curious comedy theater

Comedy weekend: A nice refreshing comedy snowstorm

Trade the sweat for some belly laughs at Portland comedy shows


If staring at the weather report for the coming week has you stuck in a numbed-out fugue state on the couch (I’m right there with you) but you’re looking for the safety of indoors with more personality and, I don’t know, reality than Netflix, consider dragging yourself down the blistering sidewalk to any of these upcoming special Portland comedy shows, featuring both local and touring perfect snowflakes of hilarity. I hope to see you out there—stay cool!

HELLa FELLER: Funny For the People!
Doug Fir Lounge
7 pm, Thursday, June 25
21+; $12
Thanks largely to the efforts of Trevor Thorpe—our local comedic equivalent to a roundhouse kick and self-proclaimed “Whiskey Smurf”—the Doug Fir has opened its arms wider and wider to comedy shows over the past few years. Thank goodness for that; it’s an intimate, comfy space, with room for experimentation.

FB_IMG_1435185200046HELLa FELLER brings to town headlining queerdo powerhouse James Adomian, whom you might know from various Funny or Die videos, Comedy Bang Bang, Last Comic Standing, or his uncanny absurdist impressions of notable crazy people, such as George W Bush, Jesse Ventura, or Gary Busey. Adomian has been named one of the best current LGBTQ comedians by The Advocate, Buzzfeed, and

The show also features Trevor Thorpe, local Comedy Priestess and Mercury columnist Bri Pruett, the incalculably wonderful Caitlin Weierhauser, and lovable sass-prince Nick Sahoyah visiting from Seattle. A special night of LGBTQ-friendly comedy enjoyable to all!

Minority Retort: June Edition
Curious Comedy Theater
9:30 pm, Friday, June 26
$7 advance tickets
Brainchild of lovable pun-meister/goofabout Jeremy Eli and the staff at Curious, Minority Retort is Portland’s premiere POC comedy showcase! And it’s back for another stellar night with some of the funniest Brown and Black performers in the Northwest. This month’s roster includes: Ed Black, Laila Hamdan, Brandon Lyons, Jamie Boyd, and Silas Lindenstein. Hosted by Jeremy Eli.

Funny Just Cause: Sisters of the Road/ASOTRECOL Fundraiser
Just Bob Cafe, 2403 NE Alberta St.
Saturday, June 27: First Showcase at 4 pm; Second Showcase at 5:30 pm
$5-20 sliding scale, no one turned away

The heat on Saturday is supposed to be a DOOZY. If you’d care to avoid the miles of traffic en route to the beach crammed in your friends’ air conditionless Honda Civic that’s older than you are, get on board this two-part comedy event that benefits several good causes!

This is a pay-all-you-can event, with a sliding scale donation of $5-20. Collected funds will be split between The Association of Injured Workers & Ex-Workers of General Motors and Sisters of the Road, the community cafe of Old Town/Chinatown that seeks to alleviate poverty, violence and hunger. “Sisters offers a space to build community, empower ourselves, learn from one another, dine with dignity and organize for justice and human rights for all.”

As an added bonus, this is a safer-space event, meaning that hate speech—homophobia, sexism, transphobia, islamophobia, racism, etc. will not be tolerated. So fold up that Confederate flag you’ve been aching to bust out and (why do you even have that? NOT COOL) and mosey over to an *air conditioned* cafe for all of the laughs with none of the seething hatred! Ahh, refreshing. Also, there will be raffle prizes!

There are TWO showcases back to back, all featuring some of Portland’s finest comedic minds:

4 pm Showcase
Hosted by Whitney Streed (The Famous Punny Person of Portland, Bridgetown Comedy Festival)
Lewis Sequeira (Boi Wonder/Jokester Extraordinaire)
Nathan Brannon (Portland’s Funniest Person 2012)
Julia Ramos (It’s Gonna Be Okay, Minority Retort)

5:30 pm Showcase
Hosted by Crystal Davis (Sisters of the Road Worker Bee, Minority Retort, clown)
Kristin Rowan (Am I Right Ladies?, It’s Gonna Be Okay)
Andie Main (Picture This, PDX Comedy Mixtape, Comedy Womb Seattle)
Becky Braunstein (2014 Finalist Portland’s Funniest Person, Lez Stand-Up)

The Firkin Tavern, 1937 SE 11th Ave.
9 pm Tuesday-Wednesday, June 30-July 1
LA’s delightful pop-up comedy show is on tour, and they’re stopping in for two shows drinks and wacky times at The Firkin Tavern and a house show! This roster includes former Portland vampress debutante Virginia Jones, Robert Buscemi, Sofiya Alexandra and a secret roster of local talent to dazzle and, uhh…surprise! All for the low low donation of $5.

Comedy: All Jane No Dick Festival, Day 1

At this festival, women don't have to fight the odds (just make you laugh)


Run, Jane, Run!

It’s two hours to showtime on the opening night (Thursday) of the All Jane No Dick, Curious Comedy Theater’s 4-day festival of female comics. A stack of lanyards hangs ready on a chair-back, a DJ in a Rosie-the-Riveter headscarf tests her turntables. Across the courtyard at Elevated Coffee, the theater’s Artistic Director and the night’s host, Stacey Hallal, gets hands-on with last-minute party planning, dispatching staff on a run for more water bottles (“Not those sh–ty plasticky ones!”) and a cheese plate, and urging sensitivity to one guest’s alcohol recovery. Knowing that the success of Portland comedy fests (like the ever-burgeoning Bridgetown) rides on showing visiting talent a good time, Hallal sweats the details.

“If this goes well,” she exudes,” we’ll be able to go bigger and better next year; we’ll get the Alberta Rose Theater and a headliner that can draw 400; we’ll do a festival tour of North America.” She greets the first comics with a squeal and a hug.

Program Director Katie Michaels—busily curling the last few ribbons on gift bags that will offer out-of-town comics (Ninkasi beer, Portland maps, and Luna bars)—explains the necessity of the fest: “The ratio of men to women in comedy is staggering,” says Michaels. “When you see prominent women like Amy Poehler and Tina Fey running their own shows, you forget that in the comedy clubs and on the road, there are still 10 men for every woman.”

This is an interesting example, as even Fey and Poehler’s recent success seems like the latest pull in an ongoing comedy tug-of-war between patriarchs and progressives. The last wave of sit-com successes—Ray Romano, Kevin James and Bernie Mac—played lovably bumbling heads-of-household with implausibly hot and patient wives a la ’50’s Jackie Gleason. And their installment could easily be seen as an attempt to wrest the role back from Roseanne Barr and Brett Butler, the roost-ruling redneck mammas of the ’90’s, and re-assert machismo after watching “thin and neat” bachelor Seinfeld get pushed around by his platonic friend Elaine. A decade later, Poehler and Fey seem to have forged a compromise, taking the single, neurotic, Seinfeldian roles for their own, while casting macho monuments Nick Offerman (Ron Swanson) and Alec Baldwin (Jack Donaghee) in the roles of advisor. Funny.

But all that is macro. Back to the task at hand: Portland’s first all-female comedy festival.


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