Last Friday I attended the first Dine and Laugh event presented by Salhyde comedy. Barbe Bleue was a very nice and cozy choice with soft lighting, coupled with gold and dark blue decorations. I had the beef tartar, empanadas, and a very stiff long island iced tea. Having just returned from Mexico, I was glad to see that this Mexican tapas joint did not disappoint.
Host Hart Gordshikov started the event holding a mask (which contains art he has created) in front of his face while wearing a humongous pimp-style fur coat. He began to recite the alphabet while ambient music played and named associated animals with each letter. My first impression was that this man is as weird as he is charming. After Hart’s opening, entered co-founder George Hamilton Braithwaite. George mentioned the recent departure of Obama and recounted the ridiculousness of how at the time of his inauguration people would give him high fives because he is black.
After George entered the first lady of the event – Mariam Khan. Khan who is of Pakistani descent spoke about how she doesn’t actually smell the way that Pakistani individuals are perceived to smell. Khan also spoke about the trials of dating in a city where there are both Anglophones and Francophones. She explains how you can be a “roche etoile” if you are a Francophone speaking in French but it doesn’t necessarily translate in English. Khan mentions how your personality gets lost when you’re trying to flirt in a different language than your own.
Sarah Quinn, the redhead of the group made some jabs at the ginger community and spoke about the mixing of orange cream. The Southern Ontario native stated that she had taken a break from doing stand-up and is giving it a go yet again. Just like Khan, Quinn spoke about the dating world and what it was like dating some fellow members of the comedy circuit and literally having a funny bone in her body. In between the acts, host Hart continued to offer the audience his weirdo charm and informed the audience that the great actor Martin Lawrence would be making an appearance. To no one’s actual surprise it was rapper and stand-up comedian named Chuggo who took the stage instead.
Chuggo, who had expressed that he has spent some time in jail for drugs and punching a guy, was immediately captivating while sporting a Taylor Swift t-shirt. He goes on to imitate Shakira stating, “My name is Shakira, woka woka, it’s time for Africa, I have a great ass!” and then seguewayed into reading contemplative passages from what seemed to be musings about time in prison called Speedy Memos, Speedy Memos. The next lady in line was Melina Trimarchi, an elementary school teacher. Trimarchi expressed the oddities that come with teaching students who are old enough to know what’s going on and how to f*ck with you. There was one student she recounted on in particular who would shamelessly hit on her and make her blush – after this student was no longer attending her school she claimed that seeing him was like seeing an ex-boyfriend. Trimarchi expressed how hard it is not to laugh when the students are being cleverly ridiculous.
The final act of the night and headliner Massimo took the stage and began his set by taking a shot passed onto to him from Chuggo and states, “40 is a weird age.” Massimo spoke about his family and his closeness to his mother. He also spoke about how with a face like his he no longer feels comfortable telling sex jokes. Massimo stated that in sexual scenarios his partner often wants him to play the burglar or some kind of criminal and he fears it is due to his “resting murder face.”
The Dine and Laugh event, which will always have a new headliner, was thoroughly enjoyable and I highly recommend it as it offered a great group of comedians in a nice place to eat.
Barbe Bleue (272 Bernard Street West) Dine and Laugh takes place every third Thursday at 8:00 p.m.