiration for the show? Did you always conceive of it as a solo piece?
Michelle Drozdick: I wanted to put together a show that was equal parts comedy and drama, without sacrificing one for the other, as well as a way to tell my own story quitting drinking in an engaging, unique way… so I wrote a play about a woman dating a bottle of vodka named Tito. It’s always been a solo piece, yes—I did briefly consider how it would work if other people were added, but at heart it’s a show about that relationship, and I think it works best when it’s just the two of them.

How has the show evolved since you first began performing it in 2018? How have you evolved as a performer?
Every time I do this show, something new happens that I end up incorporating! Often it’s a spur of the moment thing that gets a big reaction, like a throwaway line or facial expression during an otherwise serious moment. I’m definitely more confident than I was since I started doing this show—the first performances were absolutely nerve-wracking, and although I’m still incredibly nervous before hitting the stage each and every time I have much more belief in my abilities than when I started.

You come from an improv background. Is the process of performing your solo show different from improv?
It really is. With improv there’s no pressure—it’s comedy, and you’re making it all up on the spot. With this show, it’s a heavy, dark dramatic comedy based on real life, and it was written and planned well in advance. There’s a lot more preparation that goes into it, but every script revision and time spent agonizing over exactly the right line structure or delivery is so worth it.

There are some similarities to improv, though! Although this show is scripted, I do allow for variations. Each show is different, and a lot of these changes end up making their way into the script. It’s a really unique and fun experience to get to use that improv background in a new, rewarding way.

What is the scariest part about performing a show this personal? What’s the most exhilarating part?
It’s absolutely terrifying to go over some of the darker moments of my life, especially when people I know are watching! The concept of the show is surreal, but the events that unfold are very true to life. Doing this show with my mother and stepfather in the audience was probably the scariest thing I’ve ever done—and I’m so glad I did it.

So many things about it are exhilarating. Getting to take something incredibly painful and slap googly eyes, plastic forks for arms, and a necktie on it then laugh at it has been so amazingly empowering. Getting to talk to audience members afterwards and have so many people confide in me their own stories, past and present, is something I never imagined would happen, and I’m so grateful to be trusted in that way. Although it’s a personal show, I’ve found that more than anything it’s reminded me (and hopefully others!) that no one is truly alone, and more people may understand what you’re going through than you’d realize. (more…)


Message in a Bottle at QED

Message-In-A-Bottle-692Message in a Bottle, written and performed by Michelle Drozdick, will be showing at QED on Sunday Aug. 18, Monday Aug. 19, and Tuesday Aug. 20, 7–8:30pm.

From the artist: “It’s a surreal but true-to-life love story between a woman and a bottle of vodka, from the early days of awkward first love to the ultimate betrayal, and the realization that life going forward isn’t just doable, it can be beautiful.”

You can get tickets at this link, and you can find out more information on the Happening page.

 


Review: Addy’s Barbeque

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Ribeye steak

[This review is based on the writer’s experience at a Yelp elite event. She also keeps a gluten-free diet, so this is not reflective of the average experience. That said, her expectations were high being that the restaurant opened its doors to a group of hungry, avid Yelp reviewers.]

I sampled several freshly-made iced Lassi type drinks (Vanilla, Piña Colada, and Strawberry) that were light and refreshing.

It appears that the staff is not familiar with food allergies, but will gladly ask the chef what is safe for your dietary needs. They appear eager to please and modify dishes where they can. The chef came out to find me when he heard I was not able to eat any of the many mouth watering looking dishes. He went out if his way to make me a custom dish (ribeye, mashed potatoes, mushrooms & onions with a tall mug of Mango Lassi) so that I would not leave hungry.

He said that if you contact the restaurant in advance he would purchase gluten-free flour and pasta and could easily modify the chicken wings. Be aware that they obviously do not have a dedicated gf fryer.

He truly puts his heart and soul into his business. I would like to see this business succeed, though I would advise to fix the sign on the front door with the posted hours since a few of the letters/numbers were missing. I will be back for sure!

—Robin

Addy’s Barbeque
30-94 Steinway St, Astoria, NY 11103
(718) 433-9568
places.singleplatform.com/addys-barbeque/menu




An Interview with Comedian Ted Alexandro

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Photo by Eric Korenman

I recently had the opportunity to interview Astoria resident, Ted Alexandro. Ted has been active in the comedy scene for 15 years. He started out as a music teacher in Boston and has used that experience throughout his career. He talks about teaching, his family and many other anecdotes in his new podcast, A Little Bit Me. Currently, he is on tour opening for Jim Gaffigan. I corresponded with him through e-mail to learn more about this talented Astorian and his new podcast.

