The comedy vet makes his way to City Winery this weekend, and he’s looking to keep us in the moment
It’s been a few months since Tom Papa was learning how to make fresh lobster tails at Maria’s Pastry Shop during an episode of the Food Network’s Baked with Tom Papa. Now, come Saturday (May 4), just five minutes from the Cross Street bakery, he’ll be putting down some fresh stand-up at another bustling Boston locale.
Papa brings his latest batch of material to City Winery this weekend, and while he really has nothing left to prove after nearly 30 years in the business, the New Jersey native is by no means phoning it in as he prepares to shoot his next special later this year.
He’s always trying to find new ways to keep his shows unique, and whether it be tried-and-true crowd work, or even injecting some elements of improv into his set, Papa is just looking to keep everyone in the moment, and give the crowd and escape from their everyday lives for a few hours.
“Anything you can do to make it fresh and in the moment, and make everyone in the room present, it’s going to add life to [the material],” Papa tells Vanyaland. “So, if that’s coming up with new material, that puts me on edge, or talking to the audience, which puts everybody on edge, or something else that’s going to make it alive and unpredictable and you don’t know what’s going to happen, that’s what will wake everyone up and keeps us all present. That doesn’t mean it’s going to turn out great, but it’s definitely something truthful and in the moment.”
Papa is all about living in the moment, and enjoying all the great things that life on the road has to offer. He’s pretty busy, though, with a second book in the works (the follow-up to 2018’s Your Dad Stole My Rake: And Other Family Dilemmas), as well as his podcast Come To Papa, and his touring gig with Live From Here, the new edition of A Prairie Home Companion. His schedule may be full, but he’s excited for a rare few days off in Boston following his show on Saturday to experience his favorite aspects of the city before he makes his way to New York to shoot a movie.
“When I’m touring, I always want an extra day to hang out, but I never get it because I have to move on to the next spot,” says the Los Angeles-based comedy vet. “But because of the shooting schedule, I have a few days off in Boston, so I’m looking forward to relaxing, eating some great food, and seeing some friends [while I’m there].”
TOM PAPA :: Saturday, May 4 at City Winery, 80 Beverly St. in Boston, MA :: 7 p.m., $30 to $40 :: City Winery Event Page