Stand-up comics are used to working some tough crowds, but are they prepared to face the violent legacy of the former Mr. Lucky? That Lower Queen Anne nightspot, located directly across First Avenue North from KeyArena, lost its liquor license in April of 2006 following a triple shooting, which brought its number of police complaints to an even dozen. A man was beaten to death there with a metal pipe in 2004, while another customer was shot and paralyzed in 2003. The joint attempted to relaunch itself in November of last year as Avenue One, a sports bar, but never shook off its rowdy old hip-hop image. Back in the day, while walking home past Mr. Lucky late at night, though thankful not to be shot, I witnessed more than one instance of parking lot sex. Classy.
But can the place be made funny? That's the hope of the Mainstage Comedy & Arts Club, which opens Friday, February 2. I've heard of whistling through the graveyard, but I'm not sure about laughing. As I've written before, Seattle's comedy pie is already sliced pretty thinly between the Comedy Underground, Giggles, and the Capitol Hill Arts Center. And the big national acts tend to play the Moore or the Paramount. Yet the Mainstage backers, including Beka Barry, who appeared on Nick at Nite's Funniest Mom in America show, are promising "short film, live music, a top-notch restaurant, and other artistic expressions in a one-stop, date-night destination--a 21st century vaudeville, if you will."
Good luck, we say, but also hire some good security. Because if you want to have a one-stop, date-night destination, put a metal detector at the door, to make sure the hecklers aren't armed.