CASA GRANDE -- When comedian Alex Ramirez is on stage, he hopes to make people laugh and feel as though they’re getting a glimpse into his sometimes hilarious life.

“I hope to give people a good time,” Ramirez said. “I remember growing up in Casa Grande and having nothing to do except go to Walmart and walk around. So when I’m on stage, I talk a lot about myself and I hope it makes people laugh.”

Ramirez, an up-and-coming stand-up comedian who frequently tours various comedy clubs telling stories about himself and his family, will perform as part of BlackBox Theatre’s first Stand Up In The Box comedy night, a new feature at the theater.

Stand Up in the Box will be held on the fourth Friday of each month. The events are held in partnership with nationally touring headline comedian Tony Vicich of ComedySchools.com.

“Tony has been training and mentoring stand-up for decades,” said Ken Ferguson of the BlackBox Foundation. “I have known Tony for about 15 years from doing comedy in the Phoenix, Scottsdale and Tempe area. I have been a part of ComedySchools.com, training for improv comedy and putting shows up at Tempe Center of the Arts.”

Vicich will also perform as the opening night headliner.

A Maricopa-based stand-up comic, Vicich had his start at the Laff Factory in Los Angeles in 1985. He runs a comedy school in which he mentors and helps transform wanna-be comedians into professional performers.

Ramirez is one of his comedy students and said Vicich has helped him develop a routine that he’s confident will have audiences laughing.

Ramirez had his start in comedy in 2015 during Casa Grande Union High School’s Mr. Cougar contest.

“Since I was a kid and first saw videos of George Lopez, I’ve wanted to be a comedian,” Ramirez said. “Becoming a professional comedian is something I’m currently working to pursue. I travel to different places with the goal being more to gain an audience although I sometimes get paid.”

Originally from San Gabriel Valley, Ramirez plans to move back to California later this month to work on pursuing his comedy dreams.

“With each show, I try to focus on giving people a good time as I share my perspective,” Ramirez said. “I try to give people something to relate to.”

The comedy night shows aim to be smart and funny and suitable for a PG-13 audience. When the theater was in its previous space on Florence Street, it tried running a few comedy night events.

“When we tried it before, comedy night was successful but BlackBox was not in a space to really re-launch stand-up until now,” Ferguson said. “When I reconnected with Tony, he informed me that he had a young man (Alex Ramirez) who had attended Casa Grande Union High School. So, Tony will headline, featuring Alex Ramirez in our first show at our new BlackBox Theatre home.”

The first comedy night is Friday at 7:30 p.m. at the BlackBox Theatre in the Woman’s Club, 407 N. Sacaton St.

Beer and wine, water and soda will be available. Tickets are $20 per person, which includes a drink ticket.

Tickets may be purchased at the door or in advance online at blackboxaz.org.

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