In comedy circles, Portland, over the past five years, has gone from a bit of a backwater to a must-stop on the stand-up circuit. The city has always had a thriving music scene and book-reading turnouts rival concerts. But the first Bridgetown Comedy Festival in 2008 heralded Portland’s arrival in the world of comedy.
This year’s Bridgetown Comedy Festival (April 18-21) features a weekend full of shows at venues across the city. The intimately set stand-up acts, panel discussions and other special events invade Portland’s quintessential nightclubs and stages, from Helium Comedy Club, which hosts acts year-round, to Hawthorne Theater, better known for its high-voltage rock shows.
The just-announced roster includes laugh legend Dana Gould — who’s been around since the ’80s and has written for The Simpsons, internationally renowned beatboxer/musician/comedian Reggie Watts and British comics Robert Popper and Peter Serafinowicz, along with about 200 others. Whether you know their names or not, they’re pretty much guaranteed to make you laugh.