fb-pixel Skip to main content

Summer Arts Preview

10 comedy shows that’ll provide relief from the summer heat

Sam Jay comes home for a June 3 show at The Wilbur.Dia Dipasupil/Getty

L. CHRISTMAS PRESENTS HOT & HEAVENLY CABARET Lucifer Christmas hosts this drag, burlesque, and comedy showcase starring Kitty Levesque, Onyx Reigns, Amma Marfo, Zoe Dela-Lu Ho, Edith Pouthie, Dixie Douya, and Jayden Jamison KA St. James. May 26, 8:30 p.m. $25. ATAC, 160 Hollis St., Framingham. 508-405-2787, www.atac160.org

SAM JAY The former Boston comic comes home a month ahead of recording her second stand-up special, this one for HBO, in New York in June. She’s on a roll in 2023, having appeared alongside Eddie Murphy, Jonah Hill, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus in “You People” on Netflix, released in January. June 3, 7 p.m. $24-$27. The Wilbur, 246 Tremont St. www.thewilbur.com


JIMMY CASH, EMILY RUSKOWSKI, AND WILL SMALLEY An eclectic mix of young Boston headliners you might not see on a roster together elsewhere. Proceeds benefit the Resolution Center, which provides conflict resolution services in Essex County. Ruskowski follows up with headlining shows at the Off Cabot June 9-10. June 8, 8 p.m. $50. Off Cabot Comedy & Events, 9 Wallis St., Beverly. www.offcabot.org

SHAWN CARTER ALBUM RECORDING Just before the pandemic hit in 2020, Shawn Carter packed up and left Boston to open a comedy club in Bristol, Tenn. He comes back home to record two shows for his second comedy album. With Andrew Mayer. June 11, 7:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. $25. The Rockwell, 255 Elm St., Somerville. www.therockwell.org

MIKE DONOVAN One of Boston’s founding stand-ups from the ‘80s boom, Donovan works frequently in the area and is a prolific author, regularly releasing new books on American and world history and comedy on Amazon. June 16-17, 8:30 p.m. $30. Giggles Comedy Club, 517 Broadway (Route 1), Saugus. 781-233-9950, www.princerestaurant.com/giggles-events

JINKX MONSOON: EVERYTHING AT STAKE Monsoon has a varied resume — winning “RuPaul’s Drag Race” and “RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars,” starring in “Chicago” earlier this year as Matron “Mama” Morton, releasing music albums, and entertaining crowds with her stories. On this tour, backed by a rock band, she gets to use all of her talents. June 30, 8 p.m. $56.50. Boch Center Shubert Theatre, 265 Tremont St. 866-348-9738, www.bochcenter.org


JAY LENO The former “Tonight Show” host began his career in Andover in the late ‘60s at a talent show for McDonald’s employees, and he’s had lit cigarettes thrown at him at a club in Revere. He returns to his old stamping grounds under much better working conditions. Aug. 4, 7:30 p.m. $55-$120. The Chevalier, 30 Forest St., Medford. www.chevaliertheatre.com

PUNKIE JOHNSON The “Saturday Night Live” cast member and host of an upcoming relationship podcast says she is not afraid of silence onstage, and she’s not afraid of getting personal in her comedy, whether that’s talking about gender roles in a lesbian relationship or the time she soiled herself working for UPS and still had to finish her route. Aug. 18-19, 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. $33. Laugh Boston, 425 Summer St. 617-725-2844, www.laughboston.com

HAMPTON YOUNT As Crow T. Robot on “Mystery Science Theater 3000,” Yount watches a lot of bad movies. He is also an aficionado of terrible infomercial shows, and notices there is always a British host who’s job it is to be incredulous about everything. “Like, ‘I can’t believe you just blended that piece of tomato and that piece of steak! That’s truly incredible!’” he says. “Like he’s never seen a food processor.” Sept. 8-9, 7:30 p.m. $20. Hideout Comedy at Paddy O’s, 33 Union St. www.eventbrite.com


SAM TALLENT The comedian and author admits he is a bit chubby, but in America, he’s only “aspirationally fat,” he says in a “Don’t Tell Comedy” video. “There’s a lot of people on Rascal scooters toolin’ around,” he says. “They see me, they’re like, ‘To have that body . . . he’s gonna live to be 56!’ ” Sept. 8 at 7 p.m., Sept. 9 at 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. $33. Laugh Boston, 425 Summer St. 617-725-2844, laughboston.com

Nick A. Zaino III can be reached at nick@nickzaino.com.