This is a new golden age in Austin comedy. The voices are diverse, strong and ready for prime time. Literally. More and more Austin comics are heading west in waves. Take the time to see and support them. We need satire now more than ever.
Here are just a few of the fantastic comedic options you have in the month of August. Come on out for the air conditioning alone — it’s a scorcher out there.
Nathalie Holmes’ “Young, Scripted & Black” at the New Movement. I was lucky to catch Nathalie Holmes’ one-woman show “Young, Scripted & Black” during it’s one-night first run. Now she’s moving to the New Movement Theater for a “one-woman show with an all black cast.” Holmes is a native of Lake Jackson and has been performing in the legendary Esther’s Follies since 2008. She has been a Huff Post contributor and a steady performer on the stand-up scene. Her show is a mixture of songs and stories, chronicling what it means to be a woman of color in the biz of show. Her energy, originality and writing will really blow you away. Spoiler: Catch her before she moves to LA later this year.
“F*ck, It’s Hot!” at the Institution Theater. The only thing that doesn’t change for Austin is how united we are in grumbling about the heat index. Our summers will continue to be ushered in by the clarion call of “F*ck, It’s Hot.” Creator Tom Booker expands on all the love/hate relationships we have with our Central Texas oasis in their yearly installment of their popular “Austin-centric sketch show.” Starring Jeremy Bergeron, Tyler Bryce, Claudio Fox, Cody Herring, R. Lance Hunter, Samantha Ireland, Rocky Lane, Cari Nelson, Espi Rivadeneira and Sarah Swofford. Directed by Fox and Cody with music by Lane. Running Fridays and Saturdays through August.
“Click Click Whir” at Hideout Theater. Steampunk: The sublime love child of Jules Verne and Hot Topic. Fans of gears, goggles and steam will love “Click Click Whir: A Rhythmic Steampunk Adventure” directed by the multifaceted Valerie Ward and powered by “newfangled inventions and a percussive soundtrack created by the cast on the spot.” The show runs Saturdays throughout August.
Martha Kelly at Cap City Comedy Club. Martha Kelly’s success proves this is a just world. The former Funniest Person in Austin’s dry, one-of-a-kind sensibilities have earned her acclaim on the FX series “Baskets.” Zach Galifianakis wrote the part, aptly named Martha, just for her. I first met her back in the ’90s and have admired her ever since. Don’t miss her live at Cap City, and check out her series to see what the fuss is about. You’ll dig it.
“We’ll Pray For You” at ColdTowne Theater. Gather ’round the pulpit at “We’ll Pray For You.” where comics and storytellers pitch radical new religions to save this burning world. Creator Zaeli Kane encourages you to “bring your sins and sorrows” because following each sermon the monthly lineup of satirical preachers will take confessions from the audience. Will you be blessed or denounced, absolved or condemned? With comics, ahem, preachers Yusef Roach, Arielle Norman, Joe Tullar, Lea’h Sampson and Chris Castles, you’re guaranteed a damned good time.
Out of Bounds Comedy Festival at various theaters. The Out of Bounds Comedy Festival returns as Austin’s longest-running comedy festival with a seven-day celebration showcasing some of the best in improv, sketch, theatrical and stand-up comedy from across the globe. Out of Bounds hosts over 500 performers in 130 shows over the week leading up to Labor Day. The only festival with collectible trading cards of all the performers. Like comedy Pokemon: Gotta catch ’em all.
Brently Heilbron is a writer , emo puppet, and host of the PBS series Stand Up Empire. Got a show to recommend? Reach out @Brently on Twitter!