(WOODSTOCK, N.Y.) – Robert Klein will headline the 2015 Woodstock Comedy Festival (WCF), which will be held Friday-Sunday, September 18-20. The Grammy-, Tony-, and Emmy Award-nominated comedian and actor Klein, along with a world-class lineup of comedians and comedy filmmakers, will appear during festival weekend at venues throughout the town of Woodstock. The third annual Woodstock Comedy Festival continues its mission of “comedy for a cause,” donating its net profits to charities that aid survivors of domestic violence and human trafficking.
The festival will open on Friday, September 18, at 8pm with Laughingstock! A Night of Stand-up and Improv Comedy at the venerable Kleinert-James Art Center on Tinker Street. Hosted by Jo Firestone, the show will feature stand-up from seven comedians as well as a set from the runner-up of the WCF’s inaugural “New Faces of Comedy” competition. Cucina will host the opening night VIP celebration immediately following the show.
On Saturday, September 19, daytime panels begin at 12:30pm at the Kleinert-James Art Center with Joan Rivers: A Tribute featuring Rivers’s longtime writer and friend Hester Mundis, producer Ed Berenhaus and comedian Audrey Rapoport — who says Rivers flung open the door for women in comedy — and a film montage of Rivers’s funniest moments.
The WCF continues with George Carlin: Growing Up Funny (2pm) including Carlin’s brother Patrick Carlin and Janna Ritz, daughter of Harry Ritz of the Ritz Brothers, and other surprise guests. The final panel, The Life of a Stand-up (3:30pm), will give the audience insight into what life is really like on the road, in the green room, and on stage as a professional comedian.
The laughs continue at 7:30pm Saturday night with the headlining show, Woodstock Comedy Festival Presents Robert Klein at the iconic Bearsville Theater. His favorite accompanist, the acclaimed musician Bob Stein, will join Klein for the performance, and opening the show is self-described “stressed out mom” — and comedian and author — Karen Bergreen. The 9:30pm late show at the Bearsville Theater (performers to be announced) will be followed by an after-party at the Bearsville Complex’s newest restaurant, The Commune Saloon.
WCF’s Sunday at the Movies will be held on Sunday, September 20 at Woodstock’s Upstate Films. Beginning at 12:30pm, the afternoon will include a feature film presentation, a short film showcase and a filmmaker Q&A session. Short films scheduled to screen include: All’s Fair (Todd Strauss-Schulson), The Gunfighter (Eric Kissack) which features the voice of Nick Offerman, Ike Interviews God (Eli Shapiro), Leonard in Slow Motion (Peter Livolsi), The Life and Death of Tommy Chaos and Stacey Danger (Michael Lukk Litwak), My Date with Carmelo (Michael Stahl-David), and a short film by the grand prize winner of the inaugural “Funny Eye” competition.
The Woodstock Comedy Festival (WCF) is a 501©(3) not-for-profit corporation with a mission: Comedy for a Cause. A weekend of laughter to benefit two charities that are no laughing matter, Family of Woodstock, for survivors of domestic violence, and Polaris, for human trafficking. The festival is held every September in Woodstock NY, a town steeped in history, music, culture and the arts. Shows go up at local venues around Woodstock, and the comedy ranges from stand-up to sketch, from improv to open mic, from panels to films.