Slocum House adds stand-up comedy to its lineup

Vancouver comedian, four others performing March 5

By Mary Ann Albright, Columbian Staff Reporter



If you go

• What: Slocum House Theatre Comedy Showcase, featuring five stand-up comedians from the greater Vancouver-Portland area.

• When: 7 p.m. March 5.

• Where: Slocum House, 605 Esther St., Vancouver.

• Cost: $10.

• Information: 360-696-2427.

Slocum House Theatre Company had already expanded its offerings to include improvisation, courtesy of the Portland troupe Sideburns, and now it’s adding stand-up comedy to the mix.

On March 5, Vancouver comedian Andrew Berkowitz and four Portland area comedians will perform in a stand-up showcase at Slocum House.

The show is the brainchild of Slocum House production manager, stand-up fan and Sideburns member Rosina Busse. Busse noticed gaps in the schedule between main-stage shows and looked for other programming to offer.

“As an actor, I hate to see an empty stage,” said Busse, a 29-year-old Portland book editor.

The comedians performing on March 5 are all involved with ComedySportz-Portland. The March 5 show might be slightly less family friendly than ComedySportz programming, but won’t be any racier than PG-13, Busse said.

A solo endeavor

For his part, Berkowitz prides himself on his clean, positive, observational style of joke-telling.

Berkowitz, a 42-year-old software developer and artistic director of ComedySportz-Portland, has been doing improv for 10 or 11 years, but only started performing as a stand-up comedian about a year ago.

“I enjoy it because I’m a writer, and I like the writing challenge of it,” Berkowitz said. “I take a very structured approach. I really write out my routine.”

While Berkowitz performs as part of a team with ComedySportz, stand-up is a solo event.

“In improv, you’ve got a whole bunch of people, so you’re never alone up there,” he said. “Stand-up is just you and a microphone. It’s scary but exciting.”