We’ve been blessed with decent weather for most of this year’s Seattle International Comedy Competition. Yes, there was the Winter Storm Warning on Preliminary Week One-Night One back on November 2nd. And yes, it’s been a bit chilly (although, frankly, it IS November…not sure what else you’d expect.) But, generally, it’s been rather uneventful–which is unusual for this event…as we are often faced with near-Biblical levels of rain, some spot flooding, last year we even had a nasty ice-storm.
Last night, we got a taste of what we’re used to–as heavy rains made the drive down to Olympia for Night Three of the Semi-Finals of the 32nd Annual Seattle International Comedy Competition rather adventurous. That rain didn’t help the always challenging traffic between Seattle and the State Capitol.
Luckily, waiting for us in Olympia was the beautiful Washington Center for the Performing Arts–and my worries that the move from their “Box” cabaret-style room to the Mainstage there (an amazing four-level, 976-seat theater that totally reminds me of the opera house from “Citizen Kane”) would pose any problems for our having another great night of comedy in this amazing Semi-Finals week proved unfounded. The good people of Olympia certainly came out to check out the show–filling the main level and extending up into the balconies.
Now, the audience seemed to love the entire show–and they showered every Semi-Finalist with strong encore points–the judges, on the other hand, scored everyone tough. And that’s good! That’s why we have judges, after all–they must look critically at everyone that performs and what they do. As much as we’d love it to happen, we really can’t afford to have a ten-way tie for first place…
And even with tough judges, coming out on top AGAIN is Kansas City’s Mike Baldwin. Three nights of the Semi-Finals, three nightly wins for Mike–he’s really got it dialed in right now.
Still, we’re only at the halfway point of this week–and anything can happen. Still, it’s got to feel good if you’re Mike Baldwin…or Rick Kunkler or Patrick Keane who have each made the Nightly Top 5 every show this week, so far. And even though Mrs Hughes has the disadvantage of not being able to drop her lowest score (as a result of being a late repacement), she too has to feel good about her two Top 5 finishes.
Here’s the Nightly Top 5 from Semi-Finals Week-Night Three at the Washington Center for the Performing Arts, Olympia:
- Mike Baldwin (Kansas City)
- Rick Kunkler (Seattle/Los Angeles)
- Mrs Hughes (Pismo Beach)
- Patrick Keane (Los Angeles)
- Rodney Sherwood (Seattle)
Rodney Sherwood makes his first Top 5 for the week. Just missing