Your Alternative to Bridgetown Comedy Guide

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.

Bridgetown is One Month Away! Get Your Tickets or Sign Up to Volunteer Now!

bridgetownPeople! Can you believe it? The Bridgetown Comedy Festival is only one month away! It is well worth your time and resources to spend the week enjoying the awesomest comedy event in Portland that happens all year.

Bridgetown has grown bigger and more packed with talent with each passing year. In this, its sixth year, the line-up is spectacular, with big names like Dana Gould, Reggie Watts, and Peter Serafinowicz and Robert Popper. Beloved former Portland comedians like Dax Jordan, Richard Bain, and Virginia Jones will also be there, plus a host of startlingly talented folks from all over the country (I’m talking Todd Glass and Kurt Braunholer and Moshe Kasher, people. I’m talking Jake Weisman and Guy Braunum and Brandie Posey and Emily Heller. I’m talking KATE BERLANT here, people.  I could go on but I won’t. It’s going to be fantastic.)

The festival is  April 18 – 21 and will primarily be held on Hawthorne Boulevard. Weekend passes, priced at $79, are on sale now at http://www.bridgetowncomedy.com, with an additional $10 pre-sale discount available through March 27th.

Also! There is still time to volunteer! Bridgetown couldn’t happen without the amazing people who contribute their time and energy. Whether you want to sit at a table selling tickets or shirts, drive things and people around, or just lift heavy boxes for a while, the festival would love your help. You can volunteer a little or a lot, and your reward is free admission for a night or the whole weekend. Sign up now at http://submissions.bridgetowncomedy.com/apply-to-volunteer and you will hear back within a couple weeks about what your role will be. Comedy all the time, people! All! The! Time!

Brady’s Friends With Benefits 3/14/13 at Dante’s

To try and eulogize Brady Echerer with the few hundred words I have at my disposal would not do him justice. For one thing there was too much to relate: he was a comedian, a paranormal investigator, a chef and a father. Unfortunately I didn’t really know him as well as I wanted to though. I know it sounds cliche, but I always assumed we had more time, until, tragically, we didn’t.

Like I said, I know Brady had a son he loved very much, and he’d recently lost a women he cared for deeply, but we rarely discussed our families. I’ve heard great things about his cooking, but I’d never had the pleasure of trying that version of his art. Nor did I ever accompany him on one of his many ghost hunting expeditions. I knew Brady, as many did, as one of the most bad-ass comedians I’ve ever met. He was respected by veteran comics for being fearless on stage and honest in his writing, yet he still managed to remain one of the warmest people in the world off stage. He also gave a lot of newer comics some amazing opportunities too, including extended stage time for up and comers, day jobs and even a place to stay if the situation was dire enough — all big deals for struggling comics. When we heard he was in the hospital for a heart attack, many of us were willing to help any way we could; with his death, our plans for a fundraiser has also become a memorial of sorts.

At 8pm this Thursday at Dante’s (350 W Burnside), several of Portland’s best comics (including Nathan Branon, Lonnie Bruhn, Big Jim Willig, Belinda Carroll, Boomer, Joe Hieronymus, Andie Main, Tim Hammer, Ry No, Todd Armstrong, Chris Shattuck, Craig Nelson, Shane Torres and myself) are coming together to do our best to memorialize our departed comrade Brady. Additionally there’ll be live music, a raffle, a silent auction and more, all hosted by Jamie Stewart. Proceeds are going towards Brady’s family to help pay for the both the hospital visit and his funeral. For more information and to purchase tickets please visit http://www.danteslive.com/?Page=http%3a%2f%2fpublic.ticketbiscuit.com%2fDantesLive%2fEvents%2f157145

I hope to see you there. Don’t forget to tell someone you love them.

Thanks.

brady