Ryan Waning’s been doing standup comedy in New England for well over ten years. The Auburn native has seen his share of ups and downs, most recently the closure of the Comedy Connection in Portland in Oct. 2012, which left Maine’s small but outspoken standup scene without a place to do regular professional work.
Fortunately, something has finally arisen to take the place of the Comedy Connection. The Downunder Club, located at Seasons Restaurant on Main Street in downtown Bangor, will begin offering regular bi-weekly standup comedy beginning Saturday, Jan. 18, with its inaugural showcase featuring Waning himself and comedian Will Green, followed by a best of New England standup showcase on Saturday, Feb. 1 featuring Nick Lavalee, Ian Stuart, Adam Hatch and Tim Hoffman. Shows starts at 8 p.m. and tickets for the first show are only $5.
“The ownership at Seasons recognized the lack of an actual, honest to goodness comedy club in the Bangor market, let alone in Maine,” said Waning. “They have put substantial time and energy into making this a successful venture. The room is beautiful and perfect for comedy.”
The Maine comedy scene has been at a loss for over a year, since the Comedy Connection closed. Though there is a popular comedy open mic nights at Slainte in Portland, a semi-regular comedy night at the Asylum in Portland, and a number of one-off shows all over the state, there’s no one venue that is meant to showcase comedy. Until now.
“A club fosters a certain atmosphere among the comedy community. Comics know there is a place that they can go to perform that won’t be moving from VFW to rental hall to the back of a bar and that treats them like professionals they are,” said Waning. “And comedy fans know that there is a place they can go to catch professional stand-up comedians work their craft on a regular basis. I was a fan long before I was a comic, and this room has something special about it already.”
If the first few months of shows go well, Waning plans to make standup comedy a weekly happening at the club.
Seasons Restaurant is located at 427 Main St. in Bangor, across the street from the Darling’s Waterfront Pavilion. For more information, visit the Downunder Club Facebook page.