Workhouse Arts Center launches Friday happy hour comedy series in Lorton

WTOP's Jason Fraley previews Friday comedy happy hour (Part 1)

After a long year — and a long week at work — it’s time to chill with drinks and laughs.

This Friday, the Workhouse Arts Center in Lorton, Virginia is launching an outdoor happy hour comedy series that runs Fridays on May 14, May 28, June 11 and June 18.

“Everything is starting to make a comeback slowly and safely,” Comedian Rahmein Mostafavi told WTOP. “Comedy is super important for not only entertaining, but healing and normalcy, so we comedians are just chomping at the bit to get back on stage.”

The pandemic provides plenty of material for Mostafavi, who headlines Friday night alongside local comedians Lafayette Wright, Wendy Wroblewski and Matt Deakins.

“The old saying is ‘tragedy plus time equals comedy,'” Mostafavi said. “A lot of us have pandemic-related humor. We stay very far away from anything terribly morbid. Our job is to make ’em laugh. … We don’t want to bog the crowd down with like an hour of pandemic jokes, but recognizing the elephant in the room is part of what we do.”

Which quarantine topics are ripe for punchlines?

“A lot of comics talk about relationships anyway,” Mostafavi said. “How people met during the quarantine, why they risked getting together at a certain point, or just putting up with each other if you were already living together.”

The venue is an outdoor space capped at 100 people for social distancing.

“We are very lucky to have a large campus,” Performing Arts Coordinator Liz Colandene told WTOP. “In the middle of our quad we have this big, open, brick area with a pavilion and a tent. … We have our own folding chairs for people to sit. They’re very comfortable. … We’ll be spacing people out social distantly.”

Food and drink will be available at the cash bar.

“We have a bar that will have beer and wine, as well as some snackage,” Colandene said. “It will be a really nice spread. People can grab their drinks at the back of the tent, so it’s easy to access. .. It’s definitely geared toward the crowd that wants to go out for the evening, get a babysitter and finally have a date night out.”

Whatever you do, don’t bring the kids to “happy hour.”

“It’s not geared toward a family-friendly event,” Mostafavi said. “This is live standup comedy, so there is a certain amount of adult nature involved, though we will skew to a more PG-13 realm if we can, but it’s not necessarily bring your blanket and toddlers.”

Tickets are $20. Gates open at 7:30 p.m. and the show starts at 8 p.m.

If you arrive early, you can check out artwork inside the Workhouse Arts Center.

“We have several buildings that house artists,” Colandene said. “We have open studios where people can come through, check out the galleries and all of the artwork. … If an artist is in their studio, you can actually poke in, say hi and ask them about their artwork. … We have mixed media, painting, fiber arts, glass, ceramics, you name it.”

WTOP's Jason Fraley previews Friday comedy happy hour (Part 2)

Listen to our full conversation here.

Jason Fraley

Hailed by The Washington Post for “his savantlike ability to name every Best Picture winner in history," Jason Fraley began at WTOP as Morning Drive Writer in 2008, film critic in 2011 and Entertainment Editor in 2014, providing daily arts coverage on-air and online.

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