Fifteen comedians who normally perform in New York City will make their way across the Hudson River this weekend from Sept. 29 to Oct. 2 for the Second Annual Hoboken Comedy Festival.
The Comedy Festival holds shows at Maxwell’s (11th and Washington streets) and at the Clearview Cinemas located next to the 14th Street Viaduct in uptown Hoboken for three nights.
The founder of the Hoboken Comedy Festival, as well as a performer in the Friday show at Clearview Cinemas, is Dan Frigolette, a Hoboken resident.
Frigolette decided to organize the event last year, and is hoping the festival becomes “an annual event that will just run on its own” for years to come.
“I have high hopes for attendance this year.” – Dan Frigolette
Frigolette, originally from the area surrounding Syracuse, N.Y., moved to Hoboken in 2008.
“The identity Hoboken has is pretty special,” he said last week. “There’s something about its individuality, in that you can hang out in Hoboken and see a great show or have a great night without leaving the city.”
To contribute to the city’s uniqueness and individuality, last year, Frigolette began to form the Hoboken Comedy Festival. After a successful showing, he’s decided to organize the second annual festival for this upcoming weekend.
“I’ve got a fair amount of comedians on speed dial,” he said. “But it’s really come together over the last eight weeks or so.”
Frigolette, who has been performing and producing stand up comedy shows since 2005, said he’s worked out the quirks of putting together a successful comedy show.
“We packed over 100 people in every show last year,” he said. “And a lot of comedians from last year are coming back this year. I have high hopes for attendance this year.”
Frigolette said that he “has to be honest” when he’s on stage performing.
“I’m very neurotic so I like to draw on those sorts of things when I’m on stage,” he said. “I’m OCD and ADD, and all those things conflict for some funny stories.”
Frigolette just finished an eight-month tour with a group of comedians who travelled up and down the East Coast, and now he’s back in Hoboken planning for the festival. He said his style of comedy changes when he travels down south.
“I’m Italian and brown, so I become the ethnic comedian down there,” he said, laughing. “If my beard gets too long, sometimes I have trouble getting on a plane down south.”
Frigolette said what he sees from the comedy scene is positive throughout the nation.
“There’s a really fun sort of indie comedy scene, sort of like how Maxwell’s is with music,” he said. “People that follow comedy will go to a dark, smelly room to see their favorite comedians perform.”
With Clearview and Maxwell’s on the schedule, guests won’t have to struggle through “dark, smelly” rooms for the 2011 Hoboken Comedy Festival.
There are a total of four shows over the course of the festival.
The first show of the festival will be held on Sept. 30 at 10 p.m. at Clearview Cinemas (409 14th St.). Godfrey, Thomas Sale, Yannis Pappas, and Frigolette are all scheduled to perform at the first event.
On Saturday, Oct. 1, four comedians will perform at Maxwell’s (1039 Washington St.) at 7:30 p.m. Comedians Amy Schumer, Seaton Smith, Chris DiStefano, and Ardie Fuqua are all scheduled to perform.
Later on Oct. 1, at 10 p.m. at Clearview Cinemas, Hannibal Buress, Nate Bargatze, and Maddog Marren will perform.
The final show, scheduled for Oct. 2 at 7:30 p.m. at Maxwell’s, will feature Todd Barru, Myq Kaplan, Andrew Schulz, and Leah Bonnema.
Frigolette said the style of comedy of each performer is different, adding that “there’s every flavor of comedy out there” at the festival this year.
Tickets are $15 at the door of the event, or $10 online in a pre-sale. Two shows cost $20 online, three shows are $25, and tickets for all four shows are $35.
The festival is donating $1 from each ticket to the Boys and Girls Club of Hudson County.
For more information, including a link to purchase tickets, go to HobokenFestival.com.
Ray Smith may be reached at RSmith@hudsonreporter.com