Carlos Mencia tops Temple's comic roster

Downtown venue also will host The Embers
May. 20, 2014 @ 05:00 AM

A comic billed as one of the more successful stand-up comedians of the past decade will perform at Temple Theatre later this year, as will one of the Carolinas' most decorated beach music bands.

Carlos Mencia, a comedian known for his specials on HBO and Comedy Central, as well as his Comedy Central sketch comedy show "Mind of Mencia," will take the stage at 120 Carthage St. on Oct. 29. Tickets are $27 and went on sale Monday afternoon.

Chris deLambert, the Temple Theatre marketing director, said the venue had been in talks about bringing in Mencia some time ago, but those had fallen through. So when the call came last week that Mencia's schedule had an opening, deLambert said he "couldn't be more excited about it" and booked the gig.

He said this show will be almost like a litmus test for comedy executives to see what kind of response someone with the name recognition of Mencia has in Sanford. So deLambert said he's hoping the community shows interest.

"If this goes well, there's no reason that we won't start bringing in essentially every celebrity comic that's touring," he said. "There's not many names out there bigger than Carlos Mencia, so if we can fill the house, we can start bringing guys like Chris Tucker, for example. But first we've got to do a good job with this one."

Other comedians performing before then include Jimmie Walker, who played J.J. Evans on "Good Times," who will do three shows in two nights: 7 p.m. July 25 and 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. July 26. Tickets are $19.50.

Comedy Central and BET veteran Kurt Green will perform Friday, and the "Saints and Sinners" comedy duo of Matthew Lumpkin and Patrick Jolle will perform June 14. Both shows begin at 7 p.m., and tickets are $15, or $7.50 for military, police, firefighters and Lee County Schools employees.

For those who prefer tunes to jokes, renowned beach music band The Embers will perform at 7:30 p.m. with opener Erik Smallwood, a Fayetteville-based country/soul rocker whose inspirations range from Sam Cooke and Stevie Wonder to the Allman Brothers Band and Tom Petty.

The Embers started touring in 1958 and still do more than 200 shows a year after having been inducted into multiple music halls of fame in the Carolinas for making the up-tempo blues rock style of beach music known to audiences outside the mid-Atlantic.

On their website, the band says they "are honored to carry the moniker of North Carolina’s Official Ambassadors of Music," and that "The Embers have solidified their position as a thriving musical entity, leaving their mark on listeners for decades. ... This group has traveled the country and the world and have performed for every event imaginable from the highest dignitaries to the hottest backyard frat parties."

To learn about other musical acts coming in the next few months, visit templeshows.com and click on "Tuesdays at the Temple" under the "Shows and Events" tab. The next musical on stage there will be Oklahoma!, from Sept. 11-28.

Tickets to any Temple Theatre performance are available at the box office, over the phone at (919) 774-4155 or online at templeshows.com.

Today, a golf benefit for the theater will kick off with registration at noon at Tobacco Road. People can sign up on site; cost is $100 per person. Golfers will begin teeing off at 1:30 p.m. with a shotgun start, and the awards presentation will start around 5:30 p.m. back at the clubhouse. For more information, call the theater at (919) 774-4512 or Denny Woodruff, at (919) 888-1701.