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Report From the Bridgetown Comedy Festival: Day 1

Pete Holmes

Bridgetown Comedy Festival is in its second day. It’s a beautiful brisk day in Portland, and the night of comedy looks outstanding. The decisions about what to see tonight are difficult, but very fun to make.

Last night I started the festival at the Hollywood Theatre. I was there to see Pete Holmes first and foremost, but all of the comics in the showcase were worth seeing. Kristen Studard was the highlight of the show for me. Her set was conceptual. She came out and picked a guy from the front row to be her unwitting foil. Without ruining anything I’ll tell you that there are lots of costume changes, and it was very absurd, but there were lots of layers (no pun).

After that I headed over to Hawthorne were most of the other venues are in walking distance from each other. My first stop was the Tanker Bar, where all weekend long there is an ongoing open mic. I had it on good authority that it’s one of the best places at the festival to catch amazing moments and epic failures with lots of comics from the festival. At the time lots of Seattle comics happened to be in the room. Emmett Montgomery, Danielle Radford, and Tristan Devin all went up. You can be sure there will be more reports from the Tanker.

Afterwards I headed over the the Eagles Lodge for the last show of the night. I got there a little early and walked into the middle of Brody Stevens’ set. His cadence is unmistakable. He held the audience in sway. Hold on though- let me tell you about the Eagles. It’s an actual Eagles lodge, complete with cheap beer, mystery shots, and the staff at the lodge are crazy characters in their own right.

Eagles Lodge photo by Tom Mohrman


Here’s the best moment from all of Thursday.

During New York comic Jim Tews‘ set in the next show he had a cheeseburger delivered to him on stage. It wasn’t planned. The older woman who delivered it then took it to the next level by staying with him at the stage and confronting Tews about whether or not it was his cheeseburger. The elderly security guard got involved… it was amazing. It completely derailed his set, but the absurdity of the moment was so insanely funny that everyone in the room, Tews included most likely, couldn’t have asked for a better beginning to Bridgetown.