Head to Jackson Avenue in Long Island City, Queens, where the Pulaski Bridge spits out noisy traffic from Brooklyn. Look for an unassuming California-style Mexican restaurant with a slightly worn brown storefront, called the Creek and the Cave. And listen for laughter.
Behind the restaurant’s cheerful brick-walled dining room, there is an almost hidden black box theater: a kind of speakeasy for comedy. Inside are a few seats and a small stage, every spare inch cluttered with props and equipment. The back wall is covered with comics’ signatures from past shows. The Creek recently put in a street entrance, but patrons in the know still push past diners tucking into nachos and chicken enchiladas, looking for the exit marked: “Beware. Door may open unexpectedly.”
Night after night, the greenest performers show up and try to find