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Giggles await at third annual Chicago Women’s Funny Festival

This weekend, comedy lovers can enjoy all kinds of comedic antics from the next Tina Fey or Amy Poehler
This weekend, comedy lovers can enjoy all kinds of comedic antics from the next Tina Fey or Amy Poehler
Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Spike TV

This weekend will bring some of the Midwest’s most entertaining women to the Chicago Women’s Funny Festival. Comedy lovers who want a break from their usual pilgrimages to The Second City can head to Stage773 at 1225 W. Belmont Avenue in Lakeview to celebrate all forms of comedy under one roof. On four stages for four days from June 5th through June 8th, 400 comediennes will perform their best material and put stitches in their audiences’ sides.

The Chicago Women’s Funny Festival is the summertime sister show (no pun intended, or probably yes, pun intended) to January’s Chicago Sketch Comedy Festival, but this annual event celebrates comedy’s most hysterical women. The festival will feature all varieties of comedy, from stand-up, sketch, improv, and burlesque to musical comedy, solo shows, and one acts, just to name a few.

Guests don’t have to just sit in the audience, though. This Festival provides workshops to train aspiring female comics in the most basic styles of this amusing art. On Saturday, June 7th, next year’s Tina Fey or Rachel Dratch can learn how to get started in stand-up, picking up such essential skills as how to write a joke and steps to achieving a guest appearance on late-night television.

On Sunday, June 8th, serious comediennes can learn the business of comedy with Marisa Paonessa’s seminar on “Getting Started in the Business With Agent.” This workshop will teach participants how to find an agent, take a good headshot, find commercial gigs, and book television appearances. This seminar particularly focuses on entering the comedy market in Chicago.

On Saturday, June 7th at midnight, the Festival spoofs SketchFest’s Sketchubator with Chickubator, in which groups of performers have five minutes to impress their fellow professionals. Comics are encouraged to try new material or test some of their craziest ideas, with the encouraging knowledge that at midnight on a Saturday night, all of their audience members will probably be drunk.

Like any respectable Chicago festival, The Chicago Women’s Funny Festival will feature live music at midnight on Friday, June 6th. She’s Crafty, comprised of MCAmy, MagRock, and Ken D, will perform their excellent, all-female tribute to The Beastie Boys.

Anyone interested in laughing the weekend away with some of Chicago’s funniest women can find all Festival information and buy tickets at

The website says it all in the way of self-recommendation: “Funny. Ladies. Cheap. Go.”

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