Saturday night I had a pleasant surprise. I was taken to an elementary school in Greenwich Village, led up some stairs to the school’s gymnasium, seated at a table looking up at a stage that had “Moonwork” painted in bold letters, and told I was now in on a well kept comedy club secret. By the end of the evening I had to agree, and their next show is January 10th so now you’re in on this secret too.
The cost is $20 a person and it is my understanding that you have to be on an email list to find out about these performances. Held at the Children’s Aid Society also known as The Phil Coltoff Center on Sullivan Street near Bleaker and W.3rd, this past Saturday’s line up included Andres Dubouchet, Tom Shillue, Hannibal Buress, Rachel Feinstein, Ethan Lipton & his Orchestra, and John Oliver (from The Daily Show.) If you’re more up on comics and clubs you might be familiar with some of these acts. Being a late night TV freak, I was only familiar with John Oliver whom I adore.
Set in the gymnasium with round tables for 4, candles, and this time of year, as it was close to Christmas, Hershey Kisses and candy canes on the tables as well; they also had beer and soft drinks available for sale in the back. I would say in all there were maybe 100 people in the audience.
This portion of Moonwork’s mission is called “Evenings of Original Works,” of which they hold 15 per year and encourage performers to showcase their original work. Besides the likes of John Oliver and Tom Shillue, they have in the past featured performers such as Janeane Garofalo, and Drama Desk and Obie Award winners. It’s a good mix of high caliber talent. They also have within the Moonwork organization an annual Shakespeare production, and a Kids Outreach Program that is tied to Shakespeare. It’s here that they hope to instill and unlock a child’s love of learning and bring theater to kids.
Our Saturday evening at Moonwork was more than entertaining and well worth the $20 admission fee. All of the acts were quite good in their own right with John Oliver being an added holiday treat. The entire experience was positive. If you live in NYC or have friends who do, I encourage you to check this organization out and if you can, attend their next “Evening of Original Work” in January. I’ve included their website below to help you find out more about them. Simply cut and paste the link into your browser.