One of those guys was Mat Alano-Martin, LCF director. He said comedians who started out at Bloomington’s celebrated venue, The Comedy Attic, formed an invested inner circle.
“We knew that we could trust them without much supervision, which was key as we usually had five different shows going on at once,” he said. “Also, they genuinely wanted to see it succeed as much as we did.”
One of the many things I liked about the festival was the cross-sectional nature of the humorists. Everyone, from the graduates of the Ivy Tech “Intro to Stand-Up Comedy” class to internationally known entertainers, was on hand. As expected, Benson and his fellow headliners stunned and amazed. Tig Notaro kicked things off with a performance that referenced her recent health and family struggles one minute and then pushed the limits of absurdist humor the next. Bamford’s manic performance transcended the limits of what stand-up comedy could be. And Pete Holmes riffed his way through an astounding set.
Growing pains were to be expected. Ticketing and seating issues caused some stress for audience and staff.
“The BCT Box Office had to design a completely new and fairly complex ticketing system to accommodate the way we wanted it to work,” said Alano-Martin. “They did a great job with it, but as it was the first year, we had a few things pop up that we hadn’t thought about.”
But these were comparatively minor hiccups in what was otherwise a superb showcase for my beloved Bloomington and Indiana itself. Anyone in attendance who didn’t find something they liked simply wasn’t trying. I look forward to this gathering emerging next year even stronger than before.
Benson said he hopes to return.
“I [want to] come back for sure,” he said. “And I wouldn’t change anything. Except the movie I interrupt. For next year, I’m thinking ‘Hoosiers.’”
Rob Burgess, Tribune night editor, may be reached by calling 765-454-8577, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at twitter.com/robaburg.