Congratulations on 15 years in the comedy scene! I enjoyed listening to your podcast. Why is now the time to launch A Little Bit Me?

I realized what the world needed was another podcast from a comedian. I’d done every other comedian’s podcast and enjoyed doing them. It occurred to me if I started my own, I won’t have to leave the house.

Who should give this a listen?

If you like comedy and/or the life of comedians, you’ll like it. If you don’t, you will still like it.

How did you decide what to focus on in your podcast?

It’s called A Little Bit Me so I knew it would have to be that but I wanted it to be a mix of me talking about life; segments like Cooking with Ted where I talk about my latest attempts in the kitchen, What Are You Watching and Grading My Marriage, as well as segments like The Catch Up where I cold call a comedian friend and catch up. They’re not expecting the call so it’s always interesting to launch into it. But it always winds up being a great conversation because these are people I’ve known and worked with for years.

Which comedians do you have lined up for future segments of The Catch Up?

Whoever is in my phone. It’s basically all spur of the moment, like “Let’s give Jim Gaffigan a try.” I’ve been a comedian for twenty-five years so I know a lot of comedians. I’ve had Jim Gaffigan, Marc Maron, Marina Franklin on the podcast. It really is an opportunity to catch up with friends and broadcast it to the public.

If you could call anyone (not just the fantastic people you already know) for The Catch Up segment of your podcast, who would you pick and why?

Jesus, MLK and Martha Stewart. I think what makes The Catch Up unique is I’m catching up with people I know. But eventually I may branch out beyond comedians.

You’ve toured all over the world with some amazing talent. What is it about Queens that keeps you coming back?

Both NY airports are in Queens, so when I land, I’m home. Most of my family is here or close by and it’s a quick ride to every comedy club in Manhattan so it’s good for work, too. Queens has a diverse, chaotic, dreamlike quality that is very specific. I like it.

Has there ever been any place you’ve visited that you could ever see yourself living? Where and why?

Sometimes I do a gig in a city like Cedar Rapids, Iowa or Tulsa, Oklahoma and I’m like “This place is great. I could probably live here.” Then I get on a plane and fly back to New York.

What are your favorite places to eat or hang out in Astoria?

OK Cafe is a great little coffee shop in Astoria. Ornella is a great little family-owned Italian restaurant with an array of amazing dishes. And Astoria Park is a great little park with an Olympic-size swimming pool. I like little things.

In one episode of your podcast, you called yourself the Comptroller of Astoria and Jon Fisch calls you the president. Would you ever consider running for any office? Local or national. Why?

I just like the word Comptroller. Also Ombudsman. I can’t think of a less appealing job than holding public office. I would much rather tell jokes and do a podcast.

You’ve done such great work for social justice issues. What/who inspires you to take on important issues? What are your current passion projects?

Thanks. I think my parents instilled certain values in me that cultivated a social conscience. I’m inclined to say something when I find something unjust, disturbing or infuriating. Smoothies are my current passion project, sometimes even with passion fruit. I honestly just jump in when I’m inclined to speak on something. It’s not premeditated. It’s best served organic, like passion fruit.

Is there anything else you’d like our readers to know about?

My first comedy special As Much As You Want was just reissued as a 15th Anniversary Edition with bonus material and remastered tracks. People can listen to that and all my comedy albums on all music/comedy streaming platforms.

 

To find out where you can catch Ted Alexandro next, check out his website: tedalexandro.com.

His new podcast A Little Bit Me is available on iTunes, Stitcher and YouTube.


Top 10: Things To Do

Here is our list of Top 10 things to do in Astoria!

10. Museum of the Moving Image
9. Ride the ferry to or from the Astoria stop
8. Take in a show at Q.E.D.
7. Games and pool at Break Bar & Billiards
6. Storytelling show at Astoria Bookshop
5. The Noguchi Museum
4. Socrates Sculpture Park
3. Walk along Shore Blvd. by Astoria Park
2. An activity in Astoria Park (tennis, jogging, skateboarding, basketball)
1. Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden during the day in warm weather

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Bohemian Beer Garden