LIVE is back! Wendy Liebman’s ‘Locally Grown Comedy,’ Feinsteins at Vitello’s

 The world is trying to get back to normal. An encouraging sign is seeing the return of live shows at nightclubs and on theater stages in the Los Angeles area and beyond. Yes, LIVE performances, to make our lives richer for the in-person communal experience of seeing great entertainment.

Wendy Liebman (photo by Dan Waite)

 A sure sign of the return of nightclub life is seeing that Wendy Liebman’s comedy show is back at the popular LA Valley nightclub Feinstein’s at Vitello’s. For years (since 2015) Wendy Liebman’s Locally Grown Comedy was on the monthly schedule at Feinstein’s. Wendy showcases talented comics from mostly the North Hollywood and Burbank neighborhoods in the surrounding area of Valley Village where Vitello’s is nestled.

 “Up until the pandemic I had five to nine comics featured. And for the first three and a half years I hosted each showcase,” said Liebman. “Then when I got hit by the car I had people fill in like Fritz Coleman, Jimmy Brogan and Jackie Kashian.” All her friends and outstanding comedians in their own right.

 As any creative comic would, Wendy used her misfortune as fodder for her act. She jokes, “After the accident I woke up in the hospital. I didn’t know where I was, but I knew I wasn’t at home because someone was vacuuming.”

 Wendy’s back now, recovered from her accident and for her first show after the long pandemic lockdown she explained, “I decided to go with two great comics per show and I’ll host. And we’re on a Friday or Saturday night at my favorite nightclub Feinstein’s at Vitello’s. I started the show here because we lived around the corner and I wanted to be able to walk to a gig. Then we moved. But I still love performing in town, and so do all the comedians.”

 Past performers for her Locally Grown Comedy show included John Mulaney, George Lopez, Tig Notaro, Nikki Glaser, Iliza Schlesinger, Arsenio, Russell Peters, Cathy Ladman, and the impressive list goes on and on. 

 Upcoming for Wendy Liebman’s monthly gigs are headliners Tom Papa & Zainab Johnson on September 4, 2021, and Alonzo Bodden & Frances DiLorenzo on October 8, 2021. These are among the exciting collection of live shows on the schedule for Feinstein’s at Vitello’s. It is a classic cabaret-style supper club that has turned into a hotspot for live music and comedy. It is the inspiration of the Great American Songbook musician-singer Michael Feinstein. He redesigned the club that was “Upstairs at Vitello’s,” above the popular Studio City restaurant on Tujunga Avenue in the trendy Valley Village area.

Monica Piper (photo by Dan Waite)

 Review: Since Feinstein’s opened post-lockdown, Wendy Liebman’s Locally Grown Comedy first show was on August 6, and featured sweet singer and guitarist Alex Sherman for some pre-show entertainment as masked patrons made their way into the showroom after showing their required proof of vaccination or recent negative Cover test. That safety protocol helped everyone relax and have a great night out.

 Host Wendy Liebman (of AGT, and Kimmel fame) began her hilarious comedy set welcoming everyone back to live performances, and the audience offered so much enthusiasm Wendy responded saying, “That was like you were squeezing me so hard, it felt like getting a mammogram.”

 She peppered her comedy set with new material dealing with what we’ve all gone through the past year. Lines like “I couldn’t even home-school my inner child,” offered a magical dose of laughter that helps to us understand we’re all in this together.

Hannah Einbinder (photo by Dan Waite)

Ultra-tall Hannah Einbinder started her set with funny physical comedy repositioning the microphone from the micro-petite Liebman. Hannah is an Emmy nominee for Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Comedy Series, for her role as Ava Daniels in the HBO Max series Hacks. Truly a talent on the rise, she did an emotional meltdown of the funny kind when interacting with the audience.

 The featured headliner was the Monica Piper, a hysterical dynamo who knocks your socks off with her comedy. She’s a standup veteran who’s also an Emmy Award-winning and Golden Globe-nominated writer and actor. Her stellar TV work includes Roseanne, Mad About You, Rugrats, and she’s strutted her stuff off Broadway in her show Not That Jewish.

 Monica’s side-splitting routine at Feinstein’s included her observations about aging, adopting, and her funny Bronx family. Her powerful delivery started with “It’s great we’re not Zooming, you can’t mute me!” Thank goodness. 

 Wendy Liebman’s Locally Grown Comedy on August 6 was an expertly crafted show with great talent. Let’s give Zoom a rest and enjoy live performances.

 Go to to find more great shows.

Margie Barron has written for a wide variety of outlets including Gannett newspapers, Nickelodeon, Tiger Beat and 16 Magazine, Fresh!, Senior Life, Production Update, airline magazines, etc. Margie is also proud to have been half of the husband & wife writing team Frank & Margie Barron, who had written together for various entertainment and travel publications for more than 38 years. Frank Barron was the editor of The Hollywood Reporter, having served twice in that capacity. In between, he was West Coast news director for Billboard Publications, supervising their five magazines. Barron also created the western TV series “The Man From Blackhawk” for the ABC network. For more than three decades he and writer-wife Margie Barron covered Hollywood for Production Update magazine, and they contributed to numerous publications.