Kennedy Center Announces DISTRICT OF COMEDY FESTIVALFrom July 20-22, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts presents its second annual District of Comedy Festival, bringing together acclaimed stars and rising acts for an all-laughs takeover of the nation's center for the performing arts. Headlined by a one-night-only NSO Pops concert with Jane Krakowski and Tituss Burgess, the festival, with Presenting Sponsor Capital One, features stand-up shows, music, theater, and performances for children and families in spaces across the Center. The District of Comedy Festival also coincides with a brand new edition of the Kennedy Center's popular collaboration with Chicago's The Second City, which will run for eight weeks in the Theater Lab.

Under the baton of NSO Pops Principal Conductor Steven Reineke, the Orchestra welcomes award-winning actors and Broadway veterans Jane Krakowski (30 Rock) and Tituss Burgess (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt) for an unforgettable concert collaboration with the National Symphony Orchestra. With their signature mix of humor and charisma, the duo will sing favorites from the stage and screen.

The Kennedy Center will reverberate with laughter from numerous other events confirmed for the festival. The Daily Show, the 22 Primetime Emmy Award­-winning late-night talk and news satire show comes to the Kennedy Center with an all-star cast of writers and correspondents for an evening of stand-up in The Daily Show Correspondents Stand-Up Tour. Iconic, three-time Emmy Award winning comedian Louie Anderson will present his stand-up act in the Family Theater. In Puddles Pity Party, Puddles, the sad, silent clown brings melancholic pop anthems and free hugs for all the party people of D.C. The opposite of a "roast battle," Boast Rattle is the ultimate competition of compliments. Based on audience suggestion, The Improvised Shakespeare Company creates a fully improvised play in Elizabethan style, so that each play is entirely new. The festival will once again collaborate with Brightest Young Things on a series of podcast studios.

Following last year's sold-out run in the Theater Lab, The Second City returns for another summer of uproarious irreverence with The Second City's Almost Accurate Guide to America: Divided We Stand. The work, which puts a comic spin on the state of our nation and the many different Americas, begins performances in June and runs for eight weeks through August 13.

The festival will also extend to the Kennedy Center's Millennium Stage, which presents a free performance 365 days a year. Beginning with the Underground Comedy Stand-Up Showcase on Thursday, July 20, each day of the festival will feature a free Millennium Stage event at 6:00 p.m.

Ticket Information

Tickets for Jane Krakowski and Tituss Burgess with the National Symphony Orchestra will go on sale to Capital One cardholders on May 19. Visit Capital One's Facebook page at 10am EST on Friday for more information.

Tickets for NSO Pops and all other District of Comedy Festival performances will go on sale to Kennedy Center Members May 22 and to the general public on May 23. For more information regarding subscription tickets, go online ( or call the Subscription Office at (202) 416-8500, Monday through Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Subscriptions may be purchased in advance of general on sale dates. Group sales (for groups of 20 or more people) are available only for The Second City. For more information regarding group tickets, call the Group Sales Office at (202) 416-8400, Monday through Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Kennedy Center Member and general public tickets will be available for purchase in person at the Kennedy Center Box Office, by calling InstantCharge at (202) 467-4600, and through the Kennedy Center website at


Millennium Stage: Underground Comedy Stand-Up Showcase

July 20, 2017 at 6:00 p.m. in the Family Theater

Underground Comedy is D.C.'s premier independent comedy Production Company, bringing rising comics from around the country to perform in Washington, D.C.

Jane Krakowski & Tituss Burgess with the National Symphony Orchestra

July 20, 2017 at 8:00 p.m. in the Concert Hall

Award-winning actors and Broadway veterans Tituss Burgess and Jane Krakowski bring their one-of-a-kind chemistry to the NSO, as these two sing hits from the stage and screen. Recommended for mature audiences.

The Second City's Almost Accurate Guide to America: Divided We Stand

June 17-August 13, 2017 in the Theater Lab

The Second City returns for another summer of uproarious irreverence. If the last year has taught us anything, it's that there are many different America's to get to know; however, there is still one thing the blue states and red states share-the need for a good laugh.

The Bentzen Ball Podcast Studio: How to Be Amazing with Michael Ian Black

July 20, 2017 at 8:30 p.m. in the Family Theater

In this in-depth, long-form interview show, actor and comedian Michael Ian Black takes listeners into the minds of some of today's most fascinating celebrities and newsmakers to discuss the process of how they became, well, amazing. Black's trademark wit and natural inquisitiveness offers a behind-the-scenes viewpoint, along with laugh-out-loud humor and valuable advice from guests who are at the top of their game. Recommended for mature audiences.

Millennium Stage: Brandon Wardell and Friends

July 21, 2017 at 6:00 p.m. in the Kennedy Center Atrium

Brandon Wardell is a verified stand-up comedian who's also young and cool and extremely good at Twitter dot com. He hosts the popular Hot Takes with Brandon Wardell for Comedy Central and has appeared on @midnight, Adam Devine's House Party, and The Meltdown with Jonah and Kumail. He has also appeared on CNN, Viceland, and MTV. Rolling Stone recently featurEd Brandon as their "Hot Comedian" of 2016.

Puddles Pity Party

July 21, 2017 at 7:00 p.m. in the Family Theater

The "Sad Clown with the Golden Voice" is back with a suitcase full of all new emotional anthems and plenty of Kleenex. As with any Pity Party performance, it's not all sadness and longing. Puddles's set is peppered with a brilliant sense of the absurd, mixing lots of humor with the awkward, tender moments. With more than 180,000 fans on Facebook and over 40 million views on YouTube, including his acclaimed version of Lorde's "Royals," Sia's "Chandelier" and other pop favorites, Puddles Pity Party has toured extensively in the U.S. including multiple sold-out shows at Joe's Pub in NYC, the Regency Ballroom in San Francisco, and the legendary Troubadour in Los Angeles.

The Daily Show Correspondents Stand-Up Tour

July 21, 2017 at 8:00 p.m. in the Concert Hall

The 22 Primetime Emmy Award-winning late-night talk and news satire television show goes live with stand-up performances from acclaimed correspondents and writers Roy Wood Jr., Ronny Chieng, Gina Yashere, and Adam Lowitt. Recommended for mature audiences.

The Bentzen Ball Podcast Studio: Reductress presents Mouth Time Live!

July 21, 2017 at 8:30 p.m. in the Kennedy Center Atrium

Join Reductress editors Quenn and Dikoda for a dish-sesh on the latest in fashion, pop culture, lifestyle, trends, and pictures. With sassy catchphrases, non-threatening debates, huge special guests, silent hot guys, and bold life advice, Reductress gives you everything you've come to expect from a women's magazine podcast in 2017. Recommended for mature audiences.

Boast Rattle hosted by Kyle Ayers

July 21, 2017 at 10:30 p.m. in the Kennedy Center Atrium

Comedians compete to see who can complement one another in this showdown of sweetness, this clash of consideration, this barrage of benevolence. Playing off the idea of roasts, Boast Rattle has two comedians go head-to-head, delivering alternating blows of the nicest order.

The Improvised Shakespeare Company

July 22, 2017 at 5:00 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. in the Family Theater

Based on one audience suggestion (a title for a play that has yet to be written), The Improvised Shakespeare Co. creates a fully improvised Shakespearean masterpiece right before your very eyes. Each of the players has brushed up on his "thee's" and "thou's" to bring you an evening of off-the-cuff comedy using the language and themes of William Shakespeare. Nothing has been planned out, rehearsed, or written. All of the dialogue is said for the first time and the characters are created as you watch. The night could reveal a tragedy, comedy, or history. Each play is completely improvised, so each play is entirely new. Recommended for audiences age 16 and above.

Millennium Stage: Aparna Nancherla & Friends with Jo Firestone and Chris Duffy

July 22, 2017 at 6:00 p.m. in the Kennedy Center Atrium

Aparna Nancherla is a comedian of the stand-up variety, but can often be seen sitting. She recently wrote for Late Night with Seth Meyers on NBC. You can also see her on the current season of Inside Amy Schumer on Comedy Central and on the upcoming season of Love on Netflix. In addition, she hosts the long-running popular underground New York comedy show, Whiplash at the Upright Citizen's Brigade Theater on Monday evenings.

Louie Anderson

July 22, 2017 at 7:00 p.m. in the Family Theater

Iconic comedian Louie Anderson, a three-time Emmy Award winner, is one of the country's most recognized and adored comics; named by Comedy Central as "One of the 100 Greatest Stand-Up Comedians of All Time." His career has spanned more than 30 years. He is a best-selling author, star of his own stand-up specials and sitcoms, and he continues to tour the country performing to standing-room-only crowds.

The Bentzen Ball Podcast Studio: Mortified

July 22, 2017 at 8:30 p.m. in the Kennedy Center Atrium

Mortified stars everyday adults sharing their most embarrassingly real teenage diary entries, poems, love letters, lyrics, and locker notes in front of total strangers. Mortified is a comic excavation of the strange and extraordinary things we created as kids. Please note: this show is for audience members age 21 and over ONLY.

Night Train with Wyatt Cenac

July 22, 2017 at 10:30 p.m. in the Kennedy Center Atrium

Hosted by Brooklyn-based comedy favorite Wyatt Cenac (The Daily Show, People of Earth), Night Train comes to the Kennedy Center from its New York home for a special night of comedy with some of the best comedians of the moment. Recommended for mature audiences.

*Artists and performances are subject to change.


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