‘Don’t Tell Comedy’ offering a secret lineup and venue, returns to Manchester on May 14

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Comic Jessie Baade performs at a recent “Don’t Tell Comedy” night. Photo/Brian René Bergeron from Blend603

MANCHESTER, NH – Returning this summer to the granite state, LA-based Don’t Tell Comedy is slated for May 14 in Downtown Manchester, along with shows in Portsmouth on June 18. Revolutionizing the comedic landscape, Don’t Tell Comedy offers an affordable night out with a secret line-up of comedians at dozens of unique performing spaces around the country.

How does it work?

Those wishing to attend can browse their official website for upcoming shows in a city near them. At the time of purchase, ticketholders will be given the city, date, and time of the performance. On the day of the show, an email confirmation will be sent with details of the exact location. The true magic of Don’t Tell Comedy is pulled together by a secret lineup of 4-6 comedians that are revealed on-stage during the show.

Founded by Boston native Kyle Kazanjian-Amory, Don’t Tell Comedy was launched with the goal of making comedy more accessible, localized, and affordable. Kazanjian-Armory wanted to move away from the traditional nightclub scene with two-drink minimums and move into creative settings while exposing the crowds to both local and nationally known talent with the element of surprise.

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Audience members find out where the show is going to be held the day of the show. Photo/Brian René Bergeron, Blend603

A collaborative team located throughout the US works to organize, plan, and execute shows in their home states and regions, creating a unique lineup and venue for every single performance. Straying from the ordinary, Don’t Tell Comedy has offered pop-up shows in unconventional spaces including candy shops, rock climbing gyms, book stores, art galleries, communal workspaces, and even historic settings. Whenever possible, DTC works to include a BYOB option for a fun, casual setting without the need to purchase additional drinks. 

“It really breaks the mold for what people typically expect a comedy show to be, you know? They expect it to be in a comedy club or these traditional settings, and we’re kind of breaking out of that into something more innovative. It’s really different and a fun experience, you get to try something completely unexpected,” said Geneva Gonzales, NH Lead Producer of Don’t Tell Comedy

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Comedian Al Ghanekar was a featured performer at a recent “Don’t Tell Comedy” show. Photo/Brian René Bergeron, Blend603

Providing equal exposure to big names in the stand-up industry alongside comedy newcomers is at the heart of the business. Local names in comedy that have grown into well-known acts like Jay Chanoine, have previously been included in New Hampshire Don’t Tell Comedy pop-ups. While Don’t Tell Comedy received a positive reception from the last two visits to NH, DTC is currently seeking more venue opportunities for future performances in unique spots throughout the state. Upcoming shows on June 18 in Portsmouth will celebrate the 5th anniversary of Don’t Tell Comedy, along with other shows happening concurrently across the country. 

“I think it’s a big deal for the state of New Hampshire because it’s not set in just one particular location. We’re going to be bouncing from location to location all across the state. So it’s something that will be fun for people in New Hampshire to participate in – you never really know what city it’s going to be in next,” said Gonzales. 

Want to help Don’t Tell Comedy with expanding across the granite state? Refer a location or provide your info for consideration to join the stage as a participating comic.

Click here to sign up for upcoming shows in Manchester and Portsmouth, or to receive the Don’t Tell Comedy newsletter.

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Comedian Janelle Draper laughs it up with her audience during a recent Don’t Tell Comedy show. Photo/Brian René Bergeron, Blend603


About this Author

Alec Biron

Alec Biron is a New Hampshire native and professional content writer with his M.A. in English and Creative Writing. Alec has a background in covering event pieces, travel and culture stories, and personal essays as a freelance writer.