The Milwaukee Comedy Festival got a financial kick April 4 and 5 with a couple of fundraiser shows aimed at its 9th annual event – Aug. 7-10 at the Next Act Theatre space, 255 S. Water St.
Journalist Matthew Reddin took the occasion to put a historical perspective on the festival and Milwaukee Comedy in an article in the Wisconsin Gazette. In the article, Reddin shares some thoughts from Matt Kemple, founder of the festival, who cites an expansion of comedy in Milwaukee since the first fest in 2006. From the Wisconsin Gazette:
"New sketch, improv and stand-up artists are joining the pool each month, and they’re all dedicated to helping each other grow.
'That’s where the strength of the comedy scene comes from,' Kemple says.
Milwaukee Comedy has given the community a tremendous boost, providing not only support for artists, but also an additional comedy venue: the Underground Collaborative, a shared office/performance space located in the basement of Grand Avenue Mall."
Reddin notes how Milwaukee Comedy has been using the Underground Collaborative for regular shows that aim at building both talent and acceptance for a mix of comedy forms – improv, sketch and standup.
"Making comic variety a priority is Kemple’s way of introducing audience members to comedy genres they might have written off," Reddin writes.
One of those regular variety shows is the monthly Comedy Arcade Show. The next one is scheduled for 7:30 p.m., Friday, April 11, featuring improv from The Midnite Show, as well as standup comedy from Geoffrey Asmus and headliner Bryan Morris. The Underground Collaborative is at 161 W. Wisconsin Ave., lower level. Tickets are $7 in advance, $10 at the door.