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LA By Mitchell Terpstra and Matt Simpson Siegel

or guffaw, it has potential. If all goes swim- mingly, it could do for comedy what South by Southwest (SXSW), Bonnaroo or Lollapalooza does for music — but in a more inclusive- less-genre-specific-across-the-racial/class/ generation-gap way. Besides showcasing the best of local


comedy, it wants to draw regional, national and international talent. It wants to have all the magnetism that Mecca has for Muslims. It wants to be a destination. But this is LaughFest’s inaugural year, and

it will experience all the perfunctory kinks and hiccups that accompany any grandiose project in its infantile stage. So, to prevent you from feeling like a bewildered soul on Willy Wonka’s psychedelic boat ride through the tunnel of hell, let REVUE highlight some of LaughFest’s most intriguing events for you.



ET’S BE HONEST. LaughFest GR is an experiment in foster- ing a cultural phenomenon. As a 10-day, citywide celebration of anything and everything that makes us chuckle, chortle

CABBIE Dog Story Theater March 17, 8 p.m. FREE! Must be 13+ to attend

Some days, it’s not the calendared coffee-date with your long-lost friend that turns your frown upside-down. Instead, it’s the hilariously un- planned interaction with your bank teller, your neighbor’s dog or your ex’s-mother’s-new-lover that ludicrously redeems your day. This show of “improvisational fare”

seeks to re-create those very types of random encounters. Artists from six improv troupes will be boarding and un-boarding a taxi all evening in order to dramatize “one cab driver’s night full of pickups and letdowns.” This is one show that is sure to get you where you need to go.

THE BRA AUCTION Crush (in the B.O.B.) March 14, 6 p.m. Individual tickets $32.50 Must be 18+ to attend

Like cookies and milk or Abbott and Costello, boobs and charity go hand-in-hand as one of those ordained-before-time, marriage-made- in-heaven combos. At this public party for private wear, all the exposure is decent, as attendees are allowed to bid on uniquely de- signed brassieres, with the proceeds going to breast cancer research. Men heartily welcome.

19-HOLE GOLF UICA Tuesday to Saturday, noon to 10 p.m. Sunday, noon to 7 p.m. $8 for non-members; $6, members; $5, kids 12 and under; FREE for children under 4

The sport known as golf suffers from belong- ing almost entirely to the green-shrubberied realm of older male WASP-types. Star swingers like Tiger, Vijay Singh and Michelle Wie help open wide that crusty demographic, and the

miniature version of the game, also known as Putt-Putt, helps literally level the playing field. Nevertheless, golf has never looked this

good: for the whole month of March, the UICA has commissioned artists to design 19 beguil- ing holes that take over the entire building, including two floors plus walls, windows and ceilings. Slightly wacky and definitely chal- lenging, make this mini-golf course your new “Happy Place.”

BABY LOVES DISCO Crush (in The B.O.B.) March 11 and 12, 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. $7 for individual tickets

No, not “baby” as in some rap-guy’s girlfriend; “baby” as in your energetic and fun-loving child. This event is the brainchild of professional dancer-turned-mother Heather Murphy, who wanted to avoid pre-packaged commercial entertainment for her toddler and to reunite parents and kids in recreation. So when the “Barney” episodes become

too blasé and the playground too banal, take your kids to this child-safe dance floor and cut a rug together to some feel-good hits from the ‘70s and ‘80s spun by a DJ. It’s like the Mickey Mouse Club without all the elitism. Heart- healthy snacks, diaper-changing stations, a bubble-machine and a chill-out room are all available. Minors, of course, are welcome.

OUT-OF-THE-BOX COMEDY DeVos Performance Hall March 14, 7 p.m. Tickets FREE! suggested $10 donation at the door / Must be 13+ to attend

Nationally acclaimed comedian Akintunde sees himself as a jester from the courts of the Lord. Believe it or not, his credits certainly seem evidence of divine inspiration. In his 17 years as a comedian, Akintunde has written comedic monologues for the likes of Chris Tucker and

Mo’Nique, won numerous awards, toured nationally and had his radio show syndicated. In this performance, where the joke-

writer steps front and center, expect to see a man revolutionizing the Christian entertain- ment world. “I use to shun all compliments and predictions of my assignment,” Akintunde said. “But I can now receive as prophetic words knowing full well that it has nothing to do with me. It’s God’s anointed power given to me.”

WHO LET THE DOGS OUT? Rosa Parks Circle March 12, 9 a.m.-noon March 19, 9 a.m.-noon FREE! All ages welcome

Jimmy Le did. Le, a local social media special- ist, is also chronically amused by animals and wants you to be too. “I’m a huge animal-lover and a supporter

of the Humane Society,” Le said. Hence, he and his Shetland Sheepdog

will be hosting two events that prove homo sapiens aren’t the only species with a sense of humor. The first event, “A Dog Look -Alike

Showcase,” will be a one-day photography exhibit of uncanny pet resemblances. Do you have a Scarlet Macaw that resembles Condoleezza Rice, a Schnauzer that looks like Conan O’Brien, or a Leopard Gecko that’s in- distinguishable from you? Submit your photos online for the smirks of all. The second event, “What Makes Me

Laugh About My Pet,” will be an open-invite, show-and-tell experience that allows par- ticipants and their pets to take the stage and share tricks and/or tales of furred, feathered, or finned shenanigans. Both events will take place at Rosa Parks

Circle, but don’t fret about the bitter winter weather, because both events will take place inside a ginormous tent.





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