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A brew of laughter

Rick Coates - February 7th, 2011
A Brew of Laughter: Traverse City hosts annual microbrew and comedy fests
By Rick Coates
This weekend, organizers for the two-day Traverse City Winter
Microbrew & Music Festival expect to draw 3,000 attendees. The
Traverse City Comedy Arts Festival is expected to draw another 5,000
participants over a four day period making downtown Traverse City the
place to be.  Here is an overview of what participants will experience
and there is plenty of opportunity to participate in both.

Traverse City Winter Microbrew & Music Festival
Last year, the Traverse City Winter Microbrew & Music Festival sold
out; and with the move of the festival to downtown Traverse City this
year, even larger crowds are expected.
“We are excited to be in the Old Town District,” said Sam Porter. “I
grew up in this neighborhood and I am happy to be able to move back
here and create an event of this caliber for the people of Traverse
This year’s festival is divided into two days with Friday, February
11, serving as the kickoff party. This will take place both inside and
behind the Blue Tractor restaurant in the parking lot next to the
parking deck.  A large heated tent will feature a night of
entertainment headlined by My Dear Disco.
The opening night will go from 5 to 10 p.m. and will feature several
specials including an extended happy hour until 7 p.m. with all draft,
bottle beer, glass wine and shots and pops one dollar off, along with
one dollar off all appetizers.  Plus sliders and 12 oz. North Peak
drafts for a buck each.  Tickets are $12 in advance and $15 at the
door. The event will feature $3 pint specials, craft beer, food and
various Michigan wines.

On Saturday, February 12, the Microbrew & Music Festival will spill
over into Union Street between Seventh and Eighth streets from 3 p.m.
to 10 p.m.  Blue Tractor, The Soul Hole, Maxbauers and EMS Catering
will be serving everything from pulled pork to gyros to brats to gumbo
and New Orleans cuisine.
Steppin’ In It will headline for Saturday night’s entertainment. Other
entertainment over the weekend includes Delilah DeWylde & The Lost
Boys, Grand Traverse Pipes & Drums, Funktion, Levi Britton, Joe
Wilson, Joshua Davis, Andrew Sturtz, Younce Guitar Duo, DJ DomiNate,
Fire Twirlers, Bruce Grossman, Soul Patch, Steven Leaf and Eric
Saturday tickets are $25 in advance or $30 at the door, and attendees
must be 21 years of age or older with ID upon entry. No exceptions.
Ticket includes access to over 75 microbrews from 40 breweries, local
wine, cider and mead and Five 7-oz. pours with original ticket, with
additional drink tickets available for purchase ($1 each). Saturday
tickets also include access to the full lineup of live music acts,
craft beer education, winter games and activities and free samples in
the popular Hop-N-Brew Shack.
Tickets may be purchased at Oryana, Blue Tractor and online at Attendees are encouraged to carpool;
use the Old Town parking deck (free after 5 p.m.) or walk, sled or
snowshoe to the event. For more information and a full schedule of
events, visit the website.

Traverse City Comedy Arts Festival
As with the Traverse City Winter Microbrew & Music Festival, the
Comedy Arts Festival is in year two. A successful first year of sold
out shows has allowed for the Festival to expand days and events. Here
are a few of the highlights as they appear in the Traverse City Comedy
Arts Festival 2011 Brochure:

Thursday, Feb 10
City Opera House, 5:30 PM
Kick off the Comedy Arts Festival by meeting some of the comedy stars
up close and in person as they gather for the second-ever Traverse
City Comedy Arts Festival opening party. Enjoy food and drink and
be welcomed by Festival co-founders Michael Moore and Jeff Garlin, and
check out the comedy scene before Bob Saget takes to the stage.

Thursday, Feb 10
City Opera House, 8:30 PM
While it’s true that Bob Saget starred on two of the most
family-friendly shows network TV has ever produced (“Full House” and
“Americas Funniest Home Videos”), he’s also been a brilliant, edgy
standup comedian for over 30 years. From his starring role on Broadway
in “The Drowsy Chaperone” to his scene-stealing appearances in “The
Aristocrats” and HBO’s “Entourage,” to his last HBO special, “That
Ain’t Right,” Saget is always pushing the envelope of his craft.
Michael Moore says: “please, leave the kids at home.” This one is for
adults and for the Not-Faint-of-Heart Only.

