Life can get you down. The work day drags on too late. The errands list grows too long.
In the middle of life’s general pressures and responsibilities, it’s nice to be able to have a nice hard “Stop, I can barely breathe” laugh. Luckily, Boca Raton offers a few venues to find your next drink-spitting guffaw.
Boca Black Box Center for the Arts
The Boca Black Box opened in August 2015 at the same location as the old Boca Comedy Club. The venue qualifies as a black box with its small, relatively unadorned stage, and it’s great addition to Boca’s cultural and entertainment offerings.
While their focus is on comedy, the Black Box also hosts other performances. Recently, they showcased “Sleeping Beauty Kids” and “Singin’ in the Rain Jr.” from BARCLAY Performing Arts, and they’ve had shows like Peace of Wood Stock as well.
On most nights, though, you can expect to find comedians and entertainers from all over the country.
What you should know:
The theater is located at 8221 Glades, near Florida’s Turnpike. The exterior is nothing special, as it’s in a shopping center. Parking is plentiful, though.
Once you get inside, the 250-seat theater provides an intimate setting, with a great view from every seat. The setup can change depending on the performance, with some shows having general admission and others using reserved seats. Unlike some comedy clubs that provide free admission, the Black Box does sell tickets, which you can purchase in advance or at the door.
Even with tickets, though, there is typically a two-drink minimum. Unlike many clubs, the Black Box does not gouge you on drink prices. Instead, they provide wine and beer options that are fair for Boca. The staff is friendly and helpful, and you can even order from your phone so you don’t have to miss any of the show.
You will probably want to have dinner before your show, depending on what time the performance is, because the theater does not serve food. Most shows start at 8pm, so you should have ample time for dining.
If you really like the feel of the theater, you can also reserve the space for special events.
The shows at Boca Black Box provide a great variety of comedy, with stand-up, musical shows, improv and more. Here are just a few of the excellent performances coming up soon:
- The Addams Family – A New Musical Comedy: “The weird and wonderful family comes to devilishly delightful life in THE ADDAMS FAMILY. This magnificently macabre new musical comedy is created by Jersey Boys authors Marshall Brickman & Rick Elice.”
- NY Comedy Night series: On most Thursday nights, Boca Black Box has a special series presenting comedians from New York. Upcoming guests include Carl Guerra, Richie Minervi, and Bear Webb.
- Andrew Dice Clay: “ANDREW DICE CLAY is proud to be one of America’s most controversial and outrageous comics. When he released his debut album, Dice, the parental advisory label simply read “Warning: This album is offensive.”
No matter what style of comedy you prefer, you’ll definitely find a laugh at Boca Black Box Center for the Arts.
Sick Puppies Comedy
More than a group of comedians, Sick Puppies Comedy features improv classes and performances. The company has been around since 2012, when founder, Casey Casperson, started performing shows in Boca Raton with a dozen of his improv friends. In the last five years, they have grown to nearly two dozen cast members and over 450 past and current students.
What you should know:
Both the classes and performances are held at Center Stage Performing Arts – 7200 W Camino Real #330. This is not your typical club atmosphere, so snack and drink options are limited. (Although they are currently working on building a bar.) There are several cafes and restaurants nearby, though. And many of the shows don’t start until 9pm, so you’ll want to eat beforehand anyway.
Theater seating is very limited, which lets you stay close to the action. This is key for the improv experience as audience interaction is often part of the fun. Be careful, though. Many attendees of a Sick Puppies performance ultimately sign up for one of the company’s improv classes and find themselves on the stage at some point.
With classes throughout the year and on many weeknights, the Sick Puppies Company provides plenty of opportunities to stretch your imagination and grow as a person.
The performances are generally either company shows or graduation showcases.
The Sick Puppies Comedy Show Improv performances are typically on Friday and Saturday night. Tickets are $15 in advance or $20 at the door. For that low price, you can expect a solid hour and a half of entertainment. The company does recommend reserving your ticket in advance, even for free shows, because space is limited. There is also the option to buy a yearly all-access pass if you think you’ll visit often.
Student Graduation Showcase performances also run from 9-10:30pm. They feature students from various levels of improv who have completed the course, so they will only happen a few times through the year. The comedy is not quite as polished because they aren’t professionals, but it is still a great time. And it’s free, so it’s a nice way to show your support.
Most Friday and Saturday nights, you can catch an improv show. The schedule for graduation showcases varies, but there are a few slots at the end of July. You’ll want to check out the company’s upcoming events calendar for up-to-date information.
Boca residents have lots of options to address the recurring “What do we do tonight?” problem. If you’re looking for an experience devoted to fun and laughter, try one of these venues for some of the best comedy South Florida has to offer.
Marc Jablon, the Jablon Team