The city is about the get extra hilarious – or so we hope – when The Milwaukee Comedy Festival, which is Wisconsin’s largest comedy event, celebrates its 10-year anniversary this year with four days of comedic performance.
The annual festival runs from Thursday, Aug. 6 through Saturday, Aug. 9 and features performers from across the United States and Canada.
An official kick-off event at Lakefront Brewery, 1872 N. Commerce St., will offer an additional day of entertainment on Wednesday, Aug. 5 and feature local comedic talent.
The festival takes place at Next Act Theatre, 255 S. Water St., on Thursday, Friday and Saturday and – for the first time – at the Historic Turner Hall, 1038 N. 4th St. on the final night, which is a performance by Brian Posehn, a comedian, writer and actor who is best known for "Fantastic Four" as well as his role as Jim Kuback on "Mission Hill" and Brian Spukowski on "The Sarah Silverman Show."
In total, seven different comedy shows will offer a variety of comedy acts including professional stand up, improvisation and sketch comedy.
Single show tickets are available for $14 here and at the Next Act Theatre box office for $18 the day of show. All-access passes are available for $50 and include admission to all shows, including the kick-off and special events, and first-choice seating, a limited edition lanyard and a button or sticker.
"We have the best festival line-up in our decade long history," says Matt Kemple, festival founder and producer. "We’ve found the best and can’t wait for Milwaukee to see what we have in store for them this time around."
Patrick Schmitz has been a producer of the event for seven years. Prior to joining the Milwaukee Comedy Fest, Schmitz was involved with ComedySportz, First Stage Children's Theater and ran improv nights at Bucketworks and Alchemist Theatre.
"There are a lot of funny people in this city," says Schmitz, who is also a theater teacher at Brown Deer High School. "It’s amazing to watch local talent grow. And that’s one of the amazing aspects of the festival: there are people who might be at the mic for the third time ever mixed in with someone who has been on a legitimate television show."
Later this month, Schmitz's "The Comedy of Hamlet ... Kinda Sorta" – a parody of Shakespeare's "Hamlet" – will run at Next Act, Aug. 20-22. Schmitz also wrote and directed "The Comedy of Romeo & Juliet."
Schmitz says the festival is also a chance for talented comedians and actors from different parts of the country and beyond to spend time in Milwaukee to recognize and enjoy its diverse offerings.
"The comedians who come here to be a part of the festival are taken care of very well. We make sure they have a good time, and they keep coming back," he says. "It’s not just another show for them, it’s more like a warm, welcoming clubhouse."
Molly Snyder started writing and publishing her work at the age 10, when her community newspaper printed her poem, "The Unicorn.” Since then, she's expanded beyond the subject of mythical creatures and written in many different mediums but, nearest and dearest to her heart, thousands of articles for OnMilwaukee.
Molly is a regular contributor to FOX6 News and numerous radio stations as well as the co-host of "Dandelions: A Podcast For Women.” She's received five Milwaukee Press Club Awards, served as the Pfister Narrator and is the Wisconsin State Fair’s Celebrity Cream Puff Eating Champion of 2019.