BY TRACY ZOLLINGER TURNER
From the already notorious to the up-and-coming, bold and innovative women’s voices will lead the 2018 Limestone Comedy Festival. According to festival co-founders Jared Thompson, owner of the Comedy Attic, and comedian Mat Alano-Martin, booking a diverse roster of female voices was calculated to reverberate with the #MeToo movement times.
“We always want to make sure that the current conversation that’s happening with all of us is reflected on stage,” Thompson says. “This year, we’re straying away from straight white males almost completely because we’ve heard that perspective since the dawn of man.”
Veteran standup and television comedian Margaret Cho will kick off the three-day festival in her first-ever performance in Bloomington on May 31 at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater.
“Margaret Cho has been at the forefront and speaking to all of the hot button issues,” Thompson says. “She’s been in the shit—pushing the envelope all along—and her voice has remained the same throughout. It’s actually embarrassing that she’s never been here before because she’s going to fall in love with this town.”
Actor Caroline Rhea, who’s headlined several cable TV standup specials, has been a recurring guest on game shows including Hollywood Squares and Match Game, and starred in the TV series Sabrina the Teenage Witch, will headline at the Buskirk-Chumley on June 1.
Smaller stages will also be dominated by women like Marcella Arguello, a writer for the Netflix show Bill Nye Saves the World. Arguello has been named by media outlets like New York Magazine and Vulture as a comedian to watch. “We believe she’s one of the best voices currently in comedy,” Thompson says.
According to Martin, Limestone is now one of the top 10 comedy festivals in the country, and the only one held in a smaller city. “We have a good track record of booking unknown comics who go on to become fairly famous,” Martin says.
The sixth annual Limestone Comedy Festival runs May 31–June 2.
For a full schedule, tickets, and more information, visit limestonefest.com.