Maybe you knew Adara Almonte. Maybe you didn’t. Almonte was a stand-up comedian in New York City, and she died earlier this week.
I didn’t really know Almonte well. We were MySpace friends. We exchanged emails a couple of times, around the time of this performance of hers captured below in August. I’d seen one of the shows she had produced on a rainy night this summer in the back of a Midtown bar, with a lineup of comedians I’d never heard of before. Not that they weren’t funny. But it helped show me once more how no matter small you may think New York’s comedy scene is, it’s actually much larger than you realize. Comedians of all shapes and sizes and colors, young men and women, desperately trying to get their voices and their jokes heard.
For those of you who knew Almonte, you already may be aware of her funeral arrangements, or even of the circumstances of her passing. It’s so sad to see another young comedian lost, another voice silenced much too soon, seemingly self-destructing. Why must it be this way? You can hear Almonte say herself late in this clip, talking about live comedy: "It’s the only place where people can get together and rip each other apart, and it’s like, no, but we’re really all in this together." She’s right. We really are all in this together. We recognize this during the happy times, trading barbs in the bar or backstage. I wish we’d recognize this more often during the times when one of our own needs us most. Too many times, we haven’t been there to save our friends in comedy. We need to be there for each other. We’re really all in this together.
And now, a performance from Adara Almonte:
Almonte’s viewing will run from 4 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at Green Funeral Home, 57 Main St., Danbury Conn. Funeral Services (Mass and Burial ) will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 20 at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church 29 Golden Hill Road, Danbury, Conn.
Ardie Fuqua also has set up a memorial for Almonte on Facebook.
UPDATED (Jan. 14, 2008): A memorial date has been set for Feb. 17. You can keep track of updated information either through the Facebook site or by asking Ardie Fuqua.