One form of entertainment that often slips the mind of Rhode Islanders is hitting up the local comedy club. According to John Souza aka Johnie Armani, owner and operator of RI’s newest comedy venue The Joke Store, as a state, we have a far less progressive comedy scene than Boston or Connecticut.
After frequenting the few clubs in the state, he began noticing the same circulation of comedians every month. “Comedy here is growing stale,” he says. “We don’t want to change the scene; change is a terrible word. We want to add variety.”
The Joke Store, opening on May 17, is moving in above Cranston’s Stage Door Lounge, which is The Park Theatre’s connecting nightclub. The venue is composed of a bar, lounge and stage opposite intimate family-style table seating.
“Most people only have one or two days a week to go out and have a good time. We don’t want to give them a show, we want to give them a memorable night,” Johnie says. The club will feature both regional and national acts, up and coming local acts and RI’s Speed of Thought Players improv troupe.
The Joke Store’s May 17 opening begins at 5pm with a ceremonial ribbon cutting featuring refreshments. The 8pm show features Nick Albanese, “Everyone’s favorite Goomba.”