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LaughFest Central Opens Feb. 17 | Arts & Culture

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LaughFest Central Opens Feb. 17
LaughFest Central Opens Feb. 17

-------------------------------------------NEWS RELEASE-------------------------------------- 

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – LaughFest Central will open its doors Feb. 17 inside the Grand Rapids Art Museum (GRAM), located at 101 Monroe Center. The festival headquarters will serve as a focal point for LaughFest information, as well as a location where tickets and merchandise can be purchased. Prior to the festival, LaughFest Central will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays, and 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays. During the festival, from March 6 to 16, hours will be 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays. 

LaughFest 2014 will also see the return of “Fast Passes” for free events. “Fast Passes” guarantee holders a seat for free showings as long as they are seated 15 minutes prior to the event start time. At that time, walk-up seating will begin and “Fast Passes” will expire. “Fast Passes” are available for most free LaughFest events. A percentage of seats at “Fast Pass” venues will be kept open for walk-ups. “Fast Passes” are available for pickup at LaughFest Central, Lemonjello’s in Holland and Cousin’s Hallmark in Lowell.

LaughFest Friend members will have a chance to get “Fast Passes” from LaughFest Central before they are available to the public. Members of the program can pick up “Fast Passes” at the GRAM from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, February 15 or Sunday, February 16. Benefits of LaughFest Friend membership, which costs $25, also include a limited-edition T-shirt designed by The Mitten State, exclusive content and more. Signups for the program will be available at LaughFest Central and www.laughfestgr.org.

Some of this year’s free events include:

  • Traditional African Dance – Join Kama Tai of Kalamazoo’s Dunuya Drum and Dance for a traditional West African dance class.
    • Saturday, March 8, 1:30pm @ Wealthy Theatre Annex
    • Family Friendly – For All Ages
  • Dirty Show – An exciting blend of four letter words, hilarious jokes and stories that will entertain throughout the evening.
    • Saturday, March 8, 11:59pm @ Pyramid Scheme
    • Rated R…Really!
  • Listening Parties – Get together and listen to some note-worthy comedic acts and their best performances of the past.
    • The Best of Dick Gregory
      • Sunday, March 9, 3:00pm @ Wealthy Theatre, Koning Micro Cinema
      • For Mature Audiences
    • The Rudy Ray Moore Party Album: The Player, the Hustler
      • Sunday, March 9, 4:00pm @ Wealthy Theatre, Koning Micro Cinema
      • Rated R…Really!
    • The Best of Redd Foxx
      • Sunday, March 9, 5:00pm @ Wealthy Theatre, Koning Micro Cinema
      • Rated R…Really!
  • Hashtag Rustbelt – These comedians bring a Midwestern industrial sensibility to comedy.
    • Monday, March 10, 7:00pm @ McFadden’s
    • Rated R…Really!
  • Joking Around Creative Writing Workshop - Students in grades three to five are welcome to join us for this seriously funny after school workshop where they will learn how to write with humor.
    • Tuesday, March 11, 4:00pm @ Creative Youth Center
    • Family Friendly – For All Ages
  • Don’t We Boys with Rabbit, Rabbit – The Don’t We Boys is a critically-acclaimed, fast-paced sketch comedy show in the same vein as Comedy Central’s “Key & Peele” and MTV’s “Human Giant.” Rabbit, Rabbit features Chicago sketch duo Andrew Bentley and Chris Blake who are bringing their “highly energetic and darkly subversive” comedy to Grand Rapids for the first time.
    • Friday, March 14, 7:00pm @ Compass College
    • Rated R…Really!

“The line up of free and ticketed shows this year is outstanding,” said Joanne Roehm, festival director. “We are extremely excited to bring back old favorites and expand our programming to include new and engaging content. We’re committed to providing a wide range of accessible shows that everyone can enjoy.”

LaughFest 2014 will include more than 200 free and ticketed shows that feature over 60 artists at more than40 venues in Grand Rapids, Lowell, and Holland during the 10 days of the festival. Individual tickets are priced from $7 to $60, excluding the Signature Event. Tickets are available beginning February 17 at LaughFest Central, and are also are available at the Van Andel Arena Box Office or at Ticketmaster outlets through the Festival’s closing day.

LaughFest 2014 will be held in Grand Rapids, Lowell and Holland from March 6 through March 16. LaughFest headliners include: Jay Leno, Jim Gaffigan, Lily Tomlin, Sinbad, Chris Tucker and Mike Birbiglia. Other acts announced include: Maria Bamford, Miranda Sings, Todd Barry, Rory Scovel and Nick Thune, The Tenderloins, Judah Friedlander, Jen Kirkman, Blackout Diaries and the stars of MTV’s Guy Code. New and returning activities include the FUNderwear 5K Run presented by Universal Forest Products, the Seriously Funny Family Adventure Challenge, and People and Pets. Showcases and competitions include Best of the Midwest, Gun Lake Casino National Stand-up Comedy Showcase and Bissell Clean Comedy Showcase.

Gilda’s LaughFest was created by a team at Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids in 2011. Since inception, LaughFest has averaged 55,000 attendees per year. Proceeds from the festival will go to support the free cancer, grief and emotional health programs offered through Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids. Visit http://www.laughfestgr.org/ or call 616-735-HAHA (4242) to learn more about Gilda’s LaughFest.

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