If growing up the fat Jewish kid in an otherwise Catholic Long Island neighborhood wasn't enough to make Eddie Sarfaty anxious, recognizing that he was gay must surely have done the trick. Sarfaty has grown up to make all of the above work for him, however, as grist for the standup comedy he now performs for a living.
Sarfaty, who is one of the comics scheduled to perform at the "2000 Night of Comedy," a benefit show for the Valley of the Sun Gay and Lesbian Community Center on Saturday, August 26, at the Orpheum Theatre, is one of the growing number of standups who bring a gay perspective to the usual material -- childhood, family relations, sex, politics, religion and so forth. He began his performing career as an acting student at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center, before giving up when he realized that, as his bio puts it, "Hamlet isn't supposed to be that funny." He (Sarfaty, that is, not Hamlet) toured with lesbian comic Linda Herskovic during the mid-'90s as "Two Consenting Adults," but he travels solo these days.
Showtime is, for some reason, 7:03 p.m. Tickets range from $10 to $24 in advance, $27 the day of the show, $45 if you want to go to the reception with the comics. For details call 602-262-7272 (Civic Plaza Box Office) or 602-265-7283 (The Center)
Slated to share the bill with Sarfaty at the Orpheum show are Kit Stewart and Michele Balan. The latter, an ebullient Jewish New Yorker who has played everywhere from the L.A. Improv to RSVP Cruises, is described by one critic as "the love child of George Burns and Bette Midler." That alone has to make her worth a look.