38 MONTEREY COUNTY WEEKLY March 28-April 3, 2024 www.montereycountyweekly.com ONSTAGE It’s not the first time that the Sunset Center in Carmel scheduled a comedy act. But it has been a while. The facility developed a standup series in 2019 in partnership with Central Coast native-turnedBrooklyn comedy producer, Reed Kavner. It was called XYZ, drawing performers from the three generations closing out the alphabet. Then Covid hit, and the full stop also put a temporary end to something else that made the evenings unique: location. As opposed to the Sunset Center’s intimidating and monumental auditorium or its perfect-for-afternoon-jazz garden, Studio 105 is a cozy venue in the lower level of the center. With only 100 seats, it is an intimate and interactive space for slam poetry, improv and small concerts. XYZ Comedy is back and so is Studio 105, for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic. Sunset Center Artistic Director Christine Sandin explains that the space was a former gymnasium, which makes sense as the center was constructed as a school. “We use it for special kinds of performances that are experimental and don’t necessarily need all the lights and other things.” In 2016, Sunset Center started a cabaret series that soon grew to a size they couldn’t manage. “It was really big and it was too much,” Sandin says. This time the Gen X, Gen Y and Gen Z comedy comes not from New York, but the West Coast—a menu of five young comedians, who Sunset Center presents as fresh young superstars of comedy that will be performed in Studio 105 through June 9. Expect strong language, with no topics being off limits. Joey Avery is the next comedian scheduled to perform. He will be followed by Leah Bonnema, Marcella Arquello and Irene Tu. “The first comedy special I modeled myself after was Eddie Murphy,” he says. Avery took to standup in South Africa, as a student for a semester at University of Cape Town. Avery believes that 2024 is going to be a great year for comedy. “The social media era can be exhausting with the pressure to constantly put out content that performs at a high level,” he says. “But it is amazing to feel like you can take things into your own hands without waiting for industry gatekeepers.” XYZ Comedy Series 7:30pm Thursday, March 28. Studio 105 at Sunset Center, San Carlos Street and 9th Avenue, Carmel. $35. 620-2048, sunsetcenter.org. COURTESY OF JOEY AVERY Gen Tonic The XYZ Comedy Series returns to Sunset Center, as does its intimate venue. By Agata Pop˛eda If you call Joey Avery, be ready for anything. It might be his friend Steve who picks up and who is under the impression that this phone call pertains to a lingerie photo shoot. The Creperie Cafe • Mon – Fri 7am – 4pm (Sat & Sun 8am – 4pm) 1123 Fremont Blvd., Seaside • 831.901.3900 at The Press Club Life on Stage A conversation with actor/director/ theater teacher Noah Lucé Thursday, April 4 at 12:30pm Thursday, May 2, 2024 Celia Jiménez speaks with photographer Ken Parker Thursday, June 6, 2024 Agata Pope˛da speaks with filmmaker Barak Laub about the pitfalls of “voluntourism” Friday, July 11, 2024 Agata Pope˛da speaks with artist David Ligare about his aesthetics UPCOMING EVENTS: Thursday, Aug. 1, 2024 Sara Rubin speaks with journalist Asaf Elia-Shalev about his new book about a movement for racial equity in Israel Thursday, Sept. 5, 2024 Dave Faries speaks with a local winemaker (TBD) Thursday, Nov. 7, 2024 Sara Rubin speaks with psychiatrist and Ohana’s executive director, Susan Swick, about mental fitness