Story by Gary Lynch Jr, Photo by Uriel Lubuk
With signed headshots hanging from the walls, low ceilings, and the familiar brick backsplash behind the microphone stand, Crickets Comedy Club is an intimate installment of Thunder Bay’s push towards legitimacy as northern Ontario’s artistic hub. Crickets is the brainchild of local stand-up comic and art director Chris Mulawyshyn in the attempt to provide Thunder Bay with the same quality of comedy club that could be found in Los Angeles or New York. “I don’t just want local talent,” Mulawyshyn says. “If you are funny, you should be funny everywhere.”
Mulawyshyn explains that he expects the best from the talent headlining at Crickets Comedy Club, and although he is committed to bringing in local talent, don’t expect to receive leniency because you are from the Bay area. “Funny is funny. Anyone can tell a joke. We want artists who are committed to the craft,” he says. Although he will not book local talent for the sake of local talent, he does believe that there are some great performers amongst us here in Thunder Bay. Mulawyshyn has been hosting open mic shows at the Dragon’s Den Sports Bar with comic Matt Watson, who recently moved here from Ottawa. The pair hoped to find an act that displayed enough stage presence and confidence that could transfer into hosting or opening act gigs at Crickets.
Crickets has acts planned for shows at 7 pm and 10 pm every Friday and Saturday nights. Tickets are on sale for $10—which is quite reasonable given the level of talent that has been lined up to grace the stage. There are several upcoming feature acts including host Watson, Daryl Makk, who is on tour from Calgary, and notable Canadian actor/comedian Mike MacDonald. Other acts that are lined up include performers who have participated in the world-renowned Just For Laughs comedy festival as well as Last Comic Standing.
Crickets Comedy Club is, as Mulawyshyn puts it, “about the funny, not the money.” And this is not just lip service: 40% of the live gates collected at the shows are donated directly to the Thunder Bay Arthritis Society.
Come support the comedic arts at Crickets Comedy Club, officially located at 248-B Bay Street. For booking/contact info, find Cricket Comedy club on Facebook or contact Mulawyshyn at 707-0854.