Comedy Comes to Larchmont
Stone Twins Get Them Laughing at Chat 19
by Richard Broad
(November 17, 2005) Larchmont’s become a much livelier village lately, with a roster of new and updated restaurants offering more interesting dining choices along with live entertainment. Watercolor Café, the bistro at 2094 Bost Post Road, now has jazz, folk and pop musicians performing most nights of the week. Chat 19, the American grill at 19 Chatsworth Avenue, opened in 2004 and has quickly expanded to live events. It's had music on Thursday nights and a lunch-time speaker series, but is now experimenting with comedy – a Larchmont first.
The first comedy foray was on October 27, when Chat 19’s manager Frank Gratale introduced diners to the comedy act of twin brothers Todd and Adam Stone.
“Stone and Stone” took to a small stage in a corner of the restaurant at about 9:00 p.m. Accompanied by pianist Russell Daisy, the duo opened by singing a spoof on “Comedy Tonight” and followed with a series of sketches – some musical, some not.
In one clever piece they portrayed sports commentators discussing a women’s’ tennis tournament that featured “Ivana Muvova” and “Wateva Sleftova.”
In another riff, the brothers spoke directly to the crowd relating the history of their show – except they both spoke at the same time.
“I first started out by joining a stand-up comedy group at school,” said Adam.
“And he was great,” said Todd, “so I thought, ‘if he could be funny, so could I.’”
The twins interrupted each other, recounting their tale with the intensity of kindergarteners reporting on a playground fight. At first the audience looked befuddled, but the crowd soon understood that the chaotic story-telling was intentional and erupted in laughter, particularly when the twins ended their story abruptly (and in unison) with, “and now we’re here.”
Adam and Todd are recent graduates of Wesleyan University where they created their “Stone and Stone” show during their sophomore year. They write all their own material and are conscious to keep the act clean for the Larchmont crowd.
“Frank [Gratale, the Chat 19 manager] kept on reminding us that we couldn’t be dirty, and we kept our promise,” said Todd. “And it really wasn’t that difficult.”
The Stones, who live in Pelham, are constantly working on their act. “The ‘talking simultaneously’ bit came about because people started laughing when we both tried to tell them about our ideas for our show,” said Adam."They are a terrific comedy duo,” said Larchmont Justice Thea Beaver, who was at Chat 19, but not in her official capacity. “Their act reminds me of the Smothers Brothers with a modern approach.”
Kathy Vukaj from Pelham was particularly taken with their “Besame Mucho” duet. Todd gave a straight rendition of the classic Spanigh tune, while Adam provided a bizarre English translation. “Besame Mucho” = Gefilte fish?
“The translation was excellent because, for a moment, I thought it was real,” said Ms. Vukaj. “I think it is very cool to have a place like Chat 19 in the suburbs, because it really feels like the city – and the comedy fits right in.”
“The initial reaction has been terrific,” said Mr. Gratale, who’s open to booking other comedy and cabaret acts in the future. He said, when he holds live events, his customers tell him, “We’ve been waiting for a place like this to open.”
The restaurant only started with live entertainment this spring when they received their cabaret license. “Originally we were just going to do a DJ,” said Mr. Gratale, “but then Andy Hilfiger, [the designer’s brother] was at Chat 19 and offered to bring in his band - and Tommy came too with his guitar,” reported Mr. Gratale. “It’s been all good ever since.”
“Stone and Stone” hs been asked back to Chat 19, and they’ll be returning on December 1 to open for piano talent Wade Preston, who performs the songs of Billy Joel as the star of the Broadway musical, “Movin’ Out.”
For more on the restaurant's calendar of events, check their website: Chat 19.
Richard Broad, from NYC, is a friend of the performers and caught their act at Chat 19.