NORTHUMBERLAND — The most recent pandemic shutdown has ended, and restaurants have wasted no time in finding live entertainment to help people escape their worries, if only for a few hours.

Front Street Station will host the Fun-Sized Comedy Showcase in their large banquet room on Friday. Doors open at 7 p.m., and the show starts at 8 p.m. There is a $10 cover charge, but diners can receive half off with their evening meal receipt.

The Fun-Sized Comedy Showcase has done other performances at the Front Street Station, said Jay Seidel, owner.

“They’re really funny,” he said. “They’re premium entertainers.”

Comedians from the group last performed in mid-December, before the most recent shutdown. Host Dick Knupp said it’s been a bit of a struggle to find comedians willing to perform live during the pandemic, but he managed to round up “a few hearty souls.” He appreciates the size of the Front Street Station’s banquet room, which can seat about 300 people.

“The venue is situated where they have social distancing,” he said, noting that he expects a small audience of about 20 to 30 people. “The performers themselves are generally 20 to 30 feet from the nearest person.”

While he’d prefer the bigger audiences of pre-pandemic days, Knupp is happy to give his comedians the chance to stand in front of people and run through their routines.

“It’s a matter of practice,” he said. “The more you do it, the better you get at it. Even when you hit the big time, you still have to practice.”

The comedians gauge their audience’s reactions to find the gags that will resonate with them, evidenced by the laughing that Knupp sees during performances. Friday night’s show will feature four comedians: Sara Cartwright, Rasheed Wesley, Chris Chimmer and Karen K.

“They’re awesome entertainers,” Seidel said.

“The pandemic has been dragging on so long, and people are weary of the uncertainty,” Knupp said. “Maybe being able to escape that for a Friday evening in Northumberland is the ticket they need at that moment.”

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