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LaughFest announces first round of shows

December 7, 2016
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Iliza Shlesinger
Iliza Shlesinger. Courtesy Gilda's LaughFest

A local comedy festival has announced the first round of performers and shows for its seventh-annual event.

Gilda’s LaughFest, set for March 9-19, announced today headliners Iliza Shlesinger and Sinbad, plus other performers that include local improv troupes Pop Scholars and River City Improv.

The festival hosted in downtown Grand Rapids also shared details of a new option called LaughFest Badges, which offers different levels of access depending on the type of badge attendees buy.

The badges range from $99-$449, and according to the festival, options include “tickets to attendees’ choice of artists, access to exclusive parties, early access to single-ticket sales, first-chance seating at free shows, merchandise discounts, access to the Headliner’s Club, exclusive festival T-shirts and more.”

Festival showcases featuring multiple artists include the Bissell Presents Clean Comedy Showcase, Best of the Midwest Competition and Gun Lake Casino Presents National Stand-up Comedy Showcase, all of which will be at The B.O.B.

Packages and badges will go on sale later this month. Single tickets will go on sale in late January.

Initial acts

Sinbad: Friday, March 10 at Fountain Street Church, at 24 Fountain St. NE

Iliza Shlesinger: Friday, March 17, at Fountain Street Church

The Bissell Presents Clean Comedy Showcase: Thursday-Saturday, March 9-11 at The B.O.B., at 20 Monroe Ave. NW.  Performers include Vladimir Caamano, Michael Harrison, Erin Jackson, Brad Wenzel, Gina Brillon, Kristin Key, Tim Northern and Michael Somerville.

The Best of the Midwest Competition: Wednesday, March 15 at The B.O.B. Contestants for the title include Marty DeRosa, Alex Kumin, Shaun Latham, Zach Martina, Mike Paramore, Ramon Rivas, Will Spottedbear and Kristen Toomey.

The Gun Lake Casino Presents National Stand-up Comedy Showcase: Friday-Saturday, March 17-18 at The B.O.B. Participating artists include Matthew Broussard, Drew Michael, Liz Miele, Ali Siddiq, Christian Finnegan, Megan Gailey, Shane Torres and Ricky Velez.

Other shows include LaughFest’s Best, a secret sampling of comedians from across the festival, including regional and national comics, and Pop Scholars and River City Improv.

Gilda’s Club

Gilda's Club Grand Rapids is a free emotional health support community of children, adults, families and friends on any kind of cancer journey or those grieving a death due to any cause.

Its programs, delivered by professionals, include education, structured sharing times, networking, lectures, workshops and social activities.

The organization serves more than 10,000 individuals each year at its clubhouses in Grand Rapids and Lowell and at various schools and community centers. 

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