SHARECOMMENTMORE

LAUGHFEST ANNOUNCES EXPANDED PERFORMANCES
IN HOLLAND AND LOWELL FOR 2014

GRAND RAPIDS, MICH., Dec. 20, 2013 - Gilda's LaughFest today announced the talent lineup for shows in Holland and Lowell during the festival's fourth year, which runs from March 6 - 16, 2014. Holland shows will include Christian comic Jeff Allen, Kids Joke Night, Holland Chorale, Klompen Comedy, Laughter Yoga and community showcases. Shows in Lowell include PJ Walsh, Kids Joke Night, Laughter Yoga and community showcases.

"Over the last few years, the programming we've had in Holland and Lowell has grown in popularity," said Joanne Roehm, LaughFest festival director. "As a result, we're excited to bring more great entertainers to these communities and we've diversified the types of performances offered."

Allen will perform at Hope College's Dimnent Chapel on March 15 at 7 p.m. He has performed for more than three decades and his standup show combines clean humor with inspiration. Allen centers much of his performance on marriage and living with teenagers. He has been featured on Comedy Central's "Premium Blend" and VH1's "Standup Spotlight." His one-hour special, "Happy Wife, Happy Life" aired on the Odyssey Channel and Family Net and he has performed at the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen and the Montreal Just for Laughs International Comedy Festival.

The Holland Chorale, with guests the Holland Windmill Chorus and the West Michigan Savoyards will perform songs, which are intended to make the audience chuckle, at Holland's First Church on March 8 at 1 p.m. Known for its extraordinary and soul stirring music, the Holland Chorale has been performing in the West Michigan community for more than 50 years and features singers from the communities of Holland, Zeeland, Hamilton, South Haven, Hudsonville, Jenison, Grandville, Grand Rapids and Grand Haven. The Holland Chorale performed a solo concert at Carnegie Hall in 2011.

Klompen Comedy, produced by Holland, Mich. native Alex Ritzema, is a standup comedy showcase in Holland, which will feature comics who each display a uniquely humorous talent. Klompen Comedy performances will take place on March 8 and 15 at 8 p.m. in Macatawa Bank's Community Room and are free.

Walsh, whose comedic style uses physical humor to get attention of audience members, will perform at Lowell High School Performing Arts Center on March 8 at 7 p.m. Walsh, a veteran of the U.S. Navy who spent several years touring with the stars of the Blue Collar Comedy Tour found him performing on celebrated stages including Radio City Music Hall, Universal Amphitheater and the Ryman Auditorium with legends such as Bill Engvall, Larry the Cable Guy, Ron White, and Jeff Foxworthy.

Additionally, Kids Joke Nights will be held at Lowell's Englehardt Public Library on March 11 at 6 p.m. and Holland's Herrick District Library on March 15 at 1 p.m. Kids Joke Night allows children 5th grade and younger to take the stage and tell jokes; the shows are free to attend. Children who wish to perform are encouraged to sign up at www.laughfestgr.org.

Other free events being held during LaughFest in Holland and Lowell include Laughter Yoga and amateur and late night standup comedy community showcases. Locations, times and dates of these events will be announced in the coming weeks and will be posted at www.laughfestgr.org.

Individual tickets for all LaughFest shows will be available on Jan. 10 at www.ticketmaster.com (search LaughFest), by calling 800-745-3000 or at the Van Andel Arena or DeVos Place box offices. LaughFest's Fast Passes will be available mid-February. This pass ensures holders a guaranteed seat to eligible free shows, which include Laughter Yoga, community showcases and Klompen Comedy. Fast Pass users must arrive 15 minutes before the schedule start time. A $5 donation at the door is suggested for Fast Pass shows; donations will support the "High Five" campaign, which all funds go directly to support cancer and grief programs at Gilda's Club Grand Rapids.

The Gilda's Club Lowell Clubhouse, a renovated farmhouse, hosts weekly programs for those affected by cancer or grief. Programming includes support groups for children and adults, educational lectures and workshops for all ages. For more information on the Lowell Clubhouse or to get involved, visit www.gildasclubgr.org/lowell.html. Proceeds from LaughFest will be used to support all Gilda's Club programming in West Michigan.

Courtesy: LaughFest