Though they both relocated to Chicago last summer, up-and-coming comedians Sammy Arechar and Liz Ziner haven’t forgotten where they got their start in stand-up. Aiming to “celebrate and raise awareness of Milwaukee’s burgeoning comedy scene,” they’ve joined forces with Phil Davidson—a Vermont transplant who has quickly become a fixture in local comedy—to organize the inaugural Cream City Comedy Festival, which will feature 11 shows taking place at venues in four Milwaukee neighborhoods between Thursday, May 12 through Sunday, May 15.

Much of the weekend’s festivities will include established area showcases like the Hot Room and Bad Comedy Theatre (both co-hosted by Davidson and Christopher Schmidt), Kaitlin McCarthy‘s Subjective: A Comedic Showing, Addie Blanchard and Marisa Lange’s Sorry Not Sorry matinee, and the return of the Ziner- and Allison Dunne-hosted Clam Jam.

“To know Milwaukee’s comedy scene is to love Milwaukee’s comedy scene, and we think this festival will make a lot of people fall in love,” Ziner says in a press release.

While primarily Milwaukee-focused, some performers from Minneapolis and Chicago will make the journey to perform as well. Veteran Chicago comedian Nick Vatterott (Comedy Central’s The Half Hour and Late Night With Jimmy Fallon) will headline Cream City Comedy Festival’s closing ceremony at Club Garibaldi. With a hope that the festival will act as a means of exposing audiences to local and regional talent, every show is absolutely free. However, donations to support NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) will be collected. Check Milwaukee Record—a proud Cream City Comedy Festival media sponsor—for the full list of individual performers as the event draws closer. In the meantime, each day’s shows and locations are below.

Thursday, May 12
Yeah Buddy Awesome Time: Festival Kickoff at Club Garibaldi (8 p.m.)

Friday, May 13
Blipsters with Dave Helem and Felonious Munk at Karma Bar & Grill (7 p.m.)
Hot Room at Hybrid Lounge (9 p.m)
Boy Kisses at Angelo’s Piano Bar (10:30 p.m)

Saturday, May 14
Bad Comedy Theatre at Hybrid Lounge (3 p.m.)
Subjective at Var Gallery & Studios (6 p.m.)
Clam Jam at The Jazz Gallery (8 p.m.)
Sammy’s 3rd Annual Zucchini Party Saturday After Party at Company Brewing (10 p.m.)

Sunday, May 15
Sorry Not Sorry at Riverwest Public House (2 p.m.)
Super Talent Show at TBA (4 p.m.)
Closing Ceremony with Nick Vatterott at Club Garibaldi (8 p.m.)

About The Author

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Co-Founder and Editor

Before co-founding Milwaukee Record, Tyler Maas wrote for virtually every Milwaukee publication (except Wassup! Magazine). He lives in Bay View and enjoys both stuff and things.