The first lady of the evening was Amy Dresner, whose brash attitude was perfectly paired with her “in-your-face” jokes on topics ranging from multiple stints in rehab to making the case for Salvador Dali style pubic hair. She had the house howling with every joke as she dared to go there.
From there, the audience was served a different comedy dish: Joselyn Hughes. Her choice of material (mostly about relationships) and subdued tone weren’t as dazzling as what the other ladies delivered, but this rise and fall in energy and intensity was to be expected in an evening showcasing such eclectic talent, and the crowd really didn’t hold it against her.
The show continued to offer unexpected acts and outstanding talents. Among them, the wacky and theatrical Lizzy Cooperman, who is one-third of the hilarious girl trio, Birds of Prey. Armed with a keyboard on the organ setting, she bellowed one-liners and odd puns while pounding away on the keys. Then, there was the sweetly skilled Melissa Villasenor, who wowed the audience with her wide variety of spot-on impressions, ranging from Beyoncé to the dude at the bar.
The show was brought to a close by a few funny comedudes, including Ryan Stout, though their material didn’t seem to fare as well among a mostly female crowd. It could be due to the different comedic sensibilities between men and women, which could explain why the funnygirls received more giggles. But, of course, this could also be chalked up to those jumps in energy between performers, or the fact that the Lab is considered a safe haven where comedians can test new material.
As Joselyn joked when she took the stage, the laboratory is where comedians can run joke experiments, which, frankly, was my favorite part of this show. There was a spirit of innovation, and I had the sense that everything I was seeing was something fresh.
It was a fantastic night of laughs and it left this gal making plans to go see future Merrill Davis & Friends shows.
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