Brace yourself — intentional comedy is coming.
The Boston Comedy Festival had announced its return next month for a five-night stint of laughs and legacy around Cambridge, Somerville, and Arlington. And this time around, there will be no shortage of beer thanks to a string of brewery shows that accompany the impressive program.
While last year’s BCF was hard to beat — Kyle Kinane, Steve Sweeney, and Emo Phillips made appearances — this year’s September 20 to 24 festival has some new tricks up its sleeve, featuring comedy, music, podcasts, sketch performances across 11 stages, including ONCE Ballroom, The Somerville Theatre, The Rockwell, The Burren, PA’s Lounge, Center for the Arts at the Armory, The Regent Theatre, and a trio of breweries in Winter Hill Brewing, Aeronaut Brewing Co., and Slumbrew (Somerville Brewing Company).
Here’s a quick rundown of a few of the highlights, of which there are many.
On September 20, 30 Rock’s Judah Friedlander and VH1’s Michelle Buteau are at ONCE, kicking off a week of headlining performances that also includes Matt Braunger (MADtv, Netflix’s Big Dumb Animal) and Tony Hinchcliffe’s Kill Tony podcast at the Armory on September 22; Atlanta native Ms. Pat at The Rockwell on September 22; and Todd Barry (FX’s Louie, The Crowd Work Tour), at the Somerville Theatre on September 23.
James Scott Patterson will also be returning to Boston, where he started his comedy career, to film his first one-hour special, Superior Design, September 21 at The Rockwell.
Barry Crimmins, legendary comedian and social critic — not to mention, the architect of the Boston Comedy scene as we know it — will be honored for his work both on and off the stage with the Boston Comedy Festival Lifetime Achievement award, as well as the Lenny Bruce Founding Father award.
On September 24, Stand Up for Recovery, a benefit show hosted by Tony V, will benefit the Lenny Bruce Foundation, as well as Right Turn, unifying two charities that benefit those struggling with addiction. Taking place at the Regent Theatre in Arlington, the lineup will include Lenny Clarke, Jim McCue, Jack Lynch, Joey Carroll, and a few other surprises that have yet to be announced.
The weekend will also feature its annual stand-up contest, with shows hosted by Will Smalley, Corey Rodrigues, Tom Dustin as well as other comics well-known around the city, featuring locals like Sean Sullivan, Andrew Mayer, and others, with guest appearances throughout the contest by Christine Hurley, Carolyn Plummer, and Orlando Baxter.
Boston native Robert Kelly will be presented with the Comedian of the Year award ahead of the contest finals at the Somerville Theatre on September 23. To end the festival, there will be three different shows, at three different breweries, all beginning on September 24. It’s the first time Boston Comedy Festival has attempted such a stunt, and if you’re conflicted as to what show to attend, just follow yur taste buds to either Aeronaut Brewing, Somerville Brewing Company, and Winter Hill Brewery.
Here’s everyone who is taking part over the course of the week:
Matt Braunger | Judah Friedlander | Todd Barry | Ms. Pat | Robert Kelly | Michelle Buteau | Barry Crimmins | Tony Hinchcliffe | Brian Redband | Bethany Van Delft | Chad Daniels Nick Chambers | Orlando Baxter | Will Smalley | James Patterson | Ashley Gavin | Michael Keegan | Jim Flannigan | Brent Terhune | Jill Weiner | Alvin David | Xazmin Garza | Joshua O’Neill | Mark Gallagher | Alvin Irby | Drew Dunn | Anthony Kapfer | Sherlonda Clarke | Jason Cheney| Mickey Housley | Rich Gustus | Brian Longwell | Logan Guntzelman | Amy Garson | Mike Baldwin | Mark Riley | Pedro Gonzalez | Erin Maguire| | Usama Siddiquee | AJ Foster | Andrew Mayer | Janet McNamara | E.J. Murphy | Erin Spencer | Zachary Brazao | Jessica Fleischer | Pamela Ross | Justin Chambliss | Nick Ortolani | Dwayne Murphy | Jeff Pfoser | Bill Miller | Chris Post | Emily Ruskowski | Susanne Boitano | Dan Harumi | Amber Preston | Sean Sullivan | Kathe Farris | Fumi Abe | Alex Carabano | More to come!
Featured Michelle Buteau photo via her homepage.