Kick off the new year with lots of laughs!
Indie Art Council Pensacola will present the 2020 Indie Fringe and Comedy Festival, Jan. 2-5. We’ll end the holiday season on a high note with four days celebrating comedy in all of its forms.
Toplined by a performance by comedy legend Gilbert Gottfried as well as national comedy stars Donnell Rawlings and Orny Adams and the return of “Evil Dead: The Musical,” Pensacola’s first comedy festival features a wide variety of events to entertain, educate and enjoy, from stand-up and improv to musical theatre and a film festival, and much, much more.
The festival takes over downtown Pensacola with events and performances over four days spanning the Saenger Theatre, Vinyl Music Hall, the Rex Theatre, the Palafox House, the SCI Building and more, and including a Saturday night street fair on the first block of Palafox Place. Events include:
National headline comedians: Comedy icon Gilbert Gottfried takes the Saenger Theatre stage on Jan. 5 as a festival headliner. As a famed “comic’s comic,” Gottfried puts aside political correctness for his live performance and fires an onslaught of jokes that know no boundaries. From “Saturday Night Live” to “Aladdin” and from dozens upon dozens of TV and movie appearances, Gottfried is a world-renowned household name. Opening for Gottfried will be Chip Ambrogio, a veteran touring comedian, writer and sought-after “joke doctor.”
Also featured on Jan. 5 will be a co-headlining bill starring Donnell Rawlings and Orny Adams at the Saenger Theatre. Rawlings rose to fame on “Chappelle’s Show,” and is currently touring the country performing to sold out audiences with his new show, 2Soon. He just shot a role in “The Jay and Silent Bob Reboot” film, and his latest comedy special will be released on Netflix as part of the next installment of “The Degenerates.”
Orny Adams has appeared on various late night shows and his stand up specials are available on Netflix and Comedy Central, along with his most recent special, “More Than Loud,” which is available on Showtime. Adams also starred as Coach on “Teen Wolf,” which ran for six seasons.
“Evil Dead: The Musical”: The January 2019 run of his horror-comedy musical at Vinyl Music Hall was the talk of the town. Whether you missed it or just want to relive it, “Evil Dead: The Musical” is back for another run as part of the festival, with four shows Jan. 2-4, with two shows on Jan. 4 to include a famously raucous midnight show. Based on the cult classic horror films, “Evil Dead: The Musical” follows five college students to an old, abandoned “Cabin in the Woods” where they encounter demonic possession and an army of the dead … and sing about it all while splattering the audience with bloody good special effects.
Stand-Up Comedy: Our national headliners are just the tip of the comedy iceberg. Jan. 3-5, more than a dozen regional stand-up comics will be performing at five downtown nightspots, including Casks and Flights, Chizuko, O’Riley’s Irish Pub and Perfect Plain.
“Murder Gras”: In cooperation with Pensacola Mardi Gras, the acclaimed murder mystery dinner theatre company Improbable Cause Mystery Theatre will debut its newest show, “Murder Gras,” at the Palafox House with performances Jan. 2-4. The Jan. 2 show is being presented by Pensacola Mardi Gras for local krewes. All shows will include a fully catered dinner and prizes for the attendee who discovers whodunit.
Sketch and Improv Comedy: The Rex Theatre will host sketch and improv comedy performances Jan. 3-4, including Pensacola’s beloved improv group Improvable Cause and local sketch comedy troupe Kitty Get a Job.
Film Festival: Pensacola’s first comedy film festival will take place at the Rex Theatre Jan. 3-4, and will include a short film competition; screenings of Pensacola-based feature “Wasted Hours” and television pilot “Scam County”; and a live production of WSRE’s “Nightmare Theatre” featuring a special screening of the classic “Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein.”
Street party: In cooperation with Pensacola Mardi Gras, the first block of Palafox Place will be closed to vehicular traffic on Jan. 4 to create a comedy street party with live street performers and open bars.
Workshops, panels and more: Throughout the day Jan. 3-5, a variety of workshops, panels, game shows, podcasts and other interactive opportunities will be offered at Vinyl Music Hall, the SCI Building and the Palafox House, including exclusive looks behind the scenes of “Evil Dead: The Musical,” educational opportunities and a whole lot more.
Weekend passes start at $40 and include admission to all workshops, panels and day-side entertainment; sketch, improv and film festival screenings at the Rex Theatre; and all stand-up venues (excluding the Saenger Theatre). Tickets for many events are also available a la carte, and a limited number of VIP packages including seating to all ticketed events and other perks are available. Premium seating for the Saenger Theatre and “Evil Dead: The Musical” is available exclusively through the very limited Super VIP ticket package.
Individual Saenger Theatre performance tickets will be available at the Saenger Theatre box office, Ticketmaster outlets, ticketmaster.com or by phone at 800-745-3000. Weekend passes (including VIP packages with Saenger tickets) and all other individual tickets will be available via eventbrite.com.
The Pensacola Indie Fringe and Comedy Festival is proudly sponsored by Innisfree Hotels, Visit Pensacola, PenAir Federal Credit Union, The Fish House and O’Riley’s Irish Pub. Additional sponsorship packages are available. For sponsorship information, call Julio Diaz at 850-454-8741, or email email@example.com.
For complete festival information, visit comedypensacola.com.