The Market Lounge & Comedy Club in Valparaiso may close in late 2022, but not before comedian Dwight Simmons returns to perform there.
He’s doing two stand-up sets on December 2nd at the venue, which opened in 2020. Steven Saylor and Will Hill open both shows.
“The market is incredibly supportive. It’s a fun room. You don’t always get that in comedy, where you’re treated like rock stars,” said Simmons from Indianapolis.
“It was nice to see familiar faces in the audience remembering the jokes you made last year and excited about the new material you have going forward and I was blown away by how good it was Food at The Market was. It’s a really good menu. All dishes are prepared with love.”
Audiences at Simmons’ final shows at The Market Lounge & Comedy Club can help create his comedy special, filming at The Comedy Attic in Bloomington in January.
“I’ll be working on new footage to get this camera ready,” said Simmons, who has released two comedy albums: 2018’s Sip and Pass and 2015’s Pacifist Aggressive.
“It’s about life, being newly married and navigating our political spectrum, and a bit of silliness to get in there too. It’s 45 minutes about who I am as a comedian and who I am as a person. It will hopefully be a fun set with lots of punch lines and laughter.
“I like to immerse myself in real life and exaggerate stories. This particular set is made up of a lot of things that happened during lockdown and the pandemic, my marriage, life after and this new life we’re all adjusting to after lockdown. I’ve always had a goofy style, so he adds my own unique twist to that.”
Not only are there familiar faces when Simmons returns at The Market Lounge & Comedy Club, but some viewers stay for multiple sets.
“Especially at this venue, a lot of people will be staying for both shows, so I’m happy to change it up a bit. I’m running material for the special, so there will definitely be a crossover, but the sets won’t be identical,” he said.
“I’m bringing some special merch for people coming to The Market. I’m grateful to be in the stable of comics who have had the privilege of appearing there regularly and I hope whatever they do next is successful.”
Simmons is working with Cincinnati-based Four By Three Productions, which produces and distributes independent films and comedy specials, to film in Bloomington.
“That’s where I started doing comedy. This is my first special so I’m really looking forward to it. It’s nice to be able to walk into a room that I’ve stayed in a few times. It’s like a home game,” said Simmons, who began open mic stand-up while a student at Indiana University Bloomington.
Simmons, a self-proclaimed craft beer dog, hosts the web series BrewTube Comedy, which he started a few years ago to see what happens when local comedians perform at local breweries.
He has also been a writer for the national radio show The Bob & Tom Show for about three years.
“When I had nowhere to travel, it was something I could do from home. It felt like it kept me mentally sharp where I couldn’t just sit around and watch Netflix and play video games all day,” Simmons said.
Simmons estimates he travels nearly 40 weeks a year for his comedy.
“Indianapolis is a great scene where I don’t always have to travel, but most of my shows are on the road. I’ve done stand-up in Los Angeles, New York and the Upper Peninsula,” he said.
Closer to home, Simmons spent three years co-directing the annual Limestone Comedy Festival, presenting its 10th edition June 1-3 in Bloomington.
When: 8pm and 10:30pm December 2nd
Where: The Market Lounge & Comedy Club, 2405 US 30, Valparaiso
Tickets: no cover; only from 21 years
Information: 219-531-0162; themarketvalpo.com
Jessi Virtusio is a freelance reporter for the Post-Tribune.