World Gone Crazy Comedy Band headlines a night of variety entertainment on October 16. Peabody show features live music, local stand-up comics and audience interaction.
Massachusetts event producer and performer Gary Marino has been mixing comedy and live music since 2011, when he spun a new concept out of the special-event shows his company produces for corporate clients, non-profits, and other organizations. The North Shore native and his World Gone Crazy Comedy Band brings Marino's latest production to Peabody's Black Box Theater on Saturday, October 16 at 8 p.m.
Marino calls it "the kitchen sink show" - with live music, stand-up, and song parodies. The group also engages audiences in a game where band members sing popular songs with comically wrong lyrics, and attendees win prizes for getting up and singing the words correctly.
"What we've done here is created, you know, something really special. It's not just another night of comedy," Marino told veteran radio personality Jordan Rich on WBZ's New England Weekend. "It's stand-up, it's live music, it's audience interaction. We're here to make you laugh because lord knows we all need it."
The comic lineup includes another North Shore native, Don Zollo, who is coming off a show at Boston's Wilbur Theater, as well as comedy juggler Bryson Lang - who has been featured on a variety of network TV shows including Masters of Illusion, Charmed, and That 70s Show. Rounding out the stand-up comedy line-up is Cape Cod performer Aidy Debello.
"World Gone Crazy Band is in its 10th year. People love it when their favorite rock stars have a sense of humor. And they also love when a great stand-up comedian pulls a guitar out during his set and can play," Marino told American Household News in a text message interview. "It turns 'comedy night' into a concert. So my idea was to capture that in a bottle."
Marino is the founder of Harmon-Marino Live, which produces themed shows for the vacation resort, corporate, special event, and fundraiser markets. The World Gone Crazy Band grew out of Marino's popular live events for clients and at resort locations such as the Cape Codder Resort in Hyannis. More recently the group has been promoting shows at Sea Crest resort in Falmouth, and the Comedy Lounge on Martha's Vineyard. And now the band has a lineup of new shows debuting and booking around New England.
"Our newest shows (include) Ticket2Ride -The Rock & Roll Game Show, which is our band hosting an interactive game show with live soundbites, trivia, and prizes. Early signs are it's a winner," Marino said. "Our other new show is Happier Days With The Nadlers, which I wrote with the father and son comedy team of Marty and Charlie Nadler. Marty Nadler wrote for (the 1970s sitcoms) Happy Days, Laverne & Shirley, and the Odd Couple, and acted in (big screen films) Pretty Woman and Runaway Bride. It's an evening of comedy and inside Hollywood stories, and it brings people back to an easier time."
Like almost all live entertainment and larger in-person events across the board, the comedy and music space where Marino's group operates continues to struggle to regain audiences and steady revenue because of the lingering public health crisis shrouding America for the 19th month.
"Comedy has never really recovered from COVID. It started to last summer, but then the Delta variant and the Provincetown super spreader sent ticket sales in the down direction, making publicly ticketed shows a real struggle," Marino explained to AHN. "I will say this: whether it's 40 people or 180 (we've had both), all audiences have been absolutely wonderful. Those people really want to be there. They are more than ready for a night out of laughs and escapism."