The 2016 Ladies of Laughter Contest will kick off Wednesday, July 13 at Gotham Comedy Club in New York City. The multi-day comedy event includes four preliminary shows in NYC and upstate NY where comedians will compete in the professional and newcomer categories, and the finalists from those shows will perform in the Grand Finale at Turning Stone Resort Casino on August 20.
Contestants will vie for cash prizes, paid bookings, major publicity and the prestigious 2016 Ladies of Laughter titles. As one of the most respected and long-running national comedy contests executive produced by Peggy Boyce, it has showcased hundreds of funny women, some who have went on to become comedy stars and national headliners such as Amy Schumer (Trainwreck), Melissa Rauch (The Big Bang Theory) Jessica Kirson (Last Comic Standing) and Laurie Kilmartin (Conan).
This year’s professional comedians selected to compete are Rhonda Hansome, Jessica Delfino, Meghan Hanley, Lisa Harmon, Michele Durante, Stacy Kendro, Sharon Locy and Teri Grenahan.
“I think in years past the more established comedians thought, ‘I’m never going to do a contest again, and I don’t want to put myself through it,'” said Boyce. “This year, we have lots of women who have entered with national television credits who are already headlining in clubs but they really want to perform in theaters and they would like the publicity. Comedy fans will see many “established” and “new finds” that have gone under the radar.”
Those “new finds” who will be performing include Lindsay Theisen, Melissa Diaz, Jani Tillery, Felicia Levy, Taffy Jaffe, Mutiya Vision, Sally Ann Hall and Alexandra Dadourian. More newcomers will soon be named.
The comedians will be judged on audience response, originality, material and delivery by a panel of entertainment industry judges. Past winners include Tammy Pescatelli, Jane Condon, Robin Fox, Alycia Cooper, Dana Eagle and Dena Blizzard.
2016 Ladies of Laughter sponsors include Turning Stone Resort Casino, Stage Time magazine and Skinnygirl Cocktails. A percentage of proceeds from the events will benefit Buddy Cares – an animal rights advocacy group that provides wellness and services to abandoned animals in need.
Be sure to mark your calendar for the upcoming Ladies of Laughter Contest shows:
Wednesday, July 13 at 7:30pm: New York City − Gotham Comedy Club – Hosted by Dena Blizzard
Wednesday, July 20 at 7:30pm: Albany, NY − The Funny Bone – Hosted by Erin Harkes
Monday, July 25 at 7:30pm: New York City − Gotham Comedy Club – Hosted by Michele Balan and Jane Condon
Thursday, August 11 at 7:30pm: West Nyack, NY − Levity Live – Hosted by Patty Rosborough
Saturday, August 20 at 8:00pm: The Grand Finale Show – Turning Stone Resort Casino, Verona, NY – Hosted by Tammy Pescatelli.
For more information on Ladies of Laughter, visit www.ladiesoflaughter.org.