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LAUGH OUT LOUD
SOME ITALIAN RESTAURANTS DRAW in customers with opera nights or half-price wines. Saturday nights
at Bethesda’s Positano Ristorante Italiano are partially
reserved for jokes, minus the usual plates of pasta. A private dining room becomes a stand-up comedy venue for the
weekly “Laugh Riot.” Before switching locations in 2016,
the shows were held for 10 years in a conference room at
the Hyatt Regency Bethesda.
Food isn’t available during the shows, but drinks can be
purchased from the bar. The relaxed atmosphere includes
about 12 tables with room for about 100 people, a stage
for one performer and a tapestry with a brick wall design
that hangs behind the microphone. Shows run about an
hour and a half and include a headliner and four other per-
formers with varying levels of experience. Past headlin-
ers include Danny Rouhier, a talk radio host on 106. 7 The
Fan, and Roger Mursick, who has performed on HBO and
Comedy Central. Local comedians are featured at almost
all performances. Given the range of talent, expect to hear
chuckles—if not roars—from everyone in the audience.
Laugh Riot is at 8 p.m. most Saturdays; doors open at 7: 15.
Tickets are $10 and can only be purchased at the door.
Tickets will increase to $15 on Oct. 1. Attendees must be
17 or older. Seating is first come, first served. Positano
Ristorante Italiano, 4948-4940 Fairmont Ave., Bethesda,
Comedian Pearl Rose Hood
at Laugh Riot