The Bridgetown Comedy Festival Experience! A review by Randall Lawrence

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Bridgetown Comedy Festival has been over for a few weeks now and I’m just now recovered from it. You have to understand, 5 straight days of comedy will give you a bit of sleep-deprived delirium and the occasional stand-up flashback. When attending BCF, it’s easy to forget that it’s 2am and you’ve been running from venue to venue for hours on end, catching two thirds of each show, cramming copious amounts of fast food into your face and being in pain over how much your stomach hurts from laughing. It’s also easy to forget that you have work in the morning – getting 3 hours of sleep every night for 5 straight nights is not exactly rejuvenating for the body. I also have a deep respect for new parents – my sleep deprivation was of my own volition. They, on the other hand, do not have any say in the matter of a full night’s sleep.

Now that you’re aware of the struggle, I want to touch on a few of the highlights that I’m pretty stoked about when it comes to this festival I just had the privilege of taking part in. The first I’ve talked about before: Earthquake Hurricane. This show happens regularly at the Velo Cult Bike Shop in Northeast every Wednesday at 9pm. The guests that they had including Solomon Georgio, David Gborie and Greg Behrendt were absolutely stellar, absolutely nothing short of the quality they deliver weekly.

Next is Lez Get Together. This show, hosted by the wonderful Caitlin Weierhauser took place at Bunk Bar Water and featured wonderful comedians such as Whitney Streed and Kate Willett. I’d go through the rest of the list of comedians to give them props but, unfortunately, I had to dip out for the next show.

Third, the Secret Headliner show at Bunk Bar Water featured a couple of my new favorite comics. First was Mia Jackson who took on a wonderful observation of relationships and communication within them. Nick Dixon from northern England delivered material that he wasn’t sure would land here in Portland, but had the entire audience doubled over in laughter. The secret headliner, Clayton English, brought the house down for the night, sending everyone home with aching sides.

Fourth on my list is a wonderful podcast, touching on the “politically correct” movement that we’re oh so familiar with in Portland. Unsafe Space, hosted by Lou Perez and Toby Muresianu featured Portland’s own Bri Pruett (Earthquake Hurricane, Let’s Do It with Bri Pruett) as well as Baron Vaughn (Conan, Grace and Frankie) as well as Teela Foxworth (Communications Professor at Highline College) and Charlie Hinkle (former cooperating attorney with the ACLU and teacher of first amendment law at Lewis and Clark Law School). The podcast expertly focused on civil rights issues, PC culture and white privilege in relations to stand-up comedy and television, forcing the comics to have the uncomfortable conversations needed to drive the conversation of trigger words, gender pronouns and stereotyping in a progressive, forward-thinking direction.

Lastly, and I’ll keep this short, was the closing show, The Dirty 30. 30 comics took the stage and were given 3 minutes to tell their dirtiest material. Highlights were Sean Jordan, Matt Braunger, Martin Urbano, Shane Torres and Casey Ley. What a fantastic way to close out this festival.

In closing, go to BCF 2017. It is well worth the ticket price for the general admission wristband. If you’re okay with being really tired for the reward of seeing absolutely hilarious comics, meeting wonderful comedy connoisseurs and exploring the great venues this city has to offer, then Bridgetown Comedy Festival is absolutely what you should be doing with your life.

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