Woodstock’s fast becoming a bona fide festival town; and we’re no longer talking about any confusion with that big music event that utilized the community’s hallowed name 45 years ago elsewhere in the region. Nope, we’re talking about a place with a well-established film festival, a rising writers’ festival, the Byrdcliffe Festival, a former Poetry Festival and plenty of other fests that come and go each year. Enter the new Woodstock Comedy Festival, now struggling out of its infancy and pushing to get its name on everyone’s lips with a fundraising show featuring the fabulous Caroline Rhea this Saturday, April 26 at the Bearsville Theater.
The Canadian-born Rhea rose through standup to gain fame as the original host of the reality TV show The Biggest Loser, play a major role on Sabrina, the Teenage Witch and replace Rosie O’Donnell on what would become her own eponymously named program. For her upcoming Bearsville gig, titled “Laughingstock,” she’ll be joined by funnywomen Phoebe Robinson of MTV, Verna Gillis and Audrey Rapoport.
The Woodstock Comedy Festival, set to take place September 19 through 21 this year, was founded in 2011 by semi-retired Psych professor and former Woodstock Town Board member Chris Collins, who noted his wish for “a good laugh and a good cause.” Net profits from the Festival, which mixes national headliners with up-and-coming local talents in keeping with Montreal’s great, long-lasting Just for Laughs festival each year, will be donated to charity partners the Polaris Project and Family of Woodstock for the battle against human trafficking and domestic violence. Talk about really winning smiles that last!
Laughingstock with Caroline Rhea, fundraiser for Woodstock Comedy Festival: Comedy for a Cause, Saturday, April 26, 8 p.m., $25, 7:30 p.m. pre-show Meet & Greet, $20, Bearsville Theater, 291 Tinker Street (Route 212), Woodstock; www.woodstockcomedyfestival.org.