Stand-up comedy returns to Palace Theater main stage next weekend for the first time in a long time.
Comedian Steve Bruner and “Rock Star Juggler” Mike Price will headline the Saturday Night Spectacular on August 27 at The Palace. Show time is at 7:30 p.m.
Palace executive director Kirk Detwiler said he was delighted to have a comedy show back on the main stage. The theater has hosted many comedy shows in the May Pavilion over the past few years.
“Our goal is to bring the next generation to the Palace, to give them something they want,” Detwiler said. “Stand-up comedy is hugely popular with young people – the latest baby boomers, millennials, etc. They’re the ones missing out. We’ve found over the last couple of years or so that we don’t attract a lot of people. the 20-50 age group, unless their kids or grandkids are on one of the shows, so we wanted to reach out to them and give them something that targets that demographic.
Bruner’s biography on his website says, “he looks like a perfectly normal guy…until he opens his mouth.” The stage veteran has appeared on Showtime’s “Comedy Club Network,” A&E’s “An Evening at the Improv,” ABC’s “Into the Night,” and “The Byron Allen Show.” He has also performed at some of the top comedy clubs across the country including The Comedy Store, The Improv, The Comedy & Magic Club, The Laugh Factory, The Punchline, Catch a Rising Star, The Ice House, for n to name a few.
As a sophomore in high school, Bruner began writing jokes, then entered and won several college comedy competitions.
“I’ve always wanted to be an actor since I was about seven, so the family says,” said Bruner, a native of Santa Rosa, Calif., who has been in the business for 30 years. “I think I did a report in sophomore year that said when I grow up I want to make people laugh on stage. I don’t think I had the comedian thing as a reference, but I always this paper. I moved to San Francisco after college and worked as a stockbroker day and night, did the open mics and got paid – that’s not a good economics discussion – but I got paid $12.20 to do stand-up.
“I went in and gave my two weeks notice to the stockbroker and was starving for a little while, because $12 doesn’t go that far. But every month I was making a little more and soon I was paying my rent. It was fair. I wrote for TV for a little while and was doing stand-up during that time. I really like the performance part and I’m still writing. I guess I I’ll stop if I ever stop thinking funny, but so far it’s been joyful.”
His comedy career has taken Bruner to 49 states — he hopes to visit South Dakota next year for a show that was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic — and 70 countries.
During his career, Bruner has notably made headlines with major cruise lines such as Norwegian, Princess, Celebrity and Royal Caribbean. Detwiler said he became familiar with Bruner’s work when he was cruise director for Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines.
“I probably worked with him five times a year for 15 years when I was cruise director for Royal Caribbean,” Detwiler said. “The reason he was my first choice is because I thought he would be a great fit in Marion, Ohio. He’s a clean comedian. He’s very Jerry Seinfeld-esque in that he does a lot observational humor, relationship humor, family humor. He keeps everything clean. He has a baby face – old ladies fall in love with him. I thought this would be a good way to kick off the comedy here, to have someone very funny, but also very clean.”
“Rock Star Juggler” Mike Price became the best in his field thanks in large part to his intensity and dedication to the art form. Price won first place at the International Juggling Championships and earned a spot on “America’s Got Talent” Season 7, where he reached the quarter-finals.
The Oshkosh, Wisconsin native learned to juggle when he was just nine years old and by the age of 10 he was performing. By the age of 19, he was headlining the major cruise lines, performing 50 minutes of original show material. After winning the gold medal at the International Juggling Championships in Montreal, Canada, his career took off and he became a star performer in venues across North America and Europe.
Tickets are $20, $26, $28 and $30. To order tickets or for more information, visit the Palace Theater website marionpalace.org or call the box office at 740-383-2101.
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