Riot Act, the comedy club at 8th and E Streets, opens tonight. Last night, Penn Quarter Insider was invited for the soft opening, which was a tremendous success.
|The crowd watches a comedian perform downstairs|
You then go around the corner and down a very wide staircase. Why is the staircase so wide? Because the downstairs is enormous, and crowds tend to let out of comedy shows at the same time. There is another bar at the bottom of the stairs, and then you go into the room where the comedy shows take place.
The theatre is huge. Much bigger than you might expect, which changes the atmosphere a bit. The room is not decorated like a comedy club at all; however, we expect that the room will be darkened and the lighting will make it more like a comedy club in the future.
Their set up is still high-tech though. There is a booth at the back that sits high above the room to control the sound and lighting. Above the stage are extensive lighting operations and there are stairs off the stage so that talent can escape. This isn't your back alley comedy club where the comedians come in through the crowd.
We only tried a few of the food items last night, and were a bit weary since the ownership team doesn't serve food at their other establishments. But the food we had was delicious. The wait staff also was courteous despite being slammed by the crowds last night.
The comedians will constantly change, of course, and on open mic night it may be you. However, last night the comedians were hilarious, which speaks well for their ability to book talent.
Almost everything at Riot Act was well-planned and well-done. We think it has the opportunity to be a great success. The theatre room itself was a little disappointing, but mostly because we were expecting a "cool" space with a comedy club feel. We suspect a little lighting magic can set the mood. We will definitely be back, and we think a comedy club adds a lot to the Penn Quarter scene.