A blast of stand-up comedy and music may be a surefire way to banish the winter blahs.
The 2016 dinner theater series at the Cape Codder Resort & Spa in Hyannis is back for its 16th season with an entertaining mix topped by a grand dinner buffet.
“It's a great night of entertainment with dinner and you don't have to travel,” said Joyce Groemmer, director of marketing for the Catania Hospitality Group.
This year's lineup of seven shows includes a few new acts and the return of several favorites back by popular demand. Psychic Jon Stetson, the inspiration for CBS' “The Mentalist,” will make a return appearance on April 9 with his mind-bending comedy show.
“He's phenomenal,” Groemmer said. “People flock to that show.”
Also back is “Kindled Keys: Dueling Pianos on Fire” on March 5 with two talented pianists playing the music of various decades and genres on two replica baby grand pianos. Comedy on the Road will play for laughs on Feb. 27 and March 19 with an assortment of stand-up comedians from Boston, New York and Vermont.
New this year is “Fenian's Sons,” a five-piece Irish band, who will play Irish favorites on March 12. The dinner series will close on April 23 with “The Raging Parent” featuring comedian Brian Powers.
A highlight of the series promises to be a repeat performance by The World Gone Crazy Comedy Band on Feb. 6. The band is celebrating its fifth anniversary with its new “Crazy After These Five Years” tour. The show is a mad mix of song parodies of the current news, set to rock 'n' roll songs and spiced with stand-up comedy, impressions, TV commercial spoofs and audience participation. The act features a four-piece band of musicians, who are also stand-up comics.
“It's a comedy first act and a music act second,” said its creator Gary Marino, a comedy show producer in Boston. Marino describes the show as a rock 'n' roll version of the improv group Capitol Steps, TV's “The Daily Show” and “Saturday Night Live,” and the Blue Naked Ladies. This year's show has been revamped with topical material.
“The show's writing itself these days,” Marino said. “There is so much in the news. It's such a good time to be in comedy.”
Marino conceived the idea for the World Gone Crazy Band for his clients, who wanted something new and different. The band made its premiere at the Hyannis hotel in 2011.
“The reaction was good from the get-go,” Marino said.
Much of the material is taken from the headlines, with the 2016 presidential campaign front and center. There's a song about Republican frontrunner Donald Trump's hair and another song about the scandals constantly swirling around Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton.
“There are so many scandals that we miss the good old days when Bill succumbed to a Big Mac Attack,” Marino chuckled.
“We take on everything from shopping at Walmart to Lady Gaga,” Marino said.
The band skewers cougars, welfare cheats, male/female relationships, online dating sites and TV commercials for prescription drugs. There's a parody of Provincetown set to Billy Joel's “Allentown.” The band's also dedicated a song to Kaitlyn Jenner, set to Squeeze's “Tempted.”
“We don't make fun of her,” Marino said. “We support her.”
A reworked version of John Lennon's “Imagine,” titled “Imagine There is No Facebook,” skewers technology and social media. Marino, a self-taught drummer, has put together a new band consisting of one part original, himself; two parts inevitable, impressionist/guitarist Joe Long and Bill E. Focker on keyboards; and one part “adorable,” singer/comic Julie DiOrio,for the female perspective.
“It's much more of an ensemble show,” he said. “Everybody sings and takes a turn in the spotlight.”
World Gone Crazy plays 20 shows a year at area ski resorts, hotels and casinos.
“It's a blast. It's more fun than ever,” Marino said. “We feel great that we get to go out and do this fun show.”
The band has a special fondness for the Cape, where the band made its debut.
“Cape audiences are always great,” Marino said.