Backyard comedy show showcases comedians

Kelli Makenna Kuttruff
Arts Editor

A hysterical group of comedians and friends gathered for the second backyard Stargazers Comedy show on Friday in Rancho Cucamonga. The producers of popular Covina Comedy show “Basement Dwellers,” Alex Durazzo and Greg Sanchez, created this bi-monthly show to perform every other month that they are not producing in Covina. This unique comedy show is held at an exclusive location in the back yard of one of the comedians. 

The cool night was lit only by the fire and the string lights adorning the outdoor walls. Chairs and couches were spread out across the lawn, and the atmosphere was brought to life by the laughter and cheers of about 50 guests. 

Durazzo wanted to create this show in addition to Basement Dwellers to have more control of the atmosphere, and the freedom to do things they could not in a traditional space. 

“My vision for what I wanted in a comedy show is just to welcome people into my home which is kind of crazy… I mean, what’s more intimate than that?” Durazzo said. “In addition to booking good comics and having really funny people on the show, it’s about the space that we create. This show is a really funny, laid-back kickback. It feels like going to a bonfire at your friend’s house.”

Durazzo and Sanchez wanted to produce and host this local show because they used to get booked in expensive shows that were far away, making their friends have to make the drive and the payment to come support their comedy careers. They created this free show as a “love letter” to their friends in appreciation for all the support. 

This show created an opportunity for comedians to work out their material alongside their friends who are all in different stages of their comedy career.

Liting Chen is a newer comic, who shined on the outdoor stage in the Stargazers comedy show and left even the most experienced comedians impressed by her quick wit and comedic style.

She met Durazzo and Sanchez at an open mic where she was booked for Stargazers, and her saying yes to their show was simple as she knew they produced comedy shows of such high-quality.

Chen realized that stand up comedy is a welcomed challenge for her, but feels a sense of relief when the crowd laughs at her jokes and simultaneously allows her to laugh at her past.

“I think the most rewarding part of comedy is when people laugh,” Chen said. “When I see somebody and they laugh I feel validated by the audience. It feels like they are with me, and that it’s a form of connection. When they are laughing, it feels like I’m not alone… like people get me.”

Many of these comedians similarly met through different open mics and comedy shows in the local scene, and have formed relationships with each other through performing at and supporting each other’s shows. 

Comedian Ricky Macias helps host the admired Chatterbox Comedy Night in Covina, and performs with these comedians often.

He is a more experienced comedian and after 11 years of comedy in his repertoire, he realized he did not want to stop comedy.

“The thing I’m most proud of with comedy is that I kept going,” Macias said. “Even after 11 years, I’m proud that it’s still something that’s rewarding and fun to me.”

Ending the night with a bang was hilarious comedian KJ Robinson. He feels that being up on stage is the best feeling, as it washes over all of his problems while his only goal is to make people laugh and have a good time. 

“As a comic, it’s all about love, respect and being professional,” Robinson said. “It’s about taking care of yourself, taking care of your stage and taking care of the show. So as long as you know those things about me, you know who I am.”

To gain access to the show, comedy-fans are invited to text the phone number in Stargazers Comedy’s Instagram bio @stargazerscomedy to join the guest list. All comedy fans are encouraged and welcomed to experience this laid-back and unique experience by texting (909) 909-6922 for an invite to their next “raid.”

The third Stargazers Comedy Show is set to bring laughter back to local comedy-lovers in June. Their Instagram page will post when the next date is set, and anyone wanting to laugh their worries away is encouraged to send a text to get an invite to experience an unforgettable night.

Kelli Kutruff can be reached at kelli.kutruff@laverne.edu.

Kelli Makenna Kuttruff is a senior communications major with an emphasis in public relations. She is the arts editor of the Campus Times, and is in her second semester as a staff writer.

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