GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - Some new events have been added to this year's Gilda's LaughFest in Grand Rapids.
The Seriously Funny Adventure Challenge will take place at noon on March 17. Teams of two or four will compete in challenges throughout the city for prizes that will be given for first, second and third places. To participate in the challenge, you must register at laughfestgr.org by March 14. Fees for early registration (March 1) are $80 for a team of four and $40 for a team of two.
Alan Zweibel, one of the original "Saturday Night Live" writers and friend of Gilda Radner will be speak at the UICA on Fulton Street at 6 p.m. on March 16. Zweibel will do a brief reading from his new book, Lunatics, released this month, which he co-wrote with Dave Barry. He will speak to the audience about his memories of Radner from their collaboration during the early days of "SNL." Tickets for the presentation are available through Ticketmaster.
Four dinner theater events have also been added to the lineup. They are being produced by MP Talent, a local talent management company, and hosted at San Chez Tapas Bistro. Tickets can be purchased through Ticketmaster. Shows being presented include --
- Murder Mystery -- March 8 and 15 -- Guests won't know who is acting and who is not. Everyone is a suspect and nowhere is off-limits for clues. The Red Hand Company brings a dazzling whodunit mystery to San Chez. The skilled team of actors, writers and other desperate criminals will sneak into the event and present a realistic scenario with a murderous storyline woven throughout. The evening relies on quick wits and intuitive questions as each audience member gets to take a "stab" at interrogating the suspects.
- Nobody Gets Us -- March 10 -- Starring some of West Michigan's most talented and funny entertainers, this new comedy troupe features Melissa Anschutz, David Gries, Ralph Lister, Mark Boyd, Sara Cavanaugh and Leslie Bosscher. Each member brings a little something different to the table. These performers make fun of everyone from reality television stars to political figures. They are sometimes raunchy, often hilarious, and always entertaining.
- Cooking Cabaret -- March 11 and 18 -- Several seasoned singers will whip up a made-to-order cooking cabaret comprising classic ballads, popular show-tunes and more, compiled by Torrence O'Haire (The Starving Artist) and Francesca Amari.
- Night of Illusions -- March 16 and 17 -- The art of female impersonation. Exclusive to San Chez, it is a fully staged show featuring professional performers from Cincinnati, New York, Tulsa, Toledo and Grand Rapids.
Wealthy Theatre, another LaughFest venue, will host top-comedy films from the past. Tickets for Richard Pryor: Live in Concert; Frankenhooker; and Delirious, starring Eddie Murphy can be purchased at the Wealthy Theatre box office.
The Upright Citizens Brigade, with companies and theaters in New York City, will perform at Calvin College at 8 p.m. on March 9. Calvin's own student improv company will open the show. Tickets are available through the Calvin College Student Activities Office.
LaughFest headliners announced to-date include Whoopi Goldberg, Martin Short, Kevin Nealon, Sinbad, Mike Epps, Rodney Carrington, Jim Gaffigan and Kathleen Madigan.
Other acts announced include The Bob & Tom Comedy All-Stars hosted by Kristi Lee, Patch Adams, The Laurie Berkner Band, Anthony Jeselnik, Anjelah Johnson, Bo Burnham, Amy Schumer, Hannibal Buress and Marc Maron.
Showcases and competitions returning to this year's LaughFest include Best of the Midwest, Stand-up Comedy Competition, Clean Comedy Showcase, and the Out of the Box comedy show.
New this year is the Bud Light Blue and Late Night Comedy Series.
Family-friendly entertainment includes Baby Loves Disco, Super Saturday Kids Zone and The Verve Pipe.
Patti Vasquez and Greg Morton are performing in Lowell, and Taylor Mason, a ventriloquist, musician and comedian, will perform his family-friendly show in Holland.
Tickets range from $7 for family-friendly events, such as the Super Saturday Kids Zone at Grand Rapids Community College's Ford Fieldhouse, to $57.50 for premium seating for Whoopi Goldberg's March 9 performance. Tickets can be purchased at ticketmaster.com (search LaughFest), by calling 800.745.3000 or at the Van Andel Arena box office. LaughFest opens March 8 and runs through March 18.
11 fire departments from several counties were called out to a fire at an adult entertainment club Wednesday afternoon.
Holland police were searching for 28-year-old Mark Steven Randall Harris, who was considered armed and dangerous, but arrested him late Wednesday night.
Those receiving the 2013 White House holiday card will see a design made by a Grand Rapids artist.