Dear New York: We All Need A LAUGH

The John A. Reisenbach Foundation Trailblazer Council in partnership with The Triad Theater will host Dear New York: We All Need A Laugh, a virtual comedy showcase event featuring New York-based comedians.

Thursday, October 22, 2020

6:30-8:00pm EST

Dear New York: We All Need A Laugh

New York has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. Industries shut down; hundreds of thousands of people have gotten sick; and tens of thousands of people have tragically passed. These challenges might cause even the toughest to crumble, but not New York.

 We all know stories that underscore New York’s resilience and adaptability and we all know individuals who are behind those stories. Let’s show the world what New York is all about – neighbors helping our neighbors and neighbors committing to rebuilding New York better and safer than before

We invite everyone who cares about New York to join us as we come together to support our most vulnerable populations. 

Host: Alvin Irby 

Alvin Irby is a former kindergarten teacher turned comedian, award-winning social entrepreneur, national speaker, and author. Irby performs stand-up comedy throughout the United States. His clever social commentary and hilarious observations earned him a coveted spot in the StandUp NBC national showcase held annually at the legendary Hollywood Improv in Los Angeles, CA. Irby’s 2018 comedy album "Really Dense"; highlights his smart brand of humor,which leaves audiences laughing long after his performances end.

Headliner: Jessica Kirson

Jessica Kirson is a powerhouse on stage. Jessica’s act is a hilariously relatable performance of sheer silliness, vulnerability and ridiculous characters. Her countless comedic character videos have racked up over 30 million views on social media. Her audience is multigenerational creating an excuse for large groups of friends and families to spend a night out together.

Special Performance: Gina Brillon

Gina Brillon was born and raised in the Bronx, New York. The Puerto Rican actress, comedian, writer (and new mom!) has been a standup comic since she was 17 years old. Her newest 1 hour special Gina Brillon: The Floor is Lava is now available on Amazon Prime Video, along with her first one hour special, Pacifically Speaking, produced byGabriel Iglesias. She’s featured in the HA Festival: The Art of Comedy on HBO Max.  Her 1/2 hour special Easily Offended was one of the top shows from the Entre Nos franchise on HBO Latino, and streams on all HBO Digital Platforms. 

Featuring: Vladimir Caamaño

With the name “Vladimir,” few people expect a Dominican from The Bronx to take the stage. His comedic style is the fruit of an immigrant Dominican family living in the cultural mecca that is New York City and is described as an elegant combination of urban grit and intellect. He began polishing his wit in the concrete jungles of The Bronx and Washington Heights and after graduating from Wesleyan University launched into Standup Comedy.

Performance by: The Simmer-Downs Improv Troupe

Ashley Brooke Roberts is a stand-up comedian, actor, and writer based in Brooklyn. She currently writes for Ask Me Another on NPR, teaches children stand up at Kids N'Comedy, and has been in some of your favorite commercials for household products

Steve O'Brien is a writer/producer living in NYC. He's directed at UCB, written fo Comedy Central and performed on MTV. He recently quit soda and now drinks about nine seltzers a day.

Natasha Vaynblat is a New York based comedian seen on Comedy Central, UCB, McSweeneys and any local thrift store.

Sarah Tollemache is a stand up comedian, writer and podcast host. She has been featured on Comedy Central as well as NBC’s ‘Last Comic Standing’. In 2017 she appeared on ‘The Late Show with Stephen Colbert’. Tollemache was also on ‘The Late Late Show with James Corden’. She has appeared on Comedy Central’s ‘Roast Battle’ and Gotham Comedy Live. Sarah is the Co-Host of the popular weekly podcast ‘Vadge’.

The JAR Trailblazer Council

Co-chairs: Kacey Koeppel & Charlotte Lipman

Host Committee: Rachel Brenner, Martin Bryan,Lucy Cross, Monique Gaynor, Jocelyn Jackson, Nia Pierre Louis, Justin Terry, and Robin Wallace.

Alvin Irby is a former kindergarten teacher turned comedian, award-winning social entrepreneur, national speaker, and author. Irby performs stand-up comedy throughout the United States. His clever social commentary and hilarious observations earned him a coveted spot in the StandUp NBC national showcase held annually at the legendary Hollywood Improv in Los Angeles, CA. Irby’s 2018 comedy album "Really Dense"; highlights his smart brand of humor,which leaves audiences laughing long after his performances end.

Jessica Kirson is a powerhouse on stage. Jessica’s act is a hilariously relatable performance of sheer silliness, vulnerability and ridiculous characters. Her countless comedic character videos have racked up over 30 million views on social media. Her audience is multigenerational creating an excuse for large groups of friends and families to spend a night out together.

In an era where only 10% of all touring comedians are female, Jessica stands out as one of the strongest comedians regardless of gender. As her friend Dave Attell says, “I’d hate to follow her.”

This year, Jessica will be featured playing herself on the HBO series Crashing with Pete Holmes. She recently served as a consultant, producer and writer as well as acted in Robert De Niro’s film “The Comedian.” She has appeared on “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon”, “The View, and “Kevin Can Wait.”

She was recently awarded “Best Female Comic” by the MAC association in New York City and received the prestigious Nightlife Award for “Best Stand-up Comedian.” And in her spare time, Jessica is a regular contributor to the “Howard Stern Show, where sheproduces and stars in prank calls for the program.

Gina Brillon was born and raised in the Bronx, New York. The Puerto Rican actress, comedian, writer (and new mom!) has been a standup comic since she was 17 years old. Her newest 1 hour special Gina Brillon: The Floor is Lava is now available on Amazon Prime Video, along with her first one hour special, Pacifically Speaking, produced byGabriel Iglesias. She’s featured in the HA Festival: The Art of Comedy on HBO Max.  Her 1/2 hour special Easily Offended was one of the top shows from the Entre Nos franchise on HBO Latino, and streams on all HBO Digital Platforms. 

She’s made appearances on Comedy Central’s Live at Gotham, E!’s Chelsea Lately, The View, Late Night with Seth Meyers and Jimmy Kimmel Live. You have seen her on Kevin Can Wait on CBS and The Conners on ABC.  In 2012, she became the first (and only) Latina winner of NBC’s Stand up for Diversity Showcase. The following year, she was a “New Face” at the Montreal Just For Laughs Festival, and has been back many years since then. Gina is also a singer,published writer, and poet.  Her pieces have appeared in the New York Post and Daily News, among others.

 

With the name “Vladimir,” few people expect a Dominican from The Bronx to take the stage. His comedic style is the fruit of an immigrant Dominican family living in the cultural mecca that is New York City and is described as an elegant combination of urban grit and intellect. He began polishing his wit in the concrete jungles of The Bronx and Washington Heights and after graduating from Wesleyan University launched into Standup Comedy.

After his stand out performance at Just for Laughs (JFL) in 2015, Vlad entered into a put pilot development deal to co-write, and star in a pilot based off of his comedy for NBC with Bill Lawrence and WB supervising. Vlad co-wrote the script with UNDATEABLE writer, Adam Styzikiel and recently shot the pilot directed by Phill Lewis. Vlad was the only one of his New Faces class to be chosen to perform as part of the CW Gala hosted by Howie Mandel.

In 2016, Vlad was named one of the Top 10 Comics to Watch by Variety and was honored at JFL. In 2017 Vlad made his late-night standup debut on Jimmy Kimmel Live! and performed again at the prestigious Just for Laughs Gala hosted by Lilly Singh. Vlad has been seen on Tommy, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Marvel’s Runaways, and NBC’s Superstore.

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