Comedy comes to The Loft

Howie Nave and Joby Saad before the show. | Priya Hutner

There’s something magical about dinner and a night of laughter with friends. Molly Knickerbocker and I were excited to venture out to The Loft in the heart of Heavenly Village to enjoy tapas from the new menu and experience The Loft’s most recent addition to its weekly lineup, comedy at Howie’s House of Comedy.

If you are looking for an evening of laughs, delicious food and cocktails make your way to The Loft on Sunday nights at 9 p.m. for a fun dose of standup comedy.

Paul Reder, owner of The Loft, greeted us and took us for a tour of the venue. Photos of Reder and a bevy of renowned celebrities hang on the walls of the entrance showcasing his illustrious career with Caesars. Industrial cage lighting, a fireside lounge with comfy couches and dark wood tables add to the rich ambience. The vibe is relaxed and upbeat at the same time. We popped into the intimate 107-seat theater replete with flowing red curtains, cushioned seats and stage area.

Read more about Tahoe’s comedy scene.
Click on Comedy under the Music Scene menu.

Once seated in the dining room, I took note of the music playing softly in the background as I explored the cocktail menu. I ordered the Respect Your Elder cocktail prepared with Prosecco, elderflower and pomegranate. It was refreshing, light and luscious and went down smoothly. Knickerbocker ordered the Illusionist, a bourbon-based cocktail that she described as a hint of winter with the right amount of spice perfect for spring. We sipped on our cocktails and perused the tapas menu. Reder suggested trying the cold bison carpaccio and the hot Brussels sprouts with pancetta and shaved Parmesan. Both were delicious. Our server, Scott Hamilton, was fabulous and knowledgeable. He suggested the scallops with Meyers lemon and caperberry sauce. Everything was prepared to perfection and delicious.

Howie Nave solo with his guitar. | Priya Hutner

While finishing, I noticed Joby Saad the evening headliner seated across the room. Knickerbocker and I introduced ourselves and told him how excited we were to see the show. He came over and chatted, bought us a cocktail and had us smiling before the show even started. After tapas we moved to the lounge where Hamilton walked over with a flaming dish of sweetness, The Loft’s signature S’more dessert. It was impressive.

After dessert we sat at the bar to wait for the theater to open. The bar boasts a wide selection of unique top-shelf liquors; we enjoyed the Old Smokey cocktail, The Loft’s version of an Old Fashioned.

Knickerbocker and I settled into the theater and readied for an evening of laughs. Howie’s House of Comedy features Howie Nave, a long-time South Lake local and comedian who hosts the comedy nights. He is the voice behind “Howie’s Morning Rush” on KRLT 93-9 The Lake and a driving force in bringing improv comedy to Tahoe.

“Paul approached me to bring comedy to The Loft,” said Nave, who books the comedy acts for the venue.

Dressed in a black sweater and black pants with shoulder-length gray hair, Nave commanded the room with his presence. He welcomed everyone and warmed up the audience poking fun at his new girlfriend, who was also in the house, by joking about his online dating experiences. Knickerbocker and I were off and laughing. Comedian Paul Bronken from Kingsbury Grade took the stage next and offered some local humor about surviving the past winter in Tahoe.

Joby Saad headlines Howie’s House of Comedy at The Loft. | Priya Hutner

Headliner Saad from Nashville took the stage. He got rolling working the crowd, asking who skied, where were folks from and what some of us did for a living. A few minutes into the show one of his contact lenses popped out of his eye; he caught it and continued on with the show not missing a beat. He walked to the back of the stage and placed the lens on the table next to his White Russian. A nurse from New Jersey he’d been bantering with explained that his lens would dry out leading to more fodder for the evening. Saad joked about life, music, IQs and a recent DNA test he took. He seemed to be having a good time interacting with all of us. He scanned the room and engaged Knickerbocker and I and proceeded to tell the audience I was writing a story for the Tahoe Weekly. I felt the heat rise and my face turn red. We had some fun being razzed.

Saad was witty, adorable and a uniquely refreshing comic. “He was relatable to the crowd connected well with everybody with relatable topics. He made a point of connecting with us,” Knickerbocker said.

The theater is a perfect venue for a close-up comedic experience. The ambience and food were fabulous. People from all walks of life, locals and visitors, were hanging out at the unique venue. If you are looking for an evening of laughs, delicious food and cocktails make your way to The Loft on Sunday nights at 9 p.m. for a fun dose of standup comedy. | thelofttahoe.com