Laughs on Lark Comedy Showcase Cancelled + An Open Letter

UPDATE: The Common Council planning committee is to discuss the proposed law February 15th at 5:30 pm, in a 2nd Floor Court Room at City Hall (24 Eagle Street). The meeting is open to the public and there’s a public comment period. If you have something to say, there’s your opportunity.

You can also now read more about this at AOA and the KnickLedger.

Many of you saw the article about the Hudson River Coffee House’s battle with mundane and arbitrary restrictions which hurt small businesses and the like. Last night I got this email from Matt Kelly who runs the Laughs on Lark Comedy Showcase, which is being affected by one of the aforementioned arbitrary ordinances. The letter follows.

An Open Letter to The Capital Region and Beyond

Many of you are familiar with, or have come to enjoy our monthly Laughs on Lark Comedy Showcase. We regret to inform you that we will have to cancel this month’s show, scheduled for Wednesday February 8th, our first cancellation since we started 20 months ago. It is not because we need to write new material, though we could use a few fresh jokes, or because of anxiety over the possibility of a Rick Santorum presidency, but because of a proposed Ordinance by the City of Albany regarding audio entertainment within taverns and restaurants. The ambiguity of the bill and the rush to enforce it prior to the Common City Council meeting scheduled to discuss it leave us no option but to pull the plug.

We started the show in August of 2010 in hopes of bringing a breathe of fresh air to the local entertainment community. Modeled after New York City alternative comedy rooms and with a showcase-format we’ve had 35+ different stand-up comedians, improv performers, special guests, and even a magician.

We love this neighborhood and judging by the increasing number of folks in attendance, you like us too. We believe strongly that businesses that promote and nourish local performers should be celebrated and not punished. Culture is what makes our community so spirited and lively, so imposing added restrictions on the shrinking number of establishments who embrace the artistic community is wrong. We are fortunate to have had the opportunity to perform for so many of you and we hope to be back as soon as possible.

Matt Kelly & Jaye Mcbride

It really sucks to see people who are doing things in our city to make it a more diverse and fun place to live getting entangled in regulations to the point of discontinuation. I guess these law makers really take the name of this site literally, eh?

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