Vahé Berberian

TCA Greater New York Presents Vahé Berberian’s ‘Payts’ in Two Sold-Out Shows


By Taleen Babayan

FAIR LAWN, N.J. — World renowned Armenian comedian Vahé Berberian performed his latest show, “Payts” (But), for two sold-out shows for the New York/New Jersey communities on Saturday, March 18, and Sunday, March 19, at St. Leon’s Abajian Hall, in an event hosted by the Tekeyan Cultural Association’s Greater New York Chapter.

The evening of camaraderie culminated in a lively, sharp, and humorous one and a half hour performance by Berberian, whose comedic — and accurate — observations about life during the pandemic were both relatable and brought much-needed laughter to the audience.

Embarking on his first tour after the COVID shutdown was “exhilarating” for Berberian, who noted that “so much has changed.”

“At the same time I was excited, because nothing is more rewarding than to hear the laughter of your audience,” he said.

While the pandemic naturally stifled the creative process for many artists, with Berberian noting that “finding humor in it was very difficult,” the richness of his stage material injected life back into a community that craved in-person gatherings and social commentary on the collective experiences of the pandemic.

Vahé Berberian

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“As a rule, I never talk about anything I can’t find humor in, because I don’t want to turn my material into a lecture, but in the end, I think I managed to see the absurdity of the situation we’re in and find reasons to laugh,” said Berberian.

The Tekeyan Cultural Association, which celebrated its 75th anniversary with a platinum gala last Fall, continues to follow its noteworthy mission in organizing cultural programming for Armenian diasporan communities, while supporting educational and cultural institutions around the globe. To that end, some of the proceeds from the “PAYTS” event were donated to the Vahan Tekeyan School in Beirut, Lebanon.

“I have always enjoyed working with the Tekeyan Cultural Association and I feel a special kinship with the Greater New York chapter, because the members are both very warm and earnest and also very professional, which is a rare combination these days.”

Berberian’s “Payts” tour continues with multiple performances scheduled throughout the United States and Europe.


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