Austin Sketch Fest is celebrating its 5th anniversary, and it’s happening now. I have grown to appreciate sketch comedy. Especially when considering how much time goes into writing a show, practicing, and shifting between scenes. It’s an exercise in efficiency.
Big Talent, Two Theaters
Sketch comedy is being celebrated this week at Coldtowne Theater and Spider House Ballroom. The festival will showcase more than 40 acts from Austin, NYC, L.A., Chicago and all points in between. Headliners for the event are Brent Weinbach (Conan, Comedy Central) and Joe Wengert (Kroll Show, Comedy Central’s The Half Hour, Comedy Bang Bang!). The headliners lead a vanguard of talented out of town acts. Girls with Brown Hair, 2girls1pup, and 100% Stuff will be bringing their unique style of sketch to the theaters.
Local talent includes Vanessa Gonzalez, Master Pancake Theater, Bad Example and STAG! Comedy. Readers of this site will be familiar with some of those names if not, click the links. I have seen Vanessa Gonzalez perform since my featured published this winter and she only keeps getting better. I also highly recommend seeing Megan Simon. Every three months or so, she writes brand new music for her one person show and it’s rock solid.
Master Pancake Theater
For those of you brand new to Austin, and by brand new, I mean you have less than 10 plastic Rudy’s BBQ cups in your cabinet, then let me tell you about Master Pancake Theater. Imagine a couple of guys so funny, that the Alamo Drafthouse allows them to talk during movies. John Erlher has been lampooning movies with a rotating cast since the early 00’s, and nothing is sacred. Recently Kath Barbadoro has been spending time with Master Pancake Theater while they mock 50 Shades of Grey.
Just a Bit of Stand Up
If you’re into stand up, Sketch Fest will be featuring a few local comedians too. Bryan Gutman will be recording an album from Spider House Ballroom for Sure Thing Records, Zac Brooks, Avery Moore and others will be doing sets as well. Zac Brooks is a comedian you need to see if you haven’t yet. He’s featured on the Sure Thing’s debut recording and has been everywhere in Austin.
There’s still plenty of time to check out Austin Sketch Fest. Whichever venue you decide to go to, be sure to get there a bit early since parking can get tight. The Spider House Ballroom, at 2908 Fruth St, features a full bar and menu. Coldtowne Theater, at 4803-B Airport Blvd, is byob and sells snacks at the box office.
Tickets are an accessible $5-$15. Seating is limited. For ticket information, visit atxsketchfest.com
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