From last year, with the devastation of the pandemic and the rise of culture from home, people and publications have steadily lamented the “end of New York City.” And it’s true, many who called the city home have flocked to less dense (and more affordable) areas. We will not deny that there is a definite shift in our country – Manhattan and Brooklyn rental rates have been falling for the first time in a long time – while we are struggling with reality by living in unprecedented times. But do not let anyone ever convince you that New York is capable of dying. It’s New York we’re talking about, it’s known as the city that never sleeps for a reason.
Give them a moment and the citizens of the Big Apple will find new ways to innovate and breathe new life into everything they touch. Just ask Mickela Mallozzi – dancer, travel show host and proud New Yorker – who wrote on this very topic for our Fall Experiences Guide.
For David Levine and Ethan Mansoor, the chance to be a part of how NYC emerges from the pandemic means shaking up the famous New York comedy scene – making it more accessible and ubiquitous than ever. The idea is Overground Underground, which occupies unorthodox locations and turns them into punk rock -DIY comedy venues. A barbershop, a laundromat, a boxing ring and a rooftop terrace are all great comedy venues in the minds of Levine and Mansoor.
“Honestly, we had no idea what it was going to turn out to be,” Levine says. “It’s not that old school clubs needed an upgrade, but there’s a lot of formality that we do not always want when we see shows. You sit in a certain place that is minimum items and then you have to wait for the check to come before you can get up. In the second, where our shows end, music explodes and people get to laugh about the scenes and move around the room. ”
Levine and Mansoor’s shows blur the boundaries between audience and performer in an attempt to create something more intimate and communal.
“Comedians just want a good crowd to perform for,” Levine says. “We are a bunch of lively 21-25 year olds drinking in a laundromat and they love that energy when they are on stage … They are creative people as long as the performances are well run and concentrated on comedy, they welcome the unorthodox site choices and the willingness to take a risk. ”
Levine and Mansoor’s efforts are not just for comedy’s experimental new children – they also attract big names and regulars from New York’s Comedy Cellar, such as Sherrod Small, Phil Hanley, Kerry Codett, Mark Normand and Dave Attell, who have all performed sets for Supernatural Underground crowds. It’s a reminder that New York is and probably always will be the epicenter of American comedy.
“Yes and…” to, The angels.
Check out Overground Underground’s Instagram to stay up to date with the crew’s latest dates, including upcoming performances at Soho Ink on October 23rd and Economy Candy on November 3rd.