To celebrate Women’s History Month, we have a slate of talented women bringing laughter and music to the Washington Center.
March 11 at 7:30pm This fest of funny femmes returns to the Center as the Ladies of Laughter comedy event has been a patron favorite with rave reviews! Expect big laughs, big fun, and a memorable night out. Back by popular demand, Karen Rontowski, will be returning to the mainstage! Karen Rontowski’s fast-paced, quirky and charmingly optimistic comedy has been featured in clubs, TV, radio, and at corporate events all around the world. Karen uniquely blends comedy with her experience as a paranormal investigator, tarot and reiki master. She is fascinated with the “afterlife” is convinced she will someday have a near death experience because, “I never finish anything.” Karen has appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman, Sirius Satellite Radio, Comics Unleashed, Comedy.com, Live at Gotham, Comedy Central and Mysteries of the Unexplained. We are welcoming Stephanie Blum who was the Ladies of Laughter National Winner from the 2012 Finale at Madison Square Garden. Stephanie is a former school psychologist from Brooklyn who began her comedy career after winning New York’s Funniest Teacher contest. This ‘apathetic mom-next-door’ has trademarked laziness and procrastination. She is sarcastic, hilarious and universally adored by audiences. She has performed in clubs, colleges, festivals and casinos all around the country. You may have seen Stephanie on one or more of her many television appearances: HBO’s Comedy Minutes, Country Music Television’s Funniest Videos, Star Search on CBS, The Marie Osmond Show for Hallmark Channel, Comics Unleashed with Byron Allen, #WhatSheSaid on TLC, and Babies Behaving Badly on Discovery Family Channel. We are also welcoming Sarah Perry who is the 2021 Ladies of Laughter Professional Virtual Stand-Up runner-up. Sarah is a Chicago-based national touring comedian and writer whose fearless delivery and subject matter is highly relatable and resoundingly funny. A graduate of Columbia College and The Second City Conservatory, Sarah gained Internet attention when Laugh Factory Hollywood posted videos of her stand-up online, racking up a total of over 4.3 million views on Instagram and Youtube.
March 13 at 2:00pm Our Silent Film Series returns with Buster Keaton: A Short Film Collection. With his famous deadpan humor, versatile Buster Keaton wrote, starred in, and directed a popular series of comedic short films in the early 1920s. Well known as a great acrobatic actor, Keaton made 19 silent short films before embarking on his feature film career. Our own house organist Dennis James brings the silent era to life playing our historic 1924 musical treasure: The Mighty Andy Crow Wurlitzer Organ. Experience silent films the way they were meant to be seen and heard! Our Silent Movie Series is a signature event at the Washington Center. We welcome film fans of all ages to step back in time to revel in the authentically recreated sounds and nostalgia from times gone by.
March 15 at 7:30pm Bessie, Billie, & Nina – Pioneering Women in Jazz – From the Jim Crow era-South through the turbulent 1960s, Bessie Smith, Billie Holiday and Nina Simone were among the most influential and popular singers of their times. Featuring three dynamic vocalists and backed by an all-female band, Charenée Wade, Vanisha Gould, and Tahira Clayton celebrate the enduring legacies of these iconic women and artists with performances of their classic songs, including “Downhearted Blues,” “Strange Fruit,” and “Mississippi Goddam.” Their contributions resonate with today’s artists across many genres, as well as with ongoing movements toward progress and equality for women, African-Americans, and the LGBTQ community.
March 24 at 7:30pm Comedy Undergound – Need a good laugh? Our signature comedy series means good times with friends or a unique date night. This month we welcome Chad Opitz, a staple of the San Francisco Bay area comedy scene. Chad’s unique and varied style mixes one-liners, short story jokes, act-outs and sometimes even a song. The stand-up you love, in the intimacy of the Black Box!
March 25 at 7:30pm That Golden Girls Show! A Puppet Parody is a brand-new show that parodies classic Golden Girls moments – with puppets! Get set for an evening of cheesecake, laughter, jazzercise, shoulder pads, sex, and the elegant art of the quick-witted put down. From Sophia’s get-rich-quick schemes, to Rose’s tales from St Olaf, Blanche’s insatiable hunt for men and the Fountain of Youth, and Dorothy’s daily struggle to make sense of her life. Devoted fans will fondly remember our four girls from Miami, and for the first-timers, this is a joyful introduction.
The Washington Center for the Performing Arts is a not-for-profit performance venue with a mission to inspire audiences and artists of all ages through live performances, enriching the vibrancy of our community.