A lot of artists who come to Boise like it so much, they return to perform again and again. Andrew Sleighter would count himself in that group. Several years ago, the 30-something, Los Angeles-based comic got his first headlining spot at Liquid Laughs, which his why he decided to record a comedy album at Liquid, which Sleighter will do while he's here Thursday, Dec. 14-Sunday, Dec. 17 (he's recording his Friday and Saturday night shows).
It's Sleighter's first "real" recorded special—he'd like to think the 100 copies of the debut album be put out almost a decade ago will never resurface—and he plans to push it out to Sirius XM, Spotify and more. As funny as Sleighter is, that won't be a tough sell.
Sleighter also isn't afraid of putting in the work to make things happen. He's booked pretty solid through August of next year. wrote for the Sports Show with Norm Macdonald on Comedy Central, performed on Last Comic Standing and did stand-up on Conan. He probably had his choice of clubs to record in, but Liquid was at the top of his list.
"I've always had good luck with Boise crowds," Sleighter said. "Boise is one of my favorite places to play, and [the crowds] are always smart and cool." He added that he's particularly excited about the Boise shows because he's been working on a new hour for more than a year, so it will be "fresh." It will also be authentic, both onstage and off.
"What gets recorded gets recorded," Sleighter said. "[I] can't go back and say, 'Add a laugh here,' or anything. I think that would sound so bad."
Sleighter recognizes that a whole new show and the pressures of recording do bring risks, but the payoff is worth it.
"Comedy is fragile," he said. "A lot of things can ruin it. But when it's right, it is so right." Get tickets at liquidboise.com.
In other funny news, playwright Dano Madden has released another web series based on a quintessential, New York City niche profession—his first series, Precious Cargo (preciouscargowebseries.com), focused on two sisters tutoring the children of "the one-percenters." Brokers, which the former Idahoan wrote with star Aaron Ballard, is about Ellen (Ballard), a young woman from the South who moves to NYC and finds herself working as a liaison for people in search of a Big Apple abode. From eccentric coworkers to demanding clients, Ellen has to navigate the pitfalls of NYC real estate—as well as her family back home. Visit brokerswebshow.com for more info, and watch all six episodes on YouTube.
Lights are twinkling, hot chocolate is brewing, Santa is grooming his beard and, in Boise, the Xtreme Holiday Xtravaganza variety show is back in town for its 12th annual run with Curtis Stigers and friends. Co-hosted by Stigers, the renowned singer/songwriter/saxophonist, and Jodi Peterson, co-director and development director of Interfaith Sanctuary, the show will feature "dancers, comedians, musicians and community figures." There are two shows—Sunday, Dec. 17 and Monday, Dec. 18—and it's all happening at the Egyptian Theatre. Proceeds benefit Interfaith Sanctuary. Get tickets at curtisstigers.com
The Xtravaganza isn't the only holiday event in Boise going all-out for charity this year. The annual Idaho Ho Ho CD, retitled Ida Ho Ho for 2017, will continue its mission of giving on Wednesday, Dec. 13, when musicians featured on the album perform at the Visual Arts Collective to benefit the WCA—plus, expect an appearance from performers from Alley Repertory Theater production The Golden Girls Christmas Extravaganza will make an appearance.
The CD, produced by Audio Lab Recording Studios, is a Record Exchange best seller with tracks by Idaho artists Lounge on Fire, Pure Ivy, Belinda Bowler, Swillbilly, Steve Fulton, Leta Neustaedter, Vashti Summervill, Lindsey Hunt, Rob Harding, The Moody Jews, Eric Henderson and more. Visit facebook.com/vacuber for tickets and info.
- Courtesy Idahoho
And in a non-music related bit of arts news, a new exhibit of work by local painter Rachel Teannalach is on display at the Northwest Nazarene University Friesen Gallery through Monday, March 12, 2018. Portals features 14 towering works of oil on linen depicting emblematic landscapes—like the Sawtooth and White Cloud Mountains, the Boise Foothills, Bruneau Sand Dunes and Hell's Canyon—within 150 miles of the Boise. Each painting features intense interplays of color and light representative of Idaho. Join Teannalach for an artist reception Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2018, 4-6 p.m. Visit art.nnu.edu/friesen-galleries for more info.