Comedy venues the Velveeta Room and Capital City Comedy Club get new leases on life, solo theatre artist Rob Nash gets roasted, and Dreamgirl Jennifer Holliday comes to Austin.
Welcome Back, Velveeta
MIA comedy emporium the Velveeta Room turned up hale and hearty on Sixth Street last week. The Velveeta vanished at the end of 2002, when aspiring comedy-club king Robert Burk picked up the club's lease and rechristened it Funnies. But Burk's reign lasted all of a month, during which he lost enough money to abandon the club. That left the door open for the 10-year-old venue to return and start making Austin comedy history once more. The club's new incarnation will be overseen by Summer Brow, who will serve as house manager, and 1992 "Funniest Person in Austin" JR Brow, who will act as talent coordinator. Headlining this weekend is familiar funnyman Charlie Shannon. For more info, call 918-1150.
New Owners for Cap City
Meanwhile, up on Research Boulevard, the Capitol City Comedy Club is enjoying a new life of sorts, as well. In January, manager Margie Coyle, who started working at the club 15 years ago (when it was the Laff Stop), and her husband Alex, in partnership with booking manager Rich Miller and Lisa Penland-Miller of Minneapolis and Colleen McGarr and Duncan Strauss of Costa Mesa, have purchased the club from Colleen Buchanan and Bruce Barshop of San Antonio's RiverCenter Comedy Club. It was seven years ago that Buchanan and Barshop bought the Laff Stop and remade it into Cap City. The new owners -- who have dubbed their partnership Mish Mash Inc. -- aren't planning that sort of major makeover, but they do plan to rejuvenate Cap City's booking policy with more major comics new to Austin and a renewed commitment to local laughmakers. Allan Havey headlines through Sunday. For more info, call 467-2333.
Rob Nash Roasting on an Open Fire
Most weekends, Rob Nash gets to stand onstage by himself and talk, talk, talk, but this weekend the creator of the Holy Cross Quadrilogy and 12 Steps to a More Dysfunctional You will have to sit down and shut up while other people take the stage to talk ... about him. The Vortex Repertory Company is roasting Rob, with folks such as Vortex Artistic Director Bonnie Cullum, stand-up comic John Bednarz, brothers Mike, Bodie, and Reagan Nash, and yours truly, verbally raking him over the coals at the Vortex, 2307 Manor Rd., at 8pm, Saturday, Feb. 22. Tickets are $10-20 (sliding scale). Call 478-LAVA for more information.