New comedy club ready for laughs in Myrtle Beach

spalisin@thesunnews.comFebruary 26, 2013 

  • If you go, laugh! Carolina Comedy Club and Back Stage Bar and Grill Where | Broadway at the Beach’s Celebrity Square, off 29th Avenue North in Myrtle Beach What | Soft opening Friday, and formal grand opening and ribbon cutting April 1 Who, when and how much | Shows geared to adults only, and each $15: • Josh Phillips, 8 and 10 p.m. Friday-Saturday • Todd Yohn, with special guest Chris Cope, 8 p.m. Tuesday-March 9, and 10 p.m. March 8-9 • “Saints and Sinners Comedy Tour” by Matthew Lumpkin and Patrick Jolle, 8 p.m. March 12-17, and 10 p.m. March 15-17 • Janet Williams, “The Tennessee Tramp,” 8 p.m. March 19-23, and 10 p.m. March 22-23 • Jamie Morgan, 8 p.m. April 2-4 • Jeff Bodart, 8 p.m. April 9-13, and 10 p.m. April 12-13 • Matt Holt, 8 p.m. April 16-20, and 10 p.m. April 19-20 • Mike Green, 8 p.m. April 23-27, and 10 p.m. April 26-27 Information | 839-2565 or Other outlets for comedy Comedy Cabana Where | 9588 N. Kings Highway, just north of Myrtle Beach Who, when and how much | with Cooter Douglas opening each night, and each $15, unless noted otherwise: • Tim Wilson, Thursday-Saturday, and 10:15 p.m. Friday-Saturday, for $20. • Patti Vasquez, 8 p.m. TuesdayMarch 5-March 9, and 10:15 p.m. March 8-9 • Chris Barnes, 8 p.m. March 12-16, and 10:15 p.m. March 15-16 • Dale Jones, 8 p.m. March 19-23, and 10:15 p.m. March 22-23 • Greg Morton, 8 p.m. April 2-6, and 10:15 p.m. April 5-6 • Gary Valentine, 8 and 10:15 p.m. April 16, for $20 or $22 • Gary Conrad, hypnotist, 8 p.m. April 17-20, and 10:15 p.m. April 19-20 Information | 449-4242 or Carolina Improv Company Where | Uptown Theater, by Bass Pro Shops in Myrtle Beach mall, at U.S. 17 and S.C. 22, near Briarcliffe Acres What, when and how much | For March: • “Whose Beach Is It Anyway?” 7:30 p.m. Saturdays, March 2 and 23, and Thursdays through March 28, for $14 ages 12 and older, $12 ages 4-11. • “Whose Night Is It Anyway?” for adults: 7:30 p.m. Fridays, for $14. • “Trashy Novel,” 9 p.m. March 15, for adults, for $10, or free with admission to earlier show that night. • “Laughing Leprechauns,” 7:30 p.m. March 16, for $14 ages 12 and older, $12 ages 4-11 Information | 272-4242 or ‘One the New Show’ Includes | Comedy by Grant Turner as Ricky Mokel Where | Alabama Theatre, in Barefoot Landing, on U.S. 17 in North Myrtle Beach When | 7:30 p.m. How much | $34.95, $41.95 or $47.95 Also | Other scheduled guest concerts, all at 7 p.m.: • “Rick Alviti & His Showband – Tribute to Elvis,” March 3 and June 2, for $27.40 or $33.95 • “Eddie Miles’ ‘A Salute to Elvis & Country Legends,’ ” March 24, April 21 and May 19, each $22.95, $26.95 or $31.95. • Alabama, April 5-6, for $199 or $299 • Drifters, Coasters and Platters, April 13, for $34.95, $42.95 or $48.95 • The Oak Ridge Boys, May 4, for $40.95, $48.95 or $45.95 • Vince Gill, June 8, for $53.95, $61.95 or $69.95 • Josh Turner, June 14, for $47.95, $55.95 or $63.95 • Temptations and Four Tops, June 28, for $49.95, $58.95 or $66.95 • Charlie Daniels Band, July 19, for $37.95, $43.80 or $49.95 Information | 272-1111, 800-342-2262, or ‘The Carolina Opry’/‘The Good Vibrations Show’ Includes | Comedy by Eric Gumm, Kym “Bogie” Shurbutt and Trent Wideman Where | Calvin Gilmore Theatre, on U.S. 17 Business at U.S. 17 Bypass on north tip of Myrtle Beach When | Schedule through April 13, at 7:30 p.m.: • “Opry” at Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays • “Vibrations” Tuesdays and Fridays How much | Each $34.95, $45.95 or $49.95 adults, $17 or $25 children; and $23 or $25 for students with ID. Also | Local discounts through Tuesday, covering residents of 12 proximate counties, including Horry, Georgetown and Brunswick, through March 5 for “Opry” and “Vibrations”: tickets for each are $20 for adults, $10 children, with six-person limit. Information | 913-4000, 800-843-6779 or ‘The Ultimate Date Night Tour’ With | Jay and Laura Laffoon Sponsored by | All Saints (Episcopal) Church of Pawleys Island When | 7 p.m. Friday Where | Waccamaw High School, 2412 Kings River Road, Pawleys Island How much | $10 Information | 237-4223 (for the church), and 'Laugh Out Loud Comedy Show' With | Chris Barnes, Tommy Blaze, MG Gaskin and Patti Vasquez Benefiting | Conway Chamber of Commerce and Rotary Club of Conway When | 3 p.m. March 10 Where | Coastal Carolina University Wheelwright Auditorium, off U.S. 501 in Conway How much | $20, tickets, also available at chamber office at 203 Main St., or any HTC location Information | 248-2273 or

Look for new laughs at Broadway at the Beach as the Carolina Comedy Club opens its doors Friday, then has a formal grand opening April 1 – no foolin’.

The space formerly known as Stool Pigeons has been converted into Broadway’s first-ever permanent venue for comedy. Jeff Martin, the operations manager, said the interior has been completely gutted and reconfigured for the club, which will seat 150 to 160 people. Those tasks included moving the bar, removing the drop ceiling to make the room 27 feet tall, and setting up a stage low enough that best fits the intimacy of a club atmosphere.

A longtime comedian who owned the former Stand-Up Carolina in Garden City Beach for about two years, Martin said he always had wishes for a Broadway site, and after much negotiating, an invitation for Celebrity Square emerged. Larry Frakes, owner of One Stop Party Shop, heads the proprietary partnership, with Shawn Small, co-host of the morning drive show on WRXZ-FM “Rock” 107.1, as general manager.

“We want to be not just a great comedy club at Broadway at the Beach,” Martin said. “We want to be one of the best comedy clubs in the country.”

Other elements adding to Martin’s excitement range from a walk-up ticket window, “with a movie theater microphone,” he said, to plans for a full awning outside measuring 60 by 20 feet for additional seating in warmer weather.

‘Location, location’

Martin said from his first tenure running a club, he concluded “a lot of things” matter, “down to location, location, location, which is a huge thing,” so Broadway at the Beach fulfilled that dream.

Then, taking a building and customizing it, from the walls to the kitchen, Martin said, “this thing has been built from the ground up to host comedy shows,” with a staff of 25 getting ready this past week.

With food in mind, Martin said the club’s Back Stage Bar and Grill, with four chefs, will serve “more high-end food,” and that burgers, for example, will come on old comedy vinyl albums, such as Eddie Murphy’s “Raw,” molded into serving trays.

The club also will branch out into various forms of comedy, with plans for family shows earlier in the evening and for weekend matinees in the summer tourist season, such as with magic by Carl Michael, a part-time entertainer at Broadway at the Beach, and with the Carolina Improv Company this spring.

Adding Improv’s touch

Gina Trimarco-Cligrow, Carolina Improv’s founder and director of training and entertainment, and Martin said they enjoyed partnering on projects with Stand-Up Carolina on cross-Strand shows, and they’re ready to re-engage that formula.

She thinks Improv, based at Uptown in Myrtle Beach mall since 2009, might perform once or twice a week at Carolina Comedy Club, with hopes to start in April. Improv, which she calls a “travelable troupe,” branched out into weekly shows last summer at Broadway’s Froggy Bottomz, generating “great traffic” there and for shows in its home venue.

Trimarco-Cligrow also brought up the importance of presenting family-friendly fare in its “Whose Beach Is It Anyway?” show as regular guests at the new club, especially in its setting in Celebrity Square. She likes the idea of improv starting an evening, then Carolina Comedy will “bring in the stand-up comedians to follow us.”

Martin said to expect “amazing” shows with everyone on stage at the new club.

“We really have some of the best talent in the country who will be here,” he said. “Just right out of the gate ... with Josh Phillips and Todd Yohn, it’s all heavy hitters, all right in a row.”

Contact STEVE PALISIN at 444-1764.

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