‘‘Tis the season to laugh and be merry, and what could be a better treat than “A Night of Kosher Comedy” at Feinstein’s @ Vitello’s. Hosted by the talented Dan Frischman, he took the stage and opened with a witty monologue, filled with schtick, and continued on with magical tricks and optic illusions at every interval. The atmosphere likened a Catskills vaudeville show right here on the west coast. Filled with audience participation, at one point Dan called up to stage a woman in the front row, who tore white and red tissue papers to shreds, and voila,’ a Santa hat emerged intact from the scraps. The show ensued with such gems of comedy, many from popular TV sitcoms, such as Marc Price, Skippy, (Family Ties), a blast from the past who made us all laugh this holiday and ‘forget our troubles, come on be happy.’ One memorable sketch was how his cell phone ring tone had descriptive apropo songs of each relative and friend, ranging from Trump to liberals to dating sites. His style is both hilarious and clever, in one. His physical comedy in standup is his forte, he was comical early as age 14, with inspirations the likes of George Burns, Milton Berle, Jackie Mason, and Jerry Seinfeld. Price brought much needed joy and levity to the audience, a winter wonderful distraction from the stressors of life. Setting the mood for whimsy and frolic, was the opening routine from comedian Jimmy Brogan, a self proclaimed ‘only goy in the show,’ yet an honorary member of the tribe. Brogan recalled his days as a regular on the late night circuit, often a guest of Johnny Carson, David Letterman, and a writer on Jay Leno for nine years. To the audience’s delight, Brogan revealed a recent anecdote of when he and dear friend Leno got stalled on the 405 in a classic car, on the way to Magic Comedy club in Hermosa Beach. Onlookers stopped and said, “wow, there’s Jay Leno and Prince Charles,” (Brogan’s doppelgänger to a degree.). His segment was filled with improv and spontaneous interaction with audience members about their careers and life, proving his ‘think on your feet’ ability, literally. Following this kind of laugh a minute schtick, was Cathy Ladman, comedienne extraordinaire. Amidst all the chaos and conflicts of family holiday gatherings elsewhere, this audience had the privilege to escape into the hysterical world of Cathy’s humor. A New York transplant, now in Los Angeles, Ladman opened with how much she is loving going ‘naturally gray.’ “It’s amazing how much attention I get by men when they realize I’m beyond child bearing years.” A long time comedic writer and performer on television, such as HBO’s “One Night Stand,” and Curb Your Enthusiasm, to name a few, Ladman’s ingenious specialty is jokes on the human condition, quirks, neuroses, and all; as well as material she acquires from real life scenarios and personal relationships. She shares a warm fuzzy tale of how she and her dog have a special bond, each time she returns home, truly resonating with pet lovers in the crowd. Completing the lineup was Wayne Federman, a ‘Renaissance comedian,’ replete with musical talent, as he performed his routine at the piano. He is a musician/ comic/storyteller who has taken his passion to the stage, and his love of entertaining emanates from within. His joie de vivre was clear, as he greeted the audience, “it’s almost a new year, a time of diversity, so glad to be alive.” Federman’s comedic banter comes as naturally to him as breathing.
These five funny dynamos brought a night of laughter, frolic, and nostalgia to Feinstein’s @ Vitello’s, presented with heart and soul.