On Stage


A Queer Comedy Showcase


What: Make.It.Work: A Queer Comedy Showcase

When: 8 pm Sat., Aug. 11

Where: Make.Shift Art Space, 306 Flora St.

Cost: $6 at the door (all ages)

Info: http://www.makeshiftproject.com

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Seattle-based comedian El Sanchez has been called everything from a “brilliant new voice” to a “grumpy nugget of delight” from admirers, and audiences in Bellingham will have a chance to experience the nonbinary comedian’s acute observations about life when they headline “Make.It.Work: A Queer Comedy Showcase” Sat., Aug. 11 at Make.Shift Art Space. Producer Lee Cox fills us in on the specifics.

Cascadia Weekly: What was the inspiration to put the Queer Comedy Showcase together?

Lee Cox: Opportunity, mostly. I would say for how strong the LGBTQ-plus community is in Bellingham, it’s underrepresented in the standup scene, so I had been toying with the idea of a queer showcase for a while. I know a lot of great queer comics, and when I made a connection with Make.Shift, I thought it was the perfect chance. I think it’s a great space for what we’re trying to do.

CW: Why is this kind of showcase important? 

LC: I think it’s important to show people who are not cis-het white dudes that comedy is an avenue that is open to them as well. Because mainstream standup has come from a limited number of perspectives for so long, I’m hoping this will also shake up the way people look at standup—what it can mean, who can perform, and what it can be about.

CW: What are you excited about for this show? 

LC: So much! It’s a packed lineup, and every comic is bringing something different. I guess the variety is exciting to me. I’m interested to see how the room will thrive with each performer, and of course I’m super-excited to see our featured comic, El Sanchez.

CW: What does “Make.It.Work” signify? 

LC: The title came from brainstorming with Seattle comedian Bobby Higley. It’s Tim Gunn’s [of Project Runway] catchphrase stylized to match Make.Shift. It also captures the often-stressful DIY nature of producing comedy shows (and art) in general. Art doesn’t just happen, and shows don’t just work—you have to make them work.

CW: How did you wrangle all these funny humans—including Rain King, Stefan Matusak, Sarah Champion, Alyssa Yeoman, Max Delsohn, Bobby Higley, Clara Pluton, and Andy Iwancio?

LC: The PNW has a lot of great queer comics. I chose these performers because I knew them to be hilarious or because they came highly recommended by people I trust. Honestly, narrowing it down to this lineup was tough.

CW: In general, do you think Bellingham audiences are supportive of all kinds of performers? 

LC: Bellingham has a lot of variability. I would say the city supports authenticity, which takes many shapes. I can’t say I’ve seen “shock” comedy do well here, which I’m fine with. I’ve also never seen a magician do great here. Which I’m also fine with.

CW: What else do you want people to know?

LC: Not only is this going to be a great night of comedy at a lovely venue that is taking a chance on us, it’s also an excellent way to show that you support a diversity of voices in art.

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