Peaches Rodriguez headlines at multi-comic showcase at Westport Treehouse
As a toddler in Windsor Locks, where her dad was a lifer with the Air National Guard, Baby Girl Rodriguez was nearly bald, her head covered with a soft fuzz — “peach” fuzz.
Now a “woman of a certain age,” Mariette Rodriquez has a full head of golden hair. Though the fuzz disappeared decades ago, the nickname has not. She is now, and will always be, “Peaches,” the stand-up comic said, laughing.
In a recent telephone chat from her Long Island, N.Y., home, Rodriguez said it’s always a joy for her to be in her native state — this time to headline Saturday, June 2, at the Treehouse Comedy Club at the Westport Inn.
Brad Axelrod, producer, said the All New Comedy Showcase will include about a dozen stand-up comics; others on the bill at the moment are Josh Levinson, Bryan Keith, Cezar Ostrowski, Derek Carafa, Brii Hiltz, Giancarlo Biondino, Ricci Hector and Jack Camarda, “plus first-time auditioners Pat Miller and Penina Beede.”
Rodriguez said she is a “happy camper” in 2018, with engagements just about every weekend in Connecticut, New York, New Jersey and occasionally Massachusetts.
“I don’t like to fly, so I concentrate on the Tri-State area,” she explained. “I’m what you call a ‘working’ comic, and that means success to me.”
Some comics have goals to be on television with their own comedy specials, she said. “But TV or movies really don’t interest me. I guess you could say that my goal is to become the best live-act” stand-up comic, to be “funnier than anything.”
She’s getting plenty of practice these days on reaching her goal, she said. A self-proclaimed “firecracker,” Rodriguez regularly opens for Arsenio Hall at Caesars in Atlantic City. Earlier this year, she performed at two of Manhattan’s most celebrated comedy clubs, sharing the stage with Jerry Seinfeld at Gotham Comedy Club and two weeks later headlining at Carolines on Broadway. In addition, she has a regular monthly show at Comic Strip Live, billed as the “oldest stand-up comedy showcase club in New York City and the world.”
A champion break-dancer in the 1980s, Rodriguez said she will often break out in dance during her comedy routines. Her shows at the Comic Strip are titled, “Laff ’n’ Dance.”
Rodriguez said she is proud of her Connecticut connections, noting that she is a past Grand Champion of the Funniest Comic in Connecticut Contest and has spoken at Yale University as a member of “Women in Comedy” panel. The comic said she attended Manchester Community College and graduated with a degree in social work from the University of San Francisco.
“My degree has helped me a lot” to understand and observe human nature, she said. As a Latina, Rodriguez was subjected to racial slurs while a student in Windsor Locks. Now she devotes her life to being “an ambassador” of good will, trying “to build bridges and not walls” among all folks, regardless to race, religion or ethnic background — through comedy, she said.
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The Treehouse Comedy Club is below Bistro B in the Westport Inn, 1595 Post Road, Westport. Saturday, June 2, 8 p.m. $19.50. 203-230-8700, www.TreehouseComedy.com