San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Stand-up Makes it to San José

STAND-UP comedy has finally madeits way to Costa Rica in the larger-than-lifeshape of comic Joey Lee, or “Loco Joe,” ashe is also known.It all started when Lee fled Florida andHurricane Ivan last fall; after hopping onthe only flight out he could find, he foundhimself in San José.“I’m not kidding; there was one spaceleft on a flight to Costa Rica, so I decidedto take it,” Lee said. The permanent smileon his face makes it difficult to know whenhe’s joking and when – if ever – he’s beingserious.Lee came across La Comedia Theaterin San José by chance and “fell in lovewith the place,” he said. After a successfulfirst show in December, he is hoping to dotwo shows a month for the next six months,and even has plans to start a tour.With 18 years of experience under hisbelt, Lee has performed on HBO, MTV,Comedy Central and BBC Four, and in 15countries, including Great Britain, Ireland,France, Denmark and Thailand. His currentgoal is to “bring North American comedyto Central America.”“Stand-up comedy is nonexistent inCosta Rica. If my Spanish improves, I’dlike to teach Ticos how to do it,” Lee said.While that may be in the rather distantfuture, the comedian aims to attract acrowd of bilingual Costa Ricans as well asmembers of the English-speaking communityto his shows.Lee gets his jokes from daily life experiences,he said. When asked to describethe show, he said, “It’s fast-paced andfunny, and aimed at adult audiences.”Adifferent stand-up comedian from theUnited States will be invited to headlineeach show. February’s show will featuremagician and comedian Dan Doyle, afavorite at The Magic Castle in Hollywoodand the only two-time winner of the LasVegas Magic Hands Award for outstandingclose-up magic.“Besides being a great magician, Danis a master hypnotist,” Lee said. “He usesboth these talents with a stand-up act thatwould stand alone, without the other tricks.It’s a real triple threat to your funny bone.”Highly recommended by this reviewer,the next shows will take place Feb. 23 and24, at 8 p.m., at La Comedia Theater indowntown San José, on Avenida Central bythe Más x Menos supermarket. Tickets are¢5,000 ($10.80) at the door or ¢4,000($8.60) if bought prior to the show fromDanny at the theater box office (233-2170),or call Loco Joe’s Productions at 389-7031.

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