Tuesday, January 24th
For well over a decade, City Winery has been one of my favorite venues to see live music and entertainment. It is a joy to be seated comfortably whilst enjoying great food and drink and watching your favorite artists perform. You know, like a grown-up. So, when I learned Seth Meyers was performing on my husband’s actual birthday, it was a no-brainer.
Laughing out loud with friends is a communion, an escape. It feels like a reunion with a long-lost college buddy with whom you’d make innocuous mischief, the friend you could also always rely on to have your back too. And Seth Meyer’s set at City Winery on Tuesday, January 24th was exactly that.
Much of Meyer’s set was new material yet still full of his familiar observational, ironic sarcasm. So naturally, hilarity with a sprinkling of absurdity ensued. An upcoming appearance on PBS’ Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr served as fodder for much of Meyer’s set. He traversed a variety of domestic subjects including his genealogy, his wife’s family dynamic, and how hers varies wildly from his own upbringing. He then pivoted toward the machinations of his own nuclear family. He joked about the pleasures and terrors of raising small children in New York City, fatherhood, and teaching your children valuable life lessons while navigating a global pandemic and impossible parenting standards, delivered of course, with a wink and a nod.
This routine is not the Seth Meyers of SNL or that of a late-night talk show host. He is more casual, less deadpan, and less biting. We see a warmer, more personal side of Meyers. The longer setup enables Meyers, as he paces back and forth, to share his backstory. He fosters an almost wholesome sense of comradery. But then he delivers the punchline which is always just a little bit naughty or slightly left of PC. The audience erupts in laughter because Meyers reliably touches on a twisted or uncomfortable version of the truth. And the truth is always funnier than fiction. The set didn’t feel like he was workshopping, he was just flat-out funny. And to reference another former host of SNL weekend update, “It’s [his] story, and [he’s] sticking to it.”
Of the overall experience, the new event space on 11th Avenue is larger than Varick Street. Yet the location yet still feels intimate but with the added bonus of being able to navigate the aisle with more ease. The acoustics and sight lines in the 11th Avenue location are excellent. Service was friendly and swift and the fare was delicious. All around the evening was the perfect way to spend my husband’s birthday. You have two more chances to catch Seth Meyers at City Winery on February 6th and 9th. Go laugh, you won’t regret it.
Seth Meyers will be back at City Winery on Monday February 6 (https://citywinery.com/NewYork/Online/default.asp?BOparam::WScontent::loadArticle::permalink=NYC-Seth-Meyers-2-6-23-8pm&BOparam::WScontent::loadArticle::context_id=)
Review and Photos by Beth Eisgrau-Heller