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Photo Flash: Sneak Peek - 2013 CHICAGO WOMEN'S FUNNY FESTIVAL

Stage 773, founder and producer of the popular Chicago Sketch Comedy Festival, has announced the 2013 Chicago Women's Funny Festival, June 6 - 9. BroadwayWorld has a sneak peek at some of the acts below!

Curated by Chicago Sketch Comedy Festival Executive Director Jill Valentine, the Chicago Women's Funny Festival will celebrate not only sketch comedy, but all forms of comedy including stand up, sketch, solo, vaudeville, improvisational, musical and more. Celebrating the best in local and national female comediennes, the 2013 Chicago Women's Funny Festival runs June 6 - 9.

Highlights include: Susan Messing, Off Off Broadzway, Kelsie Huff, Rachel Mason, Tara DeFransisco, Rebecca Sohn, Brouhaha: An Improvised Puppet Musical and the Ladies of The Cupid Players.

The first annual Chicago Women's Funny Festival took place in 2012 at Stage 773. Producers Jill Valentine and Liz McArthur wanted to build a comedy festival where women could come together and celebrate all art forms of comedy under one roof. The response from comedians and audience members was overwhelmingly positive - which is why the festival is coming back. The 2013 festival is bigger - putting all four of Stage 773's theaters to use each night of the festival.

Additional programming will also take place during the festival and includes "Matt Likes Girls" a live comedy podcast taping featuring Chicago based comedian Matt Riggs Thursday, June 6 at 11 p.m. Riggs' weekly podcast features his favorite thing in the world - girls. Be it actress, musician, comedian or his own mother, Matt has in depth conversations about the lives of successful women and what they are all about. Tickets to "Matt Likes Girls" are free to the public.

Valentine has been the executive director of the Chicago Sketch Comedy Festival since the festival's inception in 2000. She is also Stage 773's director of operations and performs in several popular and critically acclaimed groups in Chicago: The Cupid Players, Off Off Broadzway, Feminine Gentleman, The Deltones and several others. Valentine can also be seen as Donna, International Delight's national spokesperson.

Liz McArthur hails from St. Louis and has worked with The Chicago Sketch Comedy Festival since 2005. McArthur can be seen with groups such as Off Off Broadzway, OneTwoThree Comedy, and Feminine Gentlemen. McArthur is also the founder of SMUSH a Monday night open mic room at Stage773 and also a part of the hit zombie comedy Musical of the Living Dead.

Stage 773 celebrates off-Loop Chicago performing arts and artists. Stage 773 is a non-profit Chicago company that produces The Cupid Players, Bri-Ko, The Chicago Sketch Comedy Festival, The Chicago Women's Funny Festival and other programs, as well as offering subsidized theater rental space to the hundreds of itinerant off-Loop companies and performers. Stage 773 is located at 1225 W. Belmont; Stage 773's four theaters are home to performances by some of Chicago's most innovative, creative and passionate off-Loop performing artists.

Stage 773 presents the 2013 Chicago Women's Funny Festival June 6 - 9. Performance times are Thursday, June 6 at 8, 9 and 10 p.m., Friday, June 7 at 8, 9, 10 and 11 p.m., Saturday, June 8 at 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11 p.m. and Sunday, June 9 at 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 p.m. All performances take place at the recently renovated Stage 773 building, located at 1225 W. Belmont. Ticket prices range from $14-$15 and may be purchased at www.Stage773.com, by phone at 773.327.5252, and in person at Stage 773 box office.

Photos courtesy of Stage 773.

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Comedian and storyteller Kelsie Huff


Comedy group “The Playboys,� (L to R) Rachel Mason, Susan Messing and Kate Duffy


Burlesque-parody sketch comedy troupe “Off Off Broadzway�, (L to R) Liz McArthur, Mary Spray, Landree Fleming, Jill Valentine, MAndy Whitenack and (Center) Kelly Bolton


Comedy Duo “Feminine Gentleman�, Jill Valentine and Liz McArthur

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