Thursday, Aug. 6, 2009

Saturday and Sunday at Milwaukee Comedy Fest '09

By Russ Bickerstaff
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As mentioned here yesterday, the 4th Annual Milwaukee Comedy Festival officially starts tonight at 7:30pm with a performance of Madison’s Zombeatles.

The Festival, which continues through Sunday is considerably bigger than it has been in previous years. The single biggest day on this year’s festival (and, by extension the 4 year history of the festival) is this coming Saturday.

This Saturday, (the 8th) there are three individual programs and an after party. Here’s a look at what’s ahead for festival attendees on 08/08/09:

The DingleberriesUncle Ukulele

5pm—Sketch and Improv from Three Different Time Zones

The early show on Saturday is easily the most geographically diverse, opening with a relatively young group out of Colorado called the Dingleberries, followed by Philadelphia-based group The Sixth Borough followed by Jerk Practice from New York and previous Milwaukee Comedy Fest favorite Uncle Ukulele from Minneapolis.

Alex GrindelandThe M.U.T.E.S.Dirty Waterthe Gentlemen's Hour

7:30 pm—Probably the most promising single show on the weekend. (Maybe)

The second show on Saturday looks like a really good mix of styles. Most of the programs on the festival this year start with a stand-up routine . . . Alex Grindeland opens the 6pm show. There are a pair of sketch groups from Chicago, (International Stinger and Obsessed ) the Milwaukee-based silent comedy of the M.U.T.E.S. and conversational imrpov from Boston by way of Chicago  with Dirty Water. . . all leading-in to a performance by Milwaukee’s own The Gentlemen’s Hour

It’s easily one of the best line-ups on the festival this year, which also means the possibility for some real disappointment if there are any acts here that are having an off evening . . .


10 pm--The Show and Canada

The 10pm program starts with stand-up by The Gentlemen’s Hours’ Johnny Beehner, which could potentially be pretty good . . . then the program’s sketch portion opens with a performance by longtime Milwaukee group The Show, followed by Lusty Mannequins from Toronto – a group that had a demo DVD that was probably the single funniest entrant I’d personally had a chance to view. The show runs pretty late, but there’s a really entertaining show even later Saturday night. . .

Midnight--Improv Jam

All performers in the festival are invited to take part in a wild, freewheeling improv show that was exceedingly fun last year. Providing everybody’s relatively awake for the show (or not) this could be a lot of fun . . . mixing comedy between groups has the opportunity to get performers out of their comfort zones and into a comedic frame of midn that might be really, really fresh.



SUNDAY: TEEN COMEDY DAY
The festival wraps-up Sunday with a series of three sketch and improv groups.

At 3pm--
Brown Deer High School’s Falcon Improv opens a program also featuring Organized Chaos—a group from First Stage Children's Theater led by Patrick Schmitz of the Gentlemen’s Hour. The program also features father/son act Unrelated from Chicago.

At 5pm--Milwaukee groups Scoot’s Schticks and After School Special are joined by Chicago-based Underaged Sugar Addicts. USA made a particularly strong impression last year. It’ll be interesting to see them return.

Then At 7pm--
This year’s Comedy Festival ends with an all teen open improv jam.

 

For more info on the festival, check out the festival website.

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