By Chesney Hearst, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Stand-up comedy continues in Lapa as American Kim Levone’s production company, Improbable Comedy, hosts its Mic Aberto (Open Mic) monthly Grand Finale this Tuesday, November 26th at Centro’s La Carmelita Pizzaria.
Guest MC Rafael Studart will open the night beginning around 8PM and amateur comedians Kiko Oliveira, Kwesny Mendonça and Fabiane Dias will follow as they battle it out to become the Mic Aberto monthly champion.
Behind the show is Kim Levone, an American who worked as a Maryland social worker for fourteen years. Still mastering the Portuguese language, Levone now spends her time helping others to laugh and to grow their careers.
“I named my company Improbable Comedy to embrace the craziness of the move from clinical social work to comedy production,” Levone explained to The Rio Times.
Levone was reborn as a comedy producer years ago in the United States when during a dinner party a friend of her husband’s family, Joan Kohn, said something that changed the direction of Levone’s life.
Unbeknownst to Levone at that time, Kohn was a writer, associate producer and host on HGTV (Home and Garden Television) channel. During their conversation Levone said something which prompted Kohn to make the observation: “Sounds like you want to produce a comedy show.”
Levone proceeded to do just that and in a short time period, she successfully produced four comedy shows in America.
When her family later moved to Brazil, Levone remained determined to keep the laughs coming, even if she no longer completely understood the punchlines.
“It’s been a real challenge working in Portuguese,” said Levone. “We have had a good response from the comedy community to the idea of helping with “movimento” [movement] in the scene. […] They also enjoy the community of comics – feeling like they are part of something cool,” she added.
The “we”, is Levone and her Brazilian partner in the production of the shows, Paulo Vinnicius.
“Comédia em Pé was the first real stand-up show in Brazil,” Levone said while explaining the origins of Mic Aberto in Rio. “Claudio Torres Gonzaga is the leader of that show (which used to be in Gávea and now is in Barra). I met him and Carol Zoccoli at a show in February.”
“Carol started a Mic Aberto in São Paulo two years ago and she introduced me to Paulo [Vinnicius] at the Virada Cultural (a cultural event) in São Paulo,” she continued.
“After the course I did not stop seeking to learn more and I evolved through every presentation,” Vinnicius told The Rio Times. “It’s what I enjoy doing,” he said.
“The stand-up comedy is not as strong in Rio as it is in São Paulo, but I think the response [to Mic Aberto] has been great,” said Vinnicus. “The public is always receptive and we can always count on to enlist the help of a few comedians.”
Mic Aberto in Rio started with four shows in the venue known as La Esquina in Lapa and Tuesday night’s Grand Finale will mark Mic Aberto’s fourth show in its cozy new home oat La Carmelita Pizzaria in the same area.
Read more (in Portuguese).
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