“Tonight we are in Bellingham, let’s see how it goes! All the judges could hate me this time!”–Monica Nevi, from her blog.
I guess the judges in Bellingham COULD have hated you, Monica…but they didn’t.
…but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Let me set the stage a little bit here.
The 34th Annual Seattle International Comedy Competition returned to Bellingham on Wednesday night. (For the first time in my memory, we didn’t make the trek that far north for last year’s competition.) While we were returning to Bellingham, we’d do so with a show at a brand new venue for the competition: Poppes 360 Neighborhood Pub.
You never know exactly what you get when you do a comedy show at a bar–luckily, there’s a regular stand-up comedy show at Poppes 360 (called Comedy Nite)…and some comedy-loving regulars, so we expected it to go fine.
What we ended up with was a sold out show with an hot crowd that loved the show from beginning to end. Every comedian earned the encore point–most of them, quite enthusiastically.
Our judges for this evening certainly loved the show just as much as the audience did. If, perhaps, the previous night’s “industry” judges were a bit stingy with their scores…these judges spread their love around…and most of the comics that went up tonight, even those that would not be called up for tonight’s Top 5 photo, seemed happy to take tonight’s scores with them as they try to earn their way into the Weekly Top 5 and advancement to the Semi-Finals.
Only one performer who had made the Top 5 on Tuesday night made the Top 5 from this show in Bellingham. That would be Toronto’s Graham Kay, who improved his placement by one, finishing the night in 3rd place. Veterans Lonnie Bruhn and Michael Davis made it into the Top 5 just behind Graham…keeping Mo Alexander, Dave Merheje, Zoltan Kaszas, Julia Hladkowicz and Jake Head (all of them had very strong sets on this night) out of tonight’s Top 5.
On this night, the ladies came out on top. Portland’s Bri Pruett definitely hit all the right notes were her performance and earned herself a 2nd place finish. (And as 5th place finisher on this night, Lonnie Bruhn, is also from Portland…it was a good night for the Rose City!)
But it was a better night for the Emerald City…as Seattle’s own Monica Nevi took top honors for the night. With a charming, personable, clever and slightly dark approach to performance, Monica had the unenviable task of following Graham Kay, who totally blew up the room right in front of her, and guiding them back to HER energy level and HER comedic perspective. She handled this high-pressure situation with aplomb and definitely seemed to be as solid as a rock as she continually generated big laughs with her material.
So, we’ve caught back to where we started this update… While yes, “all the judges could hate you,” Monica…but, as their scores put you into first place for the night, they definitely didn’t.
To make it official, here’s the Top 5 from our Bellingham show for this year (and a nice way to show that you want us to come back next year was to have packed out the room tonight and cheer our competitors on all night long…and you definitely did that. Nice job, B’ham! I’m sure you earned yourself the encore point as a city that loves stand-up comedy!)
SICC-34: Preliminary Week Two-Night Two Top 5
1- Monica Nevi (Seattle, WA)
2- Bri Pruett (Portland, OR)
3- Graham Kay (Toronto, ON)
4- Michael Davis (San Francisco, CA)
5- Lonnie Bruhn (Portland, OR)
The competition returns to Seattle, proper, for the only time this week. We’ll be performing at the Market Theater in downtown Seattle. This theater features some of the best improv shows in the city and we’re happy to make our way back to the infamous “gum wall” for the second year in a row.
If you live in Seattle, you really don’t want to miss this incredible show…so check out the ticketing information for this show by clicking on the “Upcoming Shows” link above for information on how to order tickets for this (or other shows of this year’s Seattle International Comedy Competition.)