Grin and juice: Fresh-squeezed comedy in Prospect Lefferts Gardens

Man of the show: Comedian Eugene T. Barnes will host the four-week series “Juice: Cold Pressed Comedy” at the House of Juice starting on Aug. 13.
Photo by Jordan Rathkopf

This show goes down easy!

An organic juice bar in Prospect Lefferts Gardens is hoping to heal the neighborhood’s heart with healthy smoothies and a dose laughter — the best medicine. The House of Juice will host a month-long comedy series starting on Aug. 13, and the organizers think “Juice: Cold Pressed Comedy” will help bridge cultural gaps in the gentrifying neighborhood.

“Given the times and what’s going on, we wanted something that will bring the community together and help enjoy themselves and enjoy their differences — that’s not a lot of what you see going on,” said Danii Oliver, owner of House of Juice “We wanted to foster more community spirit.”

There may be spirit, but there will be no spirits at the alcohol-free event, which will take place in the juicery’s back yard. Keeping the show sober makes it a healthy alternative for those who may not venture into the bars, said Oliver.

“We wanted to encourage more people to come out and enjoy themselves and not have to feel the pressures of eating unhealthy or drinking alcohol if they don’t want to,” she said.

With each ticket, guests will get a smoothie, juice, or tonic, along with a taste of tapas, such as jerk or buffalo chicken bites.

The host of the series, Manhattan comedian Eugene T. Barnes, has assembled a diverse group of jokesters for the shows.

“I’m bringing New York City and the tri-state’s comedy scene to Brooklyn,” said Barnes, who describes his comedy as a middle ground between Bill Cosby and Eddie Murphy.

Barnes will introduce five new comedians for each night of the series. Their jokes will feature a robust blend of topics, he said, including relationships, family issues, sex, and politics.

“It’s going to be a little bit of everything — I have guys who are going to be totally raw,” said Barnes. “There’s going to be sex jokes, some guys who fall in middle, and I have some guys that might be a little cleaner and keep it PG,” said Barnes.

Barnes chose comedians to provide a sampler of different comedic flavors, but noted that audiences might want to get in while the series is still just sprouting.

“I really wanted to bring diversity to the neighborhood — exposing people to different types of comedy they might not see living in Prospect Lefferts Gardens,” said Barnes. “I want it to be huge. The first show is going to be one to see — we definitely have it stacked, talent-wise.”

“Juice: Cold Pressed Comedy” at House of Juice [642 Rogers Ave. between Parkside and Clarkson avenues in Prospect Lefferts Gardens, www.houseofjuicebk.com, (347) 974–1985]. Saturdays at 8 pm, Aug. 13–Sept. 3. $20.

Partners in health: Danii Oliver, left, and her husband Kevin Braithwaite, right, own the House of Juice in Prospect-Lefferts Gardens. Oliver says she organized the comedy show to bring the gentrifying neighborhood together.
Photo by Jordan Rathkopf

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