It’s been a significant several months for Ghost Bear Productions (GBP). The live entertainment stand-up comedy booking agency, focused on Jersey City, started it’s ambitions late 2017. And after 15 plus events producing shows for FM Jersey City, Pet Shop, and LITM, the comedy driven duo of Sean Van Kleeff and Josh Wells has quickly found legitimacy and profound satisfaction through their work.
“It’s been a long ride,” Van Kleeff stated. “Like in any start-up, there are the unknown. But we only knew what we wanted to do, so we started this thing called Ghost Bear.”
Passion in any project needs to be within the DNA, and in comedy, the work is hard but rewarding.
“Yea, it’s rewarding. It’s fun, especially for me,” said Wells. “I use my contacts to comics around the area, and book the line up for the specific show. The fun is very important.”
Josh Wells, during majority of the shows book and help with the MC part of the evening – starting and handing off the different comics coming on stage, putting his own twist to the situations, and handling (massaging?) the feel of the audiences characteristics and moods.
“That’s another thing that I like to do and enjoy it a lot,” said Wells about the MC job. “Taking the feel of the crowd then ad-libbing to make things smooth, is a joy for me.”
“Josh does a great job of booking the right comics, and coordinating the dates. He feels out the theme of the proposed show and goes with it,” said Van Kleeff. “I think we’re a good combination.”
On May 9th, their latest comedy foray took place at their ‘home base’ LITM. At the Jersey City, Grove Street located bar and restaurant, GBP had their First Mother’s Day themed event. The event was dedicated to the mothers out there and in the restaurant, for their ‘hard work and dedication’ to their ‘craft’.
The evening cast 6 comics who were all mothers of their own little ones. Comics: Karen Krents, Angelique, Michele Trania, Andrea Glaser, Randi Lupo, and feature Ritu Chandra gathered together to bring some mom-comedy to the joint.
The witty banter style of Karen Krents lit up the stage with her magnetic personality, packed inside a very small framed Jewish mom’s body. Her attitude on her womanly needs and opinions on ‘habits’ was certainly a topic for the evening. Angelique, in contrast, was the ‘only daughter’ who’d become a mom and depicted with sass, her motherly ‘costume’ for all to see. Her antics and prescribed schtick was tragedy wrapped up in ‘day in the life’ of what many moms can relate to. Michele Trania is the star of her own comic series ‘Divorce Diaries’ and is featured at Carolines. Her antics took the night to another level, as her topical rants about dating and kids, reminded us of what it’s like out there. Andrea Glaser, the former lawyer, delivered to perfection, her trade mark ‘ticks’ on what it’s like to be married, and how the relationship with her husband is and can be. Her slow draw deliveries make pauses, a comic sun-ray of laughs. Rani Lupo started off the evening and her bulldozer style of rants and observations, put the spotlight on the obvious and obviously under-appreciated. Her empathetic approach to comedy is apparent and appreciated by moms everywhere. Last but not least, the feature comic Ritu Chandra came off swinging for the finale and hit a home run. With her sharp ‘criticisms’, ‘self-deprecation’, and ‘suburban mom’ situations, the crowd received what it needed. The 40-something mom loves her family (just like the other comics this night) but there’s zero chance that ‘poop’ jokes weren’t in the cards.
From the crowd’s response to the comics, the evening was pleasantly enjoyable and much laughter was delivered. The mothers held their professions to a high level and delivered with ease and entertainment expertise.
It was certainly one of the best GBP shows held at LITM, to date.