Italian-American stand-up comics come to Cortland Repertory Theatre

Johnny Rizzo and Liz Russo (photos provided)

Cortland Repertory Theatre RT Downtown proudly presents the ITALIAN COMEDY FESTA, on Saturday, October 19 at 7:30. Johnny Rizzo and Liz Russo, two of America’s top Italian-American stand-up comics, will serve up heaping helpings of huge laughs as they talk about growing up Italian with food, family and funny! But you CRT don’t have to be Italian to get the lasagna jokes!

Johnny Rizzo has been cracking up audiences around the country for over 30 years. He has headlined across the country in some of the most popular clubs including The Bitter End in NYC, the Borgota Casino in Atlantic City, the Riviera and Sun Coast casinos in Las Vegas and at all the major comedy clubs including Madison Square Garden.

Rizzo has opened for such superstars as Jay Leno, Richard Belzer, Dennis Miller, Tommy Chong, Joan Rivers, “Weird” Al Yankovic, Ray Charles, Little Anthony and the Imperials, The Mamas and the Papas, Pat Cooper and Henny Youngman. He has appeared on numerous television shows including Last Comic Standing, 30 Seconds to Fame, Comedy on the Road and The Joan Lunden Show. He also received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Achievement – Performance Artist, for the acclaimed CPTV comedy special, Hot Summer Nights. He also hosted his own public-access talk and variety show.

Liz Russo has been performing for over a decade and headlines regularly for comedy clubs, colleges, theaters, casinos, festivals, and events across the country. She filmed for Laughs on FOX, and recently was a guest on Sirius XM’s My Wife Hates Me. Liz can also be seen on YouTube web series, Transform My Transformers. Adding to her acting credits is the independent short film The Bottle, the original sitcom A Hot Mess and the drama series A Hundred Indecisions on STE-TV.

Russo was a regular at the Comedy Stop at the Tropicana Casino in Atlantic City and her self-produced and hosted showcases, One Night Stand with Liz Russo, was a long running hit at Caroline’s on Broadway in NYC. Liz’s national comedy festival credits include Gilda’s Laugh Fest in Grand Rapids, Laugh Your Asheville Off Comedy Festival in Asheville, NC; the World Series of Comedy in Providence, RI; North Carolina Comedy Arts Festival in Chapel Hill, as well as the Out of Bounds Comedy Festival in Austin, and most recently the prestigious and industry attended Boston Comedy Festival in Boston.

Advance tickets for CRT’s ITALIAN COMEDY FESTA are $20; tickets the day of will be $25. A beer/wine cash bar will be available. For more information, visit www.cortlandrep.org. Tickets are available for purchase online at the theatre’s website, or by calling 800-427-6160 or by visiting CRT Downtown at 24 Port Watson Street in Cortland, Monday thru Friday, 9:00 – 5:00.