Hometown favorite Derek Hughes will help Acme Comedy Company ring in the new year with his unique blend of comedy and magic. The St. Paul native and Gopher alumni is a multi-talented performer who has appeared on the NBC standup showcase Late Friday as well as several sitcoms and network dramas, including Angel and CSI: NY. He developed a yen for performing while attending shows at Rib Tickler's comedy and magic club, the venue that formerly occupied the Acme space, as a teenager. During his tenure at the U he developed a magic act, then cut his teeth at local venues such as the Southern Theater and Patrick's Cabaret. Hughes's act always featured plenty of humor, but after performing at HBO's Aspen Comedy Festival, he was inspired to try jokes without accompanying tricks. "I saw so many great performers, and they were talking about things that were thought-provoking and hilarious. It was terrifying, the idea of not having a prop or some other things happening onstage. With standup, it's just your words and your thoughts, and if it doesn't resonate with the audience, you know instantly and unanimously." That transition has served Hughes well, leading him to a performance style that is equal parts wit and wonderment, a fusion of well-developed material and mind-bending illusions. 18+. (Photo by RJ Bejil)
Dec. 29-Jan. 2, 8 p.m.; Dec. 31-Jan. 2, 10:30 p.m., 2009
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