The show, AbeMixture, is an innovative show known for combining music and comedy and has featured comedic performers such as Reggie Watts through its 3 year history. This month’s show will be staged to collect financial donations as well as batteries, canned goods and toiletries through http://redhook.recovers.org/
The event producer, Deepak Ananthapadmanabha, considered canceling the show amidst worries over accessibility into Williamsburg, the area of Brooklyn where the show will take place, and in consideration of the new weather system due to hit New York Wednesday night. 'As of 24 hours before the show all of the subways into Williamsburg are finally up and running - so I am happy we decided to go ahead with it.' says Ananthapadmanabha, ‘Mandy was supposed to travel to New York on Monday and stay with friends on the Lower East Side which was impossible after the storm. Her brand of comedy is unusual, combining freestyle rap, audience interaction and traditional story telling so we really wanted her to be a part of the show. The club has a great technical system with internet access so I suggested to her that we try bringing her in through skype.’
Cheetham is thrilled to be able to do something to help the storm victims. ‘New Yorkers are an inspiration to the world. They have such tenacity. I didn’t feel comfortable imposing on friends who were still in shock from the storm, nor taking a hotel room that may have been needed by some of those displaced from their homes, but I still wanted to be involved in the show and give my support to those who most need it.’
While the use of skype for absentee speakers is not new, it is not a common occurrence in the world of stand up comedy which relies heavily on audience response. It makes sense for this particular show to develop a technical innovation since its purpose is to raise money to provide children with access to technology, technological training and software.
Cheetham intends to alter her pre-planned set to include jokes about the difficulties associated with carrying on long-distance relationships through skype and engage the audience by offering relationship advice.
About Mandy May Cheetham: Also known as Mandy Mayhem, she is an actress, comedic performer and hip hop karaoke champion based in Toronto. She has performed in over 30 independent films, 10 comedy shows and 5 theater productions this year.
About AbeMixture: Abemixture runs monthly as a tribute to its founder Abe Jellinek, a comedy and tech enthusiast who passed away only 6 months after starting the show in 2009. His good friend and current event producer Deepak Ananthapadmanabha runs the show in his honor and donates all proceeds to initiatives to provide computer access to kids in need.
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