Adam Ferrara (‘Top Gear US,’ ‘Rescue Me’) performs at Kirby Center Sept. 16
WILKES-BARRE — Adam Ferrara is a Swiss Army Knife of entertainment — from acting in the critically acclaimed drama “Rescue Me” to hosting the US version of long-running UK program “Top Gear,” Ferrara has filled a number of roles with the skills he developed on the New York City stand-up circuit. This fall, Ferrara is returning to stages across the country to revisit his first love — including a one-night stop on a stage in Wilkes-Barre.
At 8 p.m. Sept. 16, Ferrara will appear at F.M. Kirby Center as part of the venue’s Live From The Chandelier Lobby event series. The multifaceted performer’s resume could be referred to as “diverse,” but he attributes it to an inability to focus — just one example of Ferrara putting his “life through a blender” for the sake of comedy.
“I realize that life is going to beat the hell out of you and I’m trying not to help it,” Ferrara said. “One of the greatest satisfactions I get when I write something personal about myself is to see other people testify, shaking their heads. I have a bit in my act about how the worst part of the day is when I lay down to go to bed at night because all the horses line up for the anxiety derby. That’s one of the things they comment on after the show. It’s nice to cash in on the crazy if you can.”
Ferrara’s writing methods have changed a bit since his start in New York. He’d drive into the city from his Long Island home and hit multiple stages a night — he’d challenge himself to brainstorm a bit on the drive in and develop it by the time he drove home. His schedule isn’t the same anymore, but Ferrara is still looking forward to getting back on stage to speak the language of a stand-up comic.
“You have to keep creating (and) what you want to say is always evolving too, so it’s nice to come back after being on TV and get back to doing some solid touring for the next couple of months,” Ferrara said. “It’s great because I get to come back to it with fresh eyes and see what I really want to talk about and what I want to say.”
Connection is the goal — according to Ferrara, that’s what the ritual of attending a comedy show is all about. In that sense, comedy isn’t just about cashing in on his own crazy as much as it is healing what causes everyone else’s.
“I talk about my father passing away and just addressing that emotion and make people laugh about it,” Ferrara said. “I’m further down the road, that was in 2010, so I’ve got distance on it. I can write about it. I can make it funny and maybe someone who’s just freshly going through it … it takes a bit of the darkness away. So that’s gratifying.”
Reach Gene Axton at 570-991-6121 or on Twitter @TLArts
IF YOU GO
Who: Comedian, host and actor Adam Ferrara
What: A stand-up set in the F.M. Kirby Center’s Chandelier Lobby
When: 8 p.m. Sept. 16. Doors open at 7 p.m.
Where: 42 Public Square, Wilkes-Barre
How Much: $20.50 in advance, $25 at the door. Tickets can be purchased at F.M. Kirby Center’s box office, by calling 570-826-1100 or by visiting KirbyCenter.org.