Twice a month, this super-cool spot is set to be packed to the rafters with comedy fans, and for good reason. Most nights robbed of their headliner by a motorway prang would struggle to keep it together. But not Tr!beca. Thanks to the cucumber-cool compère Dave Marosi and the rest of the line-up, Simeon Goodson’s absence didn’t turn the evening into a car crash.
Marosi set the tone perfectly with a pull-no-punches routine that contained some scathing observations on racial stereotyping and the best uses for a VPN. Although the UK contingent of Sam Moult and Luke Hacker were not everyone’s cup of tea (the latter’s clever humour seeming a little out of sync with the general tone), Junaid Akram’s filling to their sandwich was well received, and rightly so.
The charming Canadian William Robson also went down a treat, showing a rare trait in a comic – compassion – along with some dark humour that had the audience in his thrall. Omar Shams displayed a distinct menace during his piece, although he did lose his way a little in the middle, but the undeniable show-stealer was Rayan H Karaky.
What the Lebanese whirling dervish might lack in muscle, he more than makes up for in fighting talk. His delivery style was far more than the chaotic rambling it might appear to be and had those who could keep up in stitches. Taking a dig at his fellow countrymen was where he was truly in his element, hilariously ridiculing their perception that Beirut is the best place on the planet and nothing, not even a trip to Mars, could better it.
Overall, this is a well-oiled machine, despite what could have been a huge spanner in the works. The Dubai comedy scene needs more platforms for local talent to hone their skills and this is undoubtedly a welcome addition, worth putting in your calendar.
To top it off, the food brought a smile to our faces, too.
Free. Every other Sunday, 7pm-11pm (next event February 21). JA Ocean View Hotel, JBR (050 345 6067050 345 6067).
The bottom line
Good food and great gags in an über-trendy venue.