Comedy this week: Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, Harveys Tahoe host stand-up | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Comedy this week: Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, Harveys Tahoe host stand-up

Howie Nave
Special to Lake Tahoe Action

If you haven't made plans yet for Cinco de Mayo might I suggest an evening of laughter from three Latina comedians? The evening, billed as Three Latinas and a Nave, is happening at Hard Rock Hotel and Casino and features comedians Shayla Rivera, Monique Marvez and Jade Esteban Estrada. All three are headliners in their own right, but Rivera has developed a sizable following up here, so she'll be closing the comedy show May 5.

It's fascinating to look into the lives of comedians and the careers they had before pursuing a path in stand-up. Rivera was a real-life rocket scientist working for NASA on its space shuttle program. It was her job to track the trajectory of the booster rockets after they separated from the shuttle and fell back into the Atlantic Ocean, where she would send the Navy ships out to retrieve them for the next shuttle launch. After NASA discontinued the program, Rivera followed her passion and hasn't looked back since. She has a successful one-woman show based on her time with NASA called "Rocket Science and Salsa." She's headlined clubs and theaters across the country and recently appeared on an HBO special. Rivera has also been on Comedy Central, NBC and performed overseas doing USO tours in the Middle East for our men and women in uniform.

Latina comedian Monique Marvez has done three Showtime specials: "The Latin Divas of Comedy," "Snoop Dogg Presents: The Bad Girls of Comedy" and her own one-hour Showtime special, "Not Skinny Not Blonde" that is based on her critically acclaimed one-woman stage show soon to be published as a book. When not touring or writing she's busy preparing for "The Monique Marvez Show" on Los Angeles' KFI AM 640 (one of the most popular radio shows in L.A. that airs every Saturday night).

Opening the Cinco de Mayo program is Jade Esteban Estrada (aka The Prada Enchilada), who has headlined over 250 Pride events worldwide (which may explain his onstage love of velvet tuxedos and bright pink feather boas). His television credits include the Emmy Award-winning "30 Rock" (NBC), "The Graham Norton Effect" (Comedy Central) and hosting duties at the 19th annual South Florida GLAAD Media Awards (Bravo TV). Estrada has also performed at numerous comedy festivals, including the very prestigious Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Doors open at 8 p.m. for Three Latinas and a Nave, which begins at 8:30 p.m. Tickets cost $25 and are available online via http://www.hardrockcasinolaketahoe.com.

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Thomas Dale was once the standout in the New Faces showcase at the Just For Laughs comedy festival in Montreal. Soon after he was on HBO Canada's "Funny As Hell" series, E!'s "Chelsea Lately" and in November 2012 made his late night debut on "The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson." Dale has been featured in the New York Comedy Festival as well as The Bamboozle Festival and was named one of VH1's 100 Sexiest Celebrities and 100 Greatest Child Stars.

Performing with Dale is Michael Blaustein, who made a name for himself as part of CollegeHumor's comedy tour and on Comedy Central's "Campus Tour." Blaustein is an extremely well-crafted comedian with a varied background that includes acting — he has appeared in the motion pictures "Death of the Dead" and "Attack of the Alien Jelly Monsters from the Depths of Uranus." Blaustein has also performed in his fair share of comedy festivals, such as the Just For Laughs festival in Toronto and the New York Comedy Festival. He was on CBS' "Person of Interest" and was a cast member of MTV's "Punk'd."

The Improv at Harveys takes place Wednesdays through Sundays at 9 p.m. Learn more at http://www.harveystahoe.com.