From Monkey Wards to Monkey Business in Ann Arbor

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The Ann Arbor Comedy Showcase is moving!

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The new place is gonna be awesome. We are still right downtown with plenty of parking nearby. - Roger Feeny

We are pleased as Punch to announce the Ann Arbor Comedy Showcase is moving into some new digs. After more than 25 years in their current location at 314 East Liberty, the comedy club has decided to upgrade and is planning its move to 212 South Fourth Avenue to take place around the beginning of next year. The new location is in the Town Center Plaza, formerly the Montgomery Wards building.

The “new” Ann Arbor Comedy Showcase is being “beautifully [re]designed by the current owners and J. Bradley Moore & Associates Architects.” Working hand-in-hand with Claudia Neeb and Roger Feeny (partners in the Comedy Showcase management), Brad Moore has come up with a great design built purely for comedy with all sight lines towards the stage. One of the integral aspects of a comedy club is low ceilings and a great sound system. “Right now it’s like an unfinished basement,” says Roger Feeny, “so we are starting from scratch and are able to do the design the way we want it.” So the floor will be excavated in layers to make a theatre-like atmosphere and of course, the sound will be updated for the new dimensions of the showroom. A new addition to the club will be a bar area outside the showroom where customers can relax before the shows or finish a drink after and then head into the show or head home.

“The new place is gonna be awesome,” says Roger Feeny, “we are still right downtown with plenty of options for dining before shows and with plenty of parking around, it’s getting easier for people to come downtown for an evening of fun. Speaking of easier, the building will also have elevator access available, allowing us to escort our differently-abled guests into the showroom with ease.”

Building owner Dave Ebner is especially excited about the Comedy Showcase as a new tenant. “They were looking for long term tenancy, as were we, and so everyone is willing to make the move easy and the showroom the gem of the building. The businesses all up and down 4th Avenue will also benefit from the extra pedestrian traffic generated by the new businesses and tenants in the renovated building.”

Claudia Neeb added, “A lot of our customers are those who have dinner downtown and then come to the club for a show. Our new location will be central to the restaurants on Main Street, Liberty and even State Street. Downtown Ann Arbor is an entertainment destination for all of southeast Michigan and we are glad to be staying right in the middle of it all.”

As for the rest of the building, there are plans to add three stories of residential units on top of the existing two-story building and there is plenty of room for commercial tenants on the bottom floors; except the basement where all the laughs are!

According to well-connected rumors, the building just may be renamed The Montgomery Building when finished to honor its former big-time tenant.

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Roger Feeny
Ann Arbor Comedy Showcase
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