Dani Luv is a musician and comedian at the well-known Sammy’s Roumanian Restaurant in New York. From behind his keyboard, Luv (his birth name is actually Lev, but he liked the sound of Mr. Luv) plays the “standards”; Frank Sinatra and Louis Armstrong are usually covered in his routine. But his shtick includes a lot more than classic tunes. Tip him just a couple dollars and you might get a serving of public embarrassment with a side of the middle finger. Luv’s interaction with the audience is intimate, direct and very entertaining.
Outside of Sammy’s, Luv can be a very different person. “I can’t take it when I tell a joke and people don’t laugh. I take it home with me,” says Luv. Though he is still funny and gregarious, Luv says he can also be very sad and often angry. This is made more difficult by his struggles with Attention Deficit Disorder.
Luv is in therapy and a receives a great deal of comfort from a long-term relationship with Linda, his on-again, off-again girlfriend. But he describes his time behind the keyboard as the place where he is free of the concerns that are with him offstage. To this Luv says, “It's really here I feel the best. I can sing. I can be who I want to be. I can pretend.”