Gilda’s LaughFest reveals festival lineup

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Charlie Berens. Courtesy Gilda’s LaughFest

Gilda’s LaughFest announced some of the headliners for its annual festival.

This year’s festival will feature nearly 50 free and ticketed events from Wednesday, March 16, to Sunday, March 20, at different venues throughout Grand Rapids.

Before the five-day festival begins, Justin Willman, a magician, comedian and creator of Netflix’s “Magic for Humans,” will perform during Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids’ 20th anniversary Red Door Gala at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 15, at the Steelcase Ballrooms at the DeVos Place, 303 Monroe Ave. NW.

Clean Comedy Showcase will take place at 9:30 p.m., March 16-18 at Wealthy Theatre, 1130 Wealthy St. SE. The showcase will feature six different comedians who will perform clean shows. The performers include LeClerc Andre, Jessi Campbell, Leighann Lord, Nancy Norton, Dwayne Perkins and Gianmarco Soresi.

Charlie Berens, the Emmy-winning comedian who created the comedic news series, “Manitowac Minute,” will perform at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 17, at Fountain Street Church, 24 Fountain St. NE. He has been a collaborator on “Funny or Die” and his viral clips such as “If Jack Dawson Was Really from Wisconsin” have been viewed by over 13 million people.

Standup comedian, writer and actor Fortune Feimester will return to Grand Rapids with her “2 Sweet 2 Salty show” at 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Friday, March 16, at Fountain Street Church. Her first special, “Sweet & Salty,” is streaming on Netflix. She has been cast in roles on shows such as “The Mindy Project,” NBC series “Champions,” and the movie “Office Christmas Party.” Feimester has made guest appearances on TV shows including “Dear White People,” “Idiotsitter,” “Workaholics,” “Drunk History” and “@Midnight.”

Maria Bamford, star of the Netflix comedy series “Lady Dynamite,” will perform at 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m., Saturday, March 19, at Wealthy Theatre. She has starred in multiple hourlong specials such as “Weakness Is the Brand,” “Old Baby” and “Maria Bamford, the Special, Special, Special!”

Bamford is the creator, writer and only actor of the hit web series “The Maria Bamford Show.” She is known for her voiceover work in “Big Mouth,” “BoJack Horseman,” “Adventure Time,” “Bob’s Burgers,” “The Legend of Korra” and “Puss in Boots.” She also played recurring characters in “Arrested Development” and “Fresh Off the Boat.”

Actor, writer and comedian Tone Bell will perform at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. Saturday, March 19, and Sunday, March 20, at the Listening Room, 123 Ionia Ave. SW. He starred as John Levy in the award-winning film “The U.S. vs Billie Holliday,” co-starred alongside Kathy Bates in the Netflix original comedy “Disjointed” and guest-starred on HBO’s “A Black Lady Sketch Show.”

Bell also played comedian Richard Pryor in BET’s “American Soul” and acted opposite Nina Dobrev in CBS TV show “Fam” and the movie “Dog Days.” Tone co-stars alongside Kathy Bates in the Netflix original comedy “Disjointed” and guest-stars on “A Black Lady Sketch Show.”

Free events include Seriously Funny Adventure Challenge, Sunday Night Funnies, Kids Joke, Family Improv, You Have Two Minutes: Brian Kelly’s Favorite LaughFest Portraits, Laughter Yoga, Recovery Showcase, All Ya’ll Showcase and Drum it Out.

Tickets and more information are available here.

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