So every year, for the last half a decade or so, every comic in the metro area, from the open mic level (our initiation rite) up to the world renowned veterans (seriously we have these here), get a little tingle in their spines as The Bridgetown Comedy Festival comes to Portland. Established comedians from across the country, nay the world, gather in our little city for a weekend of humor, mirth and calculated debauchery, that of course starts on a Thursday. It is a ton of fun and I highly recommend you go, if you can.
Sadly not all of us have the eighty bucks for a weekend pass just laying around, or the sitter can only come on Sunday, or the idea of seeing all those crowds is just too much. It’s fine, I understand and I’ve got you covered. Here are a few cheaper, one night, none festival showcases you might wanna give some attention to this week if you can.
• On Wednesday (which is sorta today) the lovely Belinda Carroll hosts her wonderful comedy showcase at the Crush Bar (1412 SE Morrison St), with this edition starring Alex Falcone, Mark Colletta, D’Emmanuel, Lauryn Pithie-Petrie, Jonas Barnes and all headlined by Todd Armstrong. As if that wasn’t enough, there is truth to the rumor that many comedians who are performing at Bridgetown this year are also gonna be swinging by to try some material out as well. They seat at 8, the show starts at 9, so it’s neither too early, nor too late an affair. Combine all that comfy seating, yummy food and good drinks and it’s a steal at just $5.
• The talented Scoot Herring host his appropriately named Fawesome: A Comedy Show this Thursday in the Hawthorne Hideaway (2221 Se Hawthorne Blvd). The doors open at 9, the show starts at 9:30 and not only are there drink specials but they keep the kitchen open all night long. It’s a donation based show, so you can pay what you want, but the performers (Nick Walker, Seth Milstein, Cody McCullar, and headliner Steven Wilbur) are all some of the hardest working comics you’ll ever meet with a wide variety of styles and would be well worth your time.
• For some weird reason April 20th has a bunch of shows in places that require you have some sort of membership or card to get into. One example of that is something called Doc’s 420 Hot Mess Thing, located at Doc’s (4229 SE 82nd Ave Ste B) where you will need to prove you’re at least 21 because at 9pm that night several comedians will be performing in a strip club. Hosted by Jamie Stewart it will feature performances by Josh Lay, Patrick Perkins*, Hilary Adams, Boomer, Rico Starr and be headlined by Big Jim Willig (of the Big & Loud Podcast). There is a $3 suggested donation but I don’t think anyone will complain if you want to put dollar bills on the stage for the performers too. There’s also going to be live music and I think at some point the strippers will end up back on stage.
• Lastly, chronologically, is Down & Dirty: A Dark Comedy Showcase on Sunday at 9 for only $5 in the Ash Street Saloon (225 SW Ash St). This monthly showcase, hosted by the feckless Patrick Perkins* with performances by Shades Mathison, Alex Rios, Michal Boxan, Jared Richard, Annie Box, Boomer, Bryce Jones and the ever busy Todd Armstrong, promises to be everything the name implies and more. Which is great, even if you’re into that kinda thing and even better if you are. This showcase isn’t for the easily offended but they’re welcomed too.
No matter if it’s a big festival show stuffed with established comedians, a smaller venue with local artist or even one of the major comedy clubs, this promises to be a great weekend for stand up comedy. I humbly, and completely biasedly, suggest you take the time to get out there and see a show this weekend. Because I’d hate to see you miss it.
*Full Disclosure; that is me.