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Laugh On! Lucille Ball Comedy Fest, July 30-Aug. 1

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By Alicia Dziak

Need a laugh? How about a weekend of laughs? Then don’t miss the Lucille Ball Comedy Festival, July 30-Aug. 1, which is guaranteed to bring a smile to your face!

Kick off the weekend with the Stand-up Comedy Showcase on Thursday, July 30, featuring some of the hottest names in comedy. Check out Pete Lee, Pat McGann, and Beth Stelling who have appeared on Leno, Conan, Letterman, and more. Tickets start at $15; veterans are invited free thanks to sponsors.

On Friday at 6 p.m. Melissa Rivers and Kelly Carlin, daughters of Joan Rivers and George Carlin respectively, will take part in a comedy roundtable. The discussion will feature an in-depth look at the careers of comedic greats, as well as the impact of their contributions to modern culture. Tickets start at $15.50.

Friday at 8:30 p.m., don’t miss Nick Offerman, best known for the role of Ron Swanson on NBC’s hit comedy series “Parks & Recreation.” For his work on the show, Offerman won a Television Critics Association Award for Achievement in Comedy in 2011, and two Critics’ Choice Television Award nominations for Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series. Tickets start at $37.50.

Head into Saturday with even more laughs, At 3:30 p.m., check out A Carlin Home Companion, a look inside the life of George Carlin from the unique perspective of a young woman trying to find her own voice. In it, George Carlin’s daughter Kelly emerges from her father’s looming shadow as her own unique creative force. Tickets start at $22.50.

Those who planned ahead will be checking out Jerry Seinfeld, for two sold out performances on Saturday, Aug. 1. Didn’t get a ticket? You can still join in the fun before and after the performances at the Block Party with Q Phunk, starting at 5:30 p.m. Enjoy beer, wine, music, vendors, grape stomping, chocolate wrapping and much more.

Looking for a family-friendly option? Story Pirates: Kids Comedy Show will hit the stage on Saturday, Aug. 1 at 11 a.m. Story Pirates will delight and surprise you with puppets, enlivening songs and outrageous sketches. Great for ages 5-12, and even better—it’s free. As a special treat, Story Pirates will be performing stories written by area students.

Hungry for more? Have a meal with Lucy and Ethel. Enjoy “I Love Lucy” style antics with Lucy & Ethel (played by professional impersonators Diane Vincent & Rhonda Medina) as they entertain you through your laugh-out-loud meal. The dinner and show take place in the beautifully renovated, historic Willow Bay Theater.

Or you can choose to dine in the Tropicana Room, a recreation of Ricky Ricardo’s famous Manhattan Nightclub.

If you’re a night owl, stay up for Comedy Late Night in the Tropicana Room Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 11:30 p.m. The events will feature comics from around the nation performing their newest material.

Hoping to learn something new? You can do that too! Check out a variety of fun workshops, including Desi Arnaz’s Conga Workshop, Intro to Stand Up Comedy, Lucille Ball’s Comedy College or Lucy Art Class with Gary Peters.

Lucille Ball’s Hometown Tours also are happening throughout the weekend. These guided tours of Jamestown and Celoron will take you to places of significance to Lucy — the house she was born in, the house where she grew up, the site of the grand Celoron Amusement park that was her adolescent stomping ground, and much more.

Note that some of the weekend’s performances contain adult content. For information and to purchase tickets for any of the events, visit www.lucycomedyfest.com.

Don’t miss your chance to see so many stars of comedy come together and share their talents. The Lucille Ball Comedy Festival promises to be a rip roarin’ good time, sure to cure any summertime blues!

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