There’s a New Act in Town and It’s a Riot

Okay…I know, not very funny. What can I say, I tried. But if it’s comedy you are looking for, there’s a new place in town guaranteed to tickle your funny bone. Washington’s newest comedy hot spot: The Riot Act Comedy Theatre. Opening mid-August, the theatre is a state-of-the-art, two-level, 13,000 square foot showroom with 330 seats, a movie screen backdrop and digital recording and broadcast capabilities in the heart of Penn Quarter. While location is always key, it’s nothing without good management. Riot Act boasts a stellar lineup consisting of Washington native and Bedrock Bars group partner, Geoff Dawson (Buffalo Billiards, Iron Horse Tap Room, Rocket Bar and others), long time Bedrock manager Marjorie Heiss and veteran comedy promoter John Xereas. John has worked with comedy greats Dave Chappelle, Bob Saget, Ellen DeGeneres and Ray Romano, to name a few.

Riot Act will be open seven days a week and will feature major, regional and local comedic headliners, plus open mic and theme nights.  It will also double as an event facility and will offer an in-house School of Comedy with classes ranging from one day sessions to six-week programs ($50 to $275). Like many entertainment venues, there will be a full menu as well as light fare for late shows.  There are two full bars that will broadcast performances and double as additional space to view sold-out performances.  There is a two item minimum per person per show.

The weekly schedule includes Open Mic Tuesday’s and Wednesday night theme night, which covers everything from “Gay-Larious” to “Geek Comedy Tour.”

The August/September line-up includes Charles Fleischer (Aug. 11-13, $17-20), Todd Rexx (Aug 17-21, $15-17), Allan Goodwin (Aug 24-27, $15-17), Dick Gregory (Aug 28, $20), Michael Brooks (Sept. 1-4, $15-$17), Gay-larious (Sept. 8, $15) and Rob Cantrell (Sep 8-11, $17-20).

Other acts in the coming months include DC favorites Judy Gold, Allah Made Me Funny. Comic legend Mr. Dick Gregory will appear monthly.

Opening any club in DC can be daunting, but with the talent behind and in front of the stage at Riot Act, we predict a successful run!

Riot Act Comedy Theater: 801 E St. NW, DC; 202 697-4900;;;
Tickets always available online and at the box-office during normal business hours. Looking to get booked: Email

Comedy Calendar

Wed., August 3
Bellylaughs in Bethesda
What does an IT professional with 20 years of experience in Corporate America do when he’s laid off? Become a comedian! Join Wayne Manigo (“WayneMan”) at Caddies on Cordell for his monthly Bellylaughs in Bethesda. The laughter starts at 8 p.m.
Caddies on Cordell: 4922 Cordell Ave., Bethesda, MD; 301-215-7730;

August 4-7
John Mulaney
From Comedy Central, “Late Night with Conan O’Brien” and “Saturday Night Live.” He is nice, kind of tall, whatever. This performance will be DC Improv’s first “Pay What You Can Night.”
DC Improv: 1140 Connecticut Ave. NW, DC; 202-296-7008;

August 5-6
Broken Lizard’s Kevin Heffernan and Steve Lemme
Heffernan and Lemme comprise 2/5 of the filmmaking comedy group Broken Lizard, from “Super Troopers.” “The Dukes of Hazzard” and “Club Dread” fame.
Arlington Cinema & Drafthouse: 2903 Columbia Pk., Arlington, VA; 703-486-2345;

August 11-13
Charles Fleischer
From Adam Sandler’s “Funny People,” “Zodiac,” “The Polar Express” and the voice of Roger Rabbit. Riot Act is very excited to have their all-time favorite comic and DC native for their Grand Opening weekend! Fleischer’s gigantic comedic talents and recognition of his ‘in the flesh’ abilities have deemed him a comic’s comic on stage and screen for decades.
Riot Act Comedy: 801 E St. NW, DC; 202-697-4900;

August 11-14
JB Smoove
From HBO’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” FOX’s “Til Death” and Comedy Central. JB is a gifted writer, comedian and actor who continues to entertain audiences all over the world with his unique brand of comedic funk.
DC Improv: 1140 Connecticut Ave. NW, DC; 202-296-7008;

August 18-20
Richard Lewis Live at Synetic Theater
Mel Brooks said, “Richard Lewis may just be the Franz Kafka of modern day comedy.” Lewis has taken his lifelong therapy fodder and carved it into a commanding, compelling art form.
Synetic Theater: 2788 S Arlington Mill Dr., Arlington, VA; 703-824-8061;

August 18-21
John Pinette
From “The Tonight Show.” When asked to describe his stand-up, John Pinette said, “I talk about my life, it is the funniest thing I can think of. For some reason, people enjoy seeing me lose my cherub-like demeanor.”
DC Improv: 1140 Connecticut Ave. NW, DC; 202-296-7008;

August 26-28
Tom Green
From MTV and Comedy Central. You know Tom Green from his loony roles in films like “Road Trip” and “Freddy Got Fingered.”
DC Improv: 1140 Connecticut Ave NW, DC; 202-296-7008;

August 31 – September 4
Jake Johannsen
From Comedy Central, “Late Show with David Letterman” and “The Tonight Show.” Jake spent three years at college dabbling in Veterinarian Science and Chemical Engineering before moving to San Francisco to try his hand at comedy.
DC Improv: 1140 Connecticut Ave. NW, DC; 202-296-7008;

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