Friday, Feb 11
City Opera House, 9:30 PM
Saturday, Feb 12
State Theatre, 7:00 PM

Patton Oswalt, one of the country’s hottest comedians, has shot three
TV specials and two critically acclaimed albums, including the Grammy
nominated “My Weakness Is Strong.” He played Spence on “The King of
Queens” on CBS for nine seasons and is now a series regular on
Showtime’s “United States of Tara” and SyFy’s “Caprica.” He’s written
a new book, “Zombie Spaceship Wasteland,” guest-starred on “Seinfeld,”
been in over 20 films including “Ratatouille” and “Big Fan” (TCFF
2009) and he headlines live all across the US and UK. And now TC! This
show is geared for adults and mature teens.

Friday, Feb 11
City Opera House, 7:00 PM
Saturday, Feb 12
City Opera House, 9:30 PM

You may know her as Aunt Hilda on ABC/WB’s sitcom “Sabrina, The
Teenage Witch.” Or you may know her as Drew’s girlfriend on “The Drew
Carey Show,” or as the host of NBC’s “The Biggest Loser.” She starred
in the films “Man on the Moon,” “The Perfect Man” and “Christmas with
the Kranks,” and she’s a regular on Comedy Central and MTV. After all
this, plus 17 years performing to sold-out audiences in top comedy
clubs all over the country, she’s bringing her fresh, smart and
spontaneous act to Traverse City. For Adults, Mature Teens and Babies
Under 6 Months.

Friday, Feb 11
State Theatre, 9:30 PM
Saturday, Feb 12
State Theatre, 9:30 PM

Jeffrey Ross is the “Roastmaster General” on Comedy Central, giving
many show-stopping performances at celebrity roasts honoring America’s
“celebrities” such as William Shatner, Hugh Hefner, Donald Trump and
Pamela Anderson. He’s been on David Letterman, Jimmy Kimmel, Jay Leno,
Carson Daly, “The View,” HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher” and
“Countdown with Keith Olbermann,” and he’s written for “The Man Show,”
not to mention the fact that he also performs stand-up regularly at
charity benefits and for US soldiers stationed all over the world. For
Adults Only.

Friday, Feb 11
Old Town Playhouse, 9:30 PM
Saturday, Feb 12
Old Town Playhouse, 9:30 PM

Join Traverse City Comedy Arts Festival co-founder Jeff Garlin (“Curb
Your Enthusiasm,” “WALL-E”) as he hosts two rising comedy stars,
Aubrey Plaza (“Parks and Recreation”) and Brett Gelman (Comedy
Central’s “Motherload”), for pure comedy excitement. Last year Jeff
brought some incredible up-and-coming comedians to Traverse City
including Whitney Cummings and Ian Edwards. For Adults Only.

Friday, Feb 11
Old Town Playhouse, 7:00 PM
Saturday, Feb 12
Old Town Playhouse, 7:00 PM

TC Comedy Fest co-founder and Oscar-winning filmmaker Michael Moore
moves his hit one-man show from London’s Royal Shakespeare Theatre to
Traverse City’s Old Town Playhouse (kitty-corner from the Old Town
Parking Garage) for two performances only. He’ll share his satirical
take on the issues of the day, spill the beans on Hollywood (what’s it
like to party with Mel Gibson?), and hand out free pictures of his
time in Detroit Metro Airport’s TSA x-ray booth (spoiler alert: he’s
not a terrorist!). And he will prove, once and for all, why we’re
smarter than Canadians (Canadians in the audience get a special
prize!). For Adults, Teens and Tea Party regulars.

The Traverse Comedy Arts Festival also features events for children
and will show several films throughout the weekend. For a complete
schedule and tickets go to or stop into the box
office located in the State Theatre Lobby at 233 E Front Street,
downtown Traverse City.

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