LOGAN SQUARE — More than 15 Latina comics are slated to take the stage in Logan Square this weekend for an all-Latina comedy festival.
Los Locas Comedy, a monthly stand-up show founded by comedians Janice V. Rodriguez and Jess Martínez, is behind the 90-minute comedy showcase, set for 6 p.m. Saturday at The Lincoln Lodge, 2040 N. Milwaukee Ave.
The first Latina comedy fest will feature well-known comics Eliana La Casa, Deanna Ortiz and Soli Santos, along with budding performers Hilary Jimenez, Remy Gonzalez and Anna Lucero, organizers said.
Like Los Locas shows, the goal of the fest is to lift up Latina comics who have been shut out of the white-man-dominated comedy industry, organizers said. The fest is being held on National Latina Day.
“In this political climate and with the specific issues facing the Latinx community today, we thought it was really important to give a voice to Latina talent as well as have a platform where we could discuss important current events and cultural issues through comedy,” Rodriguez said in a news release.
Tickets can be bought online.
The Lincoln Lodge is an independent comedy theater that operated out of Lincoln Restaurant for 15 years, drawing talent like Hannibal Burress and Cameron Esposito.
When Lincoln Restaurant, a longtime North Center diner, closed in 2013, the comedy club took up temporary residency at Subterranean in Wicker Park and then at Under The Gun Theater in Wrigleyville for about five years before the founders landed a more permanent spot in Logan Square early on in the pandemic.
The Lincoln Lodge now has its own space for the first time in more than 20 years, with three theaters, two classrooms and a bar in the Milwaukee Avenue building it shares with the progressive publication In These Times.
The nonprofit’s co-founder, Mark Geary, said the current setup is more sophisticated than it’s ever been.
“When we started the new space, we said, ‘What did I not have that I wished I had?’ The first thing was a proper performance license so I don’t have to carry my stage out to the garage every week,” Geary said.
“We tried to make the best space we could given the money we had. All of the rooms are multi-media equipped. … [Comics] don’t have to worry about: Is the space good enough? Do I have to tell the bar owner to turn down the TV?”
Geary said the Latina comedy festival was a natural fit for The Lincoln Lodge because the nonprofit is always striving to “get a wider array of voices in stand-up comedy.”
The move to Logan Square has allowed The Lincoln Lodge to expand partnerships with other producers, including Las Locas Comedy, Geary said. The club hosts about 15 comedy performances a week, and only three or four of them are in-house shows.
“When someone comes to us, like the Latina fest, we now have the wherewithal and the resources to say, ‘You can do a show,'” Geary said.
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