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Stepping to the plate for Emerson

Emerson College has its share of famous alumni. Many of them are stand-up comics: Steven Wright, Denis Leary, David Cross. But there are no baseball players. To give them a fighting chance, Wright and Jimmy Tingle will headline a benefit for Emerson's team on Wednesday at Tingle's Off Broadway theater in Davis Square, Somerville. Most of the proceeds will go toward helping the team, which competes regionally but is underfunded, take a trip to Florida this summer.

"This will be the first spring trip ever for the program," says head coach Mitch Lebowitz.

"If you want to be a competitive program in the Northeast, you've got to take your kids on a Southern trip to get ready." The trouble is that Emerson's athletic budget can't support the trip. "The baseball team never has any money," says Tingle. "Emerson's not really known for its baseball team."

Tingle got involved because his nephew Garrett Tingle Jr. played for the Emerson Lions last year and is a team captain this year. Lebowitz got in touch with Tingle and asked if he could help and if he knew of any Emerson alumni who also might want to get involved. "I said, `As a matter of fact, I do' " says Tingle. He gave Wright a call, and "he said he'd love to do it."

The fund-raiser's atmosphere will be festive, with local rib joint Redbones catering a dinner before the show. By Tingle's estimation, this will be the first time he and Wright headline a bill together since Tingle's first paid gig in the early 1980s. (Emily Singer will open the show.)

"It's great to be doing a fund-raiser, it's great to be working with Steve Wright," says Tingle. "The neighborhood's going to love it. That's one of the things I love about having a theater. I can do things like this."

The dinner begins at 6 p.m., the show at 7:30. Tickets, which cover the buffet, are $40 ($20 for students). For more information, call 617-591-1616.

Class clowns in Merrimac A lot of class clowns become comedians. A bunch of them will get an early start on a career tomorrow at the Broad Street Grille in Merrimac, which presents "Class Clowns: High School Stand-up Comedy." The show will feature eight budding comics and will be hosted by Boston veteran Jim Colliton. The program will start before the night's regularly scheduled evening of headline performers, Colliton, John David, and Steve Guilmette.

The idea is to allow the teens to perform in a safe environment in front of their peers.

"It gives the kids a chance to be in front of a pretty good-sized crowd, and they get to perform with a professional," says Mike Smith, a teacher and aspiring comic who runs a comedy class at Timberlane Regional High School in Plaistow, N.H. Three of his students will be on the bill. "I just think it's a great opportunity for the kids to perform not only in front of the school crowd but to get out on a real stage," he says.

Club owner Joe DeGloria, who organized the show along with comedian Dave Rattigan, says he's happy to open up his place, which is more of a family restaurant than a true nightclub, to the students and their families. Though most of the performers will be onstage for the first time, some of them are regulars at the Grill's Thursday night open mike.

"They can't go into Boston and get up there on open mike night in a 21-and-over club," says DeGloria. "There's no place for them to go to explore this type of thing."

Laughter and medicine If your doctor seems suddenly funny after this weekend, he might be stealing material from Dr. Stu Silverstein. He'll be performing Tuesday as part of the Combined Jewish Philanthropies' "Humor & Medicine: You Must be Joking," at Cloud Place in Boston. The event is billed as a night of "jazz, networking, and humor" for medical professionals, but it's also open to the public.

Silverstein's main gig working in emergency pediatric medicine keeps him away from comedy clubs, but he often performs and lectures to medical professionals and founded MedHumor Presentations to help doctors improve their bedside manner. "My message to doctors is to lighten up and use humor, not only for yourself but for the patients," says Silverstein. "You need an outlet. That allows you to go back and be more compassionate with patients."

Around town Henry Rollins brings his spoken word tour to the Berklee Performance Center tonight. . . . Bobby Collins plays the Comedy Connection tonight and tomorrow, in support of "I Wanna Go Home," the CD he recorded at the club last March. . . . Mike Donovan headlines Nick's Kowloon in Saugus tonight and tomorrow. . . . Peter Dutton, Brian Gordon, Malissa Hunt, Josh Iverson, Myq Kaplan, Dan Sally, Max Silvestri, and Abe Smith play the Comedy Studio tomorrow.