WEB EXTRA: Laughing it up for brain cancer at DC Comedy Fest

Last Thursday night, HR-57 was filled with people laughing in the face of brain cancer. Perhaps I should say, in the name of brain cancer. The small venue is typically aglow with spicy jazz, but this weekend it’s being set ablaze with laughter. Along with The Warehouse Theater Complex (1021 7th St. NW), Flashpoint (916 G St. NW), Bar Rouge (1315 16th St. NW), and R.F.D. (810 7th St. NW), HR-57 is hosting this year’s DC Comedy Fest (www.dccomedyfest.com).

Comedians Kojo Mante, Ryan Conner, Rory Scovel, TJ Miller and Jon Dore kicked off the comedic conflagration last night with the charity event, “Meredith’s Stand Up vs. Brain Cancer Benefit.

Festival-founder and chairperson Blaire Postman organized the event in honor of her fiancée’s late mother, Meredith, who lost the battle with brain cancer just last year. All proceeds benefited the Cassidy-Pinkard Colliers Race for Hope to Benefit the Brain Tumor Society & Accelerate Brain Cancer Cure. Considering that the benefit tickets were a bit pricier than normal admission will be for the rest of the fest, there was a more modest turnout last night. However, based on the arsenal of comedians stocked for the next few days, this tour de force of laughter is sure to heat up.

For the rest of the weekend, some of the nation’s hottest comedians will continue making the district laugh for a cause. Not brain cancer (that was just last night), but rather for “life, liberty and the pursuit of funniness.”

The stand-up festivities continue at HR-57 with headliner Rob Cantrell, a finalist and series regular on NBC’s hit show The Last Comic Standing. He’ll be joined by a laundry list of others including Becky Donohue (her projected image has appeared on Comedy Central), Andy Peters (2005 Seattle International Comedy Competition winner), and Manolis Zontanos. At 9 pm Bob Read of Last Comic Standing and booker of The Tonight Show will take a look at some of comedy’s hottest new talent. If stand-up just doesn’t tickle your fancy, then be sure to check out sketch and improv sets going on tonight at Warehouse and Flashpoint (see www.dccomedyfest.com for details including show times and online ticket-purchasing).

On Saturday, HR-57 is hosting more stand-up and another audition show, this time for The Late Show with David Letterman. Eddie Brill, booker for the Late Show, will be taking a look at some more hand-picked rising talent. For sketch and improv fans, Warehouse and Flashpoint will continue on Saturday with acts such as President Bush is a Great Man! performed by Chicago’s famed Annoyance Theater and Political Comedy Convention hosted by political comedian and commentator Jeff Kreisler.

This weekend, as the cherry blossoms wane and the weather remains unseasonably and disappointingly chilly, a good dose of humor is a surefire way to warm your spirits or at least make you laugh your arse off. So, check out www.dccomedyfest.com and let the laughter begin!

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