Comedians to flood Iowa City for Green Gravel Comedy Festival

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend -- CEG1_Rebecca_2481.jpg -- Pictured: Rachel Bloom as Rebecca Bunch -- Photo: Smallz & Raskind/The CW -- © 2015 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend — CEG1_Rebecca_2481.jpg — Pictured: Rachel Bloom as Rebecca Bunch — Photo: Smallz & Raskind/The CW — © 2015 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

How many comedians does it take to screw in a light bulb? Not a clue. But if Green Gravel’s roster is anything to go by, it’s somewhere in the ball park of 30 to throw a comedy festival, light bulbs and all.

On Friday and Saturday, the Green Gravel Comedy Festival will cram dozens of comedians from coast to coast onto stages all around downtown Iowa City.

“[Festivals] bring out comedy in places, like Iowa, that you wouldn’t automatically associate with comedy,” said performer Rachel Bloom. “It gives people like me the chance to see what local comedians are like, and what they say, and what’s different, and the same with local comedy.”

Bloom will perform at the Englert, 221 E. Washington St., at 8 p.m. Saturday.

She’s also the co-creator and star of the new musical-comedy “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” “a f–ed-up romantic comedy about a girl who thinks love will solve all her problems and she’s wrong.”

That the series’ 14-episode first season doesn’t conclude until March 7 hasn’t kept Bloom from taking home a Golden Globe for her performance.

“It takes all of my energy in a really fulfilling way,” Bloom said. “I’m working 16-hour days, but it’s work I really love doing. Seeing the vision from start to finish is so gratifying.”

“An Evening with Rachel Bloom” consists of 70 percent musical comedy and 30 percent standup, she said.

Performing in the same event is local comedian and University of Iowa Lecturer Megan Gogerty, who compares comedy to “making a soufflé.”

“It’s delicate,” she said. “If someone makes a sound, the joke might not work; if the wind blows the wrong way, the joke might not work.”

It is because of this fragile nature of humor that Chicago comedian Sammy Arechar looks forward to appearing in “Late, Late Breakfast” at 2 p.m. Saturday at High Ground Café, 301 E. Market St.

“With standup, you have to find a way to get up and get people on your side within the first two minutes,” he said.

“Late, Late” is a show hosted by Tyler Jackson and Danny Maupin. Though comedians come to the show with a certain amount of prepared material, things unravel as the hosts give the comedians conditions under which to perform.

“The audiences that go to [‘Late, Late’] are a little more laid-back,” Arechar said. “There’s a structure to what they’re doing, but it’s almost like a controlled chaos kind of show.”

One of the things that excites him most about events such as this, he said, is the company he’s able to keep.

“When I’m on the road and doing weekends, it’s nice meeting people who do comedy in other cities; you end up meeting people through other people,” he said. “The comedy scene is very large and very small at the same time.”

 

COMEDY

Green Gravel Comedy Festival

When: Friday and Saturday

Where: Central Iowa City

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