Month: March 2018

March 7, 2018 Eirann Betka

With LaughFest starting up this week, there are SO many shows to choose from that it can be overwhelming. Fear not, Grand Rapids! We have created a guide for visitors and locals alike to give you a day-by-day, play-by-play of one of the hottest festivals in Grand Rapids.

Events to catch:

    • *Some wildly talented improv and sketch groups from Kalamazoo and Grand Rapids. SOFA features Funny Girls Kristin, Stevie, and Amy.
      -FREE 8 p.m. at Dog Story Theater

    Where to head when the comedy is over:

        • The Apartment Lounge, Michigan’s oldest gay bar, is a favorite among locals of every persuasion. Thursday nights are half off everything AND you can watch RuPaul’s Drag Race hosted by honorary Funny Girl Ginger Ambrosia.

    Events to catch:

        • Laughter Yoga: Take a much needed break from stress without taking a break from comedy!
          -FREE 10:00am Gilda’s Club (see website for other times)
        • Warm Cheese by Teresa Thome: This one woman performance, inspired by Thome’s writings, recounts her personal struggle in ways both humorous and poignant.”
          -$20 8 p.m. at Dog Story Theater

    Where to head when the comedy is over:

        • Friday night can leave downtown GR quite congested. Try heading just outside of town to the aptly named Creston Brewery in the Creston Neighborhood for some chill vibes, inspired craft beer, and the best fried chicken in the city.

    Events to catch:

        • Gilda’s Clubhouse Tours: Head right to the hub of LaughFest, and find out what this festival is all about. Gilda’s Club is a free emotional health support community of children, adults, families and friends who have been impacted by cancer or grief. People gather to learn, share their experiences, and true to our namesake Gilda Radner, have a few laughs along the way.”
          -FREE 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at Gilda’s Club (see website for other times)
        • What’s So Funny? Black Comedians and Social Change:” This exhibit at the new Grand Rapids African American Museum and Archives “traces some of the history surrounding the emergence of the African American comic with special interest in the stand-up routine.”
          -FREE Noon-5 p.m. at GRAAMA (see website for other times).
        • *Sketch and Improv Showcase with Funny Girls, The Anti Boss, and Planet Ant: With Funny Girls representing Grand Rapids, Anti Boss from Milwaukee, and Planet Ant coming from Metro-Detroit- this showcase is more like a WORLD SHOWCASE.
          -FREE  5 p.m. at Dog Story Theater
        • Maria Bamford: Our girl Maria is going to put on TWO incredible shows at Wealthy Street Theater. Double points for catching both shows!
          -$32.50 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. at Wealthy Theater

    Where to head when the comedy is over:

        • When you leave Wealthy Theater, grab a coffee from Sparrows then head toward the nearby Eastown neighborhood. With eclectic shops open during the day, and prime restaurants and cafes open through the night, Eastown is its own little hipster village. Highlights include Terra GR, Harmony Brewing Company, That Early Bird, and the GR staple, Yesterdog.

    Events to catch: 

    Where to head when the comedy is over:

    Events to catch:

    Where to head when the comedy is over:

        • Head to the beloved Cottage: BEFORE the show for the classic bar and grille menu and to eavesdrop on all the different theater groups.
        • Stop by Stella’s AFTER for an open mic filled with spoken word, comedy, music, and more: The Drunken Retort featuring co-host and Funny Girl Rachel Gleason takes place in the back room of this Whiskey Bar- which is a Grand Rapids staple and according to GQ Magazine, has some of the best burgers in existence. While you’re there, say hi to Roach for us!

    Events to catch:

        • *Women In Comedy panel with Amy McFadden, Eirann Betka, Mary Jane Pones, Nardos Osterhart, Sarah Jean Anderson, Teresa L. Thome: Some female leaders in Grand Rapids comedy talk about their favorite female leaders!
          -Free 7 p.m. at Dog Story Theater

    Where to head when the comedy is over:

        • Tip Top Deluxe Bar and Grille on the West Side has open mic comedy EVERY Tuesday night at 9pm. Get on the list ahead of time, or just come enjoy the laughs and some drinks.

    Events to catch:

    Where to head when the comedy is over:

        • Stay for the art at the GRAM or head back on Thursday when it is FREE! And while you’re downtown, stop by a regular creative-hub for Funny Girls, J. Gardella’s Tavern (‘Della’s). They have insane happy hour food specials.

    Events to catch:

    Where to head when the comedy is over:

        • If you want to experience some of the greatest karaoke in Grand Rapids, head over to Fulton Street Pub where you’ll find a mix of theatre talent, comedians, and people who just like to sing but can’t! We are excited to be teaming up with them for an official Funny Girls After Party…we’ll save you a seat!

    Events to catch:

        • *Stand-up Showcase: A mix of comedians including ultra-talented Funny Girl Sydney Smith
          -Free 7 p.m. at Vander Mill
        • Plant Parenthood, Empanada Grande, and Cash and Carry: Some top-notch talent from all over the midwest, you’re bound to see sketch, improv, music, and more all in one show!
          -FREE 8 p.m. at Dog Story Theater
        • The Laugh Riot Dolls: An all-female comedy troupe from Detroit, these hilarious women are joined by the “boogie-woogie sounds” of The Little Dollies
          -FREE 9:30 p.m. at Vander Mill

    Where to head when the comedy is over:

        • When in Rome, have a cider! Vander Mill is known for its crisp and tasty cider and unique food dishes.

    Events to catch:

        • *Characters That Lived Encore: Students from the Creative Youth Center create characters, grown-up actors improvise scenes based on these characters, obvious fun ensues! Featuring Funny Girls Amy Gascon and Eirann Betka
          -FREE 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. at Dog Story Theater
        • *Stand-Up Showcase: A solid lineup featuring one of the funniest people in Grand Rapids, our own Kaira Williams.
          -FREE 7 p.m. at The Pyramid Scheme
        • Anjelah Johnson: Sketch, Youtube, TV- there isn’t anything this gal can’t do…including stand up comedy!
          -$30-$65 8 p.m. at Fountain Street Church

    Where to head when the comedy is over:

        • The Pyramid Scheme is a fun place to hang out and lose track of time. Between the pinball machines, the punk-era vibes, and the cheap PBR, you’ll fit right in. Or you won’t.
        • Also, just try to avoid Ionia Ave. The whole street shuts down for Irish on Ionia all day and night- think a pre-MTV-spring break party. You won’t fit in. Or you will.

    Events to catch:

        • Tiffany Haddish: Save all your time and energy today in order to catch one of the most sought-after comedians right now. She is, clever, poignant, and powerful, AND she’ll make you laugh.
          -$30-$50 8 p.m. at Fountain Street Church

    Where to head when the comedy is over:

        • Take the night off and soak in all the comedy you just experienced!


        • Flying into Grand Rapids? Our airport may not have any conspiracy theories, but it HAS teamed up with LaughFest and Grand Rapids Public Schools for the “What Makes You Smile” campaign. Find these student displays around the airport throughout the festival
        • *Can’t get enough of Funny Girls? Catch us the following week on the 22nd at 8:00pm for our 27th full-length episode: I Miss My Respective Childhood Years at The Fuse Box!


    *Shows marked with a * feature a Funny Girl in the performance