Kev Orkian in New Jersey

Kev Orkian Tickles Funny Bones in New Jersey

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By Taleen Babayan

Special to the Mirror-Spectator

MAHWAH, N.J. — Crossing the Atlantic to great fanfare, British-Armenian comedian, musician and actor Kev Orkian entertained audiences on Sunday, February 4, at Mahwah High School, in an event hosted by the Armenian Relief Society’s NJ “Shakeh” Chapter.

An award-winning comedy pianist, Orkian shared with his audience a two-hour variety show consisting of his one-man comedy routine, and exhibiting his piano and singing skills while intertwining his experiences in the entertainment world as a London-born Armenian.

During his two-hour set, in both Armenian and English, Orkian quickly earned laughs as he displayed energy and enthusiasm while engaging with the audience through his signature off-the-cuff remarks. Covering a range of humorous topics — from his experiences on the Armenian Heritage Cruise, being raised by Armenian parents, performing for the Royal Family, meeting fellow Armenians from Mumbai, and a one-on-one with Desmond Tutu — Orkian easily connected with his audience.

What was closest to his heart, however, were his experiences in Armenia.

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“I’ve toured around the world but one of the greatest things I ever did was perform in Armenia,” said Orkian, who is a regular in the UK comedy circuit and is involved in London’s West End theater scene.

During his time there, he filmed a documentary titled, “Armenia Uncovered,” where he interviewed Charles Aznavour, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Djivan Gasparyan, among other contemporary accomplished individuals.

Orkian highlighted the intelligence of Armenians, especially in the homeland, and how he impressed he was when he saw young children designing robotics at the Tumo Center.

“I’m fed up of hearing what happened one hundred years ago,” said Orkian, a semi-finalist on Simon Cowell’s “Britain’s Got Talent.” “What I want to do is show the world who we are now.”

While his performance had meaningful moments, he didn’t stray too far from his comedy, ending it with two musical pieces, one a satire of an opera that involved him simultaneously singing and playing the piano and the last number of the show a rock and roll song, a piece of advice he once received from musician Jerry Lee Lewis.

At the conclusion of the performance, Committee Member Knar Kiledjian presented Orkian with a plaque.

“There is nothing as contagious as laughter and good humor,” said Kiledjian. “Always try to find a reason to laugh because it will give life to your years.”

Kiledjian thanked Orkian and recognized the committee members, ushers and everyone in attendance.

ARS NJ Shakeh Chapter event committee and ARS East USA regional representatives with Kev Orkian

“A big thank you to ARS and for all of you coming to see the show,” said Orkian, who is currently on a world tour.

“I love performing for the Armenian community. Honestly, it’s like coming home from home.”

Before Orkian’s performance, a presentation by the ARS highlighted the non-profit’s accomplishments in the United States, Armenia and Artsakh. Proceeds from the evening’s performance benefited the organization’s programs worldwide.

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