Comedian Bohn delivers the silly side of school at Schwartz

School will be in session Saturday night as the Schwartz Center for the Arts in Dover welcomes comedian Lucas Bohn and his one-man show “Lesson Plans to Late Night.”

An elementary school science teacher for seven years, Mr. Bohn has been a professional comedian for the last six years. Saturday night’s show combines his former career with his comedy as he talks about the transition from teacher to standup.

The show is also part multimedia as he shows excerpts from students’ schoolwork that has made him laugh over the years and funny signs he’s encountered along his comedic journey.

A lover of comedy since he was quite young, Mr. Bohn said he always thought that standup would be something fun to do but never took it seriously as a career.

The son of two teachers in rural Virginia, he was encouraged to go the traditional route and become a teacher himself.

But while studying at Coastal Carolina University in South Carolina, frequent visits to the local comedy club changed his outlook.

“I started getting up on stage and telling jokes and loving it,” Mr. Bohn said this week from his home in Brooklyn, New York.

Comedian Lucas Bohn will present his one-man show "Lesson Plans to Late Night" at Dover's Schwartz Center for the Arts Saturday night at 7. (Submitted photo)

Comedian Lucas Bohn will present his one-man show “Lesson Plans to Late Night” at Dover’s Schwartz Center for the Arts Saturday night at 7. (Submitted photo)

“But I had this mindset that I liked science and I liked kids, so I should become a science teacher. But no matter what job I had, I would still go out and do standup. I would teach during the week and then head out on the road on the weekends and do 250 dates a year in places like Pennsylvania, Maryland, wherever.”

In 2010, the teaching stopped and the jokes began full-time.

“I participated in a college showcase in Pennsylvania and booked about 40 shows. Colleges pay very well and my teaching salary was replaced in about four months of comedy work. Now, mind you teachers don’t get paid very much. It wasn’t like I was making six figures before,” he said.

Best Bets logo -NEWHis then-fiancée Kristie, also a teacher, encouraged him to give it a shot.

“She is the most caring and logical person I know. She said ‘I have an income. I don’t need your income. You’re making more money now than you did while teaching. If it doesn’t work out, you can always go back to teaching. You’re only going to regret it if you don’t take a chance,’” Mr. Bohn recalled.

Jobs followed, not only in college, but clubs, theaters and cruise ships.

He was named “Comedian of the Year” by Campus Activities Magazine in 2013 and has worked with such comedians as Jimmy Fallon, Dave Chappelle and Kevin Hart.

The multimedia aspect of the show he will bring to the Schwartz started during his cruise ship days. He would see a group of foreign audience members who would leave a few minutes into show because they couldn’t understand what he was saying.

“I thought if I could incorporate a funny image, it would almost be a double punch line and they could laugh along too,” he said.

So not only does he show the photos to illustrate the students’ responses, he shows photos of his wife, adopted daughter and his three-legged dog.

Material not only comes from his days in the classroom but his wife, who still teaches in New York City, will contribute to his act and, he says fans are constantly sending him items.

Although just 34 years old, he says his comedic influences come from older comics.

“When I was young I got two Henny Youngman tapes from the library. My dad took them on a trip. They are all clean and we listened to them about eight times,” Mr. Bohn said.

“It was unique because my father is laughing, I’m laughing and my little brother is laughing.”

Lucas Bohn

Lucas Bohn

He said lines like “Take my wife, please” were confusing to him at first but once his father explained the humor, he caught on and was hooked on the self-deprecating style of both Mr. Youngman and Rodney Dangerfield.

He does a clean act. His Saturday show at the Schwartz is suitable for the whole family. He says his lack of racy material is on purpose.

“It’s very easy to write dirty but you can’t do a lot with it. You get booked in more places (if you work clean). In order to do corporate shows or cruises, they want you to do an hour of clean material. The best advice I ever got was ‘Write an hour of clean comedy and it will buy you a house,’” he said.

The show also includes impressions of characters and famous people.

“I’ve always loved impressions and people like (impressionist) Frank Caliendo. I’ve always been interested in the whole ‘Saturday Night Live’ style of comedy. I’ve always found it fun to impersonate someone and have the audience know exactly who you are doing,” he said.

Mr. Bohn said he just signed with a Nashville booking agency and he is looking at performing in larger venues in the near future.

Tickets for Saturday’s 7 p.m. show are $16-$18 and can be purchased by visiting schwartzcenter.com, calling 678-5152 or stopping by the box office at 226 S. South St.

New Stylistics at Schwartz

As we told you last week, Russell Thompkins Jr. and The New Stylistics will perform at the Schwartz Center at 7 tonight.

Russell Thompkins Jr. (center) and The New Stylistics will sing their classics hits at the Schwartz Center for the Arts in Dover Nov. 18. (Submitted photo)

Russell Thompkins Jr. (center) and The New Stylistics will sing their classics hits at the Schwartz Center for the Arts in Dover Nov. 18. (Submitted photo)

The Stylistics were formed in 1968, when members of two other Philadelphia soul groups joined forces after their respective bands dissolved. During the early ’70s the group had 12 straight Top 10 hits, including “You Are Everything,” “Break Up to Make Up” and “You Make Me Feel Brand New.”

Mr. Thompkins is the original lead singer of The New Stylistics, which were formed in 2004 with Raymond Johnson, who toured with The Stylistics in the late 1970s and early 1980s, and Jonathon Buckson. James Ranton is the fourth member of the group but is not currently on stage with them due to illness. He still works behind the scenes as a choreographer.

Tickets are on sale for $30 to $45 and can be purchased by visiting schwartzcenter.com, calling 678-5152 or visiting the box office at 226 S. State St.

Songwriters and Storytellers

In other area concerts, local singer/songwriter Sol Knopf brings together other songwriters in Songwriters & Storytellers Saturday at 7 p.m. at the Smyrna Opera House.

The show is part of a series organized by Mr. Knopf, which has seen success in both Smyrna and the Schwartz Center.

Other artists on the bill are Marcia Ramirez, who has performed with Rodney Crowell, Patty Loveless, Pam Tillis, Lee Ann Womack, and Tanya Tucker; Jesse Terry, who is fresh off an appearance at the Bonnaroo Music Festival, where he shared the stage with the likes of Gregory Alan Isakov, Bear’s Den and Guster; and Craig Bickhardt, who has had his music recorded by Ray Charles, B.B. King, Johnny Cash, the Judds, Tony Rice and Alison Krauss.

Tickets are $8-$16 and can be purchased at smyrnaoperahouse.com, by calling 653-4236 or at the box office at 7 W. South St.

Hines headlines benefit

Also Saturday, Mike Hines and The Look will perform at Cowboy Up Saloon, 1036 Lafferty Lane, Dover, for the second annual Thanksgiving Food Drive for the Hungry from 8 p.m. to 1 p.m.

Partial proceeds go to the Food Bank of Delaware for its Thanksgiving for All program.

Tickets are $10 in advance at Cowboy Up or online at cowboyupde.com or $15 at the door.

The night includes door prizes, 50/50, cash bar, drink specials and more.

“We had a very successful event last year and decided to do it this year as well. It’s a wonderful feeling to help families in need, so we hope everyone comes out to show their support and help us provide some meals for Thanksgiving,” Mr. Hines said.

Mike Hines and The Look start at 10 p.m. Also performing is DJ Jim Baker

Donations of can goods are welcome and can be dropped off at Cowboy Up.

‘Play it Back’ tonight

The “Play it Back” benefit concert will also take place tonight at 7 at Bubba’s on 865 N. Dupont Highway in Dover on Nov. 19 to raise money for Dover Police Department’s Holiday Heroes program.

This program raises money and takes 20 to 30 local kids-in-need shopping for Christmas. They bring in the kids and families, and each child is paired with an officer who takes them into the store and goes shopping for themselves or family members.

Bands will be Chill and The Rabbits, Chainbreak, Sporadic Static and Perception.

Tickets are $10 at the door.

Now showing

New this weekend in theaters is the “Harry Potter” spinoff “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them 3D,” the boxing drama “Bleed for This” the war movie “Billy Lynn’s Halftime Walk” and a coming-of-age comedy-drama “The Edge of Seventeen.”

On DVD and download starting Tuesday is the animated “Kubo and the Two Strings,” the Western crime drama “Hell or High Water,” another boxing drama “Hands of Stone” and Jason Staham in “Mechanic: Resurrection.”

Reach features editor Craig Horleman at chorl@newszap.com

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