A New York Comedy/Variety Show: Sundays at Seven!

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How It’s New York: Sundays at Seven features New York-based comedians and musicians.
How It’s Irish: The show is held at the venerable Irish Arts Center, one of the leading non-profit organizations in New York for over 30 years, and is co-produced by Irish actress Fiona Walsh.

The next Sundays at Seven are March 11, April 15, May 13, June 10 — at 7, of course.  At the Irish Arts Center, 553 W. 51st Street.
  
John Kearns listens in on women “wasting the thin time,” sunny and rainy songs from Lindsay Wilson, and Rena Zager, who told this incontrovertible truth:  New York is the only place where it is socially acceptable to be an old weirdo.  There were Irish jokes from Fiona Walsh, whose mother clips bad news from Irish newspapers and mails them to her, and Jewish jokes from Brad Zimmerman.  What could be more New York?

Sundays at Seven is a comedy showcase that has been held at the Irish Arts Center on the second Sunday of every month for more than ten years. I ventured out for the February 12th edition of the series as the snow was swirling and the temperatures were dropping. And, I found the show well worth the trip. It was a thoroughly enjoyable evening of comedy and music with high-quality material and performances throughout.

Fiona Walsh began the proceedings by welcoming everyone and introducing her co-producer, Ann Design.


Ann complained that women are never happy with the way they look. She saw a picture of herself from a year ago, when she looked thinner. She remembered not appreciating how good she looked at the time and feared that she “wasted the thin time” that she had had.

She described an encounter with a nude woman in a gym locker room who carried on a conversation with Ann but never covered herself. Ann decided that what this woman needed was “a robe – and some shame and self-loathing.”

Singer-songwriter Lindsay Wilson took to the stage next. She explained that in her sets she likes to include a little sunshine, a little rain, and a little truth. Her sunny song was a tune with a lovely melody about a lover and a friend. Her rainy song, “Should’ve Ran,” was inspired by her former roommate’s relationship with a man she perhaps should not have gotten involved with. Her truth song, “Boulevard” talked about a walk she and her friend had taken around her neighborhood, an older woman who “looked like a smile waiting to happen,” and all of the stores and restaurants of their memories, which were now closed.

After this beautiful and touching musical performance, the rest of the show was dedicated to comedy.


Rena Zager opened with a funny bit about a one-woman show she had put on about her life. The play was loved by everyone except her mother who put on a rebuttal show entitled, She Doesn’t Know What She’s Talking About. She predicted that mother and daughter would continue to mount shows at each another.

Rena complained that though she is sick of New York City, she is doomed to stay here, since she is not married and has no kids. New York, she said, “is the only place where it is socially acceptable to be an old weirdo.” She is even accentuating her weirdness by getting her first cat, which she fears is a “gateway cat.”


Tim Homayoon talked about how he was shy as a kid and got yelled at for it. There were no support groups for shy kids, he pointed out. He is jealous that gay people have a parade but shy people do not. The shy people could shout, “We’re shy! We’re proud! Oh, no, we’re being looked at!”

Tim concluded with some amusing tales of his work adventures – getting fired for being a racist Big Bird, a bad Easter Bunny, and a nursing home stripper who made ethnic jokes.

Fiona Walsh talked about meeting a cheery Irish-American woman who told her she is Irish, too. Fiona found this to be impossible because the girl had obviously not been brought up to eat potatoes with every meal and had not seen at least two apparitions of the Virgin Mary. Besides, the girl just seemed too happy in Fiona’s opinion. She considers Irish people to be typically miserable. As an example, she told about how her mother clips out all of the bad news from the Irish newspapers and mails them across the Atlantic to her daughter without any note or personal message whatsoever. Her mother also sends her text messages that combine death notices with weather reports.

Patty Rosborough did a routine about pubic hair and the various styles people prefer. She is considering getting highlights down there so that she can be “like J. Lo down low.”

She finds sex gets better after 50. The only problem she has is finding a partner. “Thank God for the homeless!” she said. “Give them a hot meal and they have no problem putting out.”
Perhaps the highlight of Patty’s act was a hilarious routine about a woman’s voice from a GPS system giving sex directions instead of driving directions. “Proceed 18 inches south … Wrong entry point … Recalculating … ”

Headliner Brad Zimmerman described his upcoming show My Son, the Waiter: A Jewish Tragedy. He said that during his years working as a waiter to support his acting career, he never wanted to work at a fine dining establishment. He only knew “two things about wine: one, we have it and, two, we don’t have it.” When customers asked him the difference between the Cabernet and the Cotes du Rhone, he answered, “A dollar.”
His mother often points out how successful his old friends are and he wondered what his mother must say to her friends about him. “If all goes well …, I think Brad is going to be able to buy … a bookcase.”

He also told a series of jokes including a “Jewish fairy tale.” A Jewish man asks a Jewish woman to marry him. She says, “No.” And he lived happily every after.

Sundays at Seven was a great night of raucous comedy and lovely music. It was definitely worth heading out on a cold Sunday night and I look forward to checking out future shows! 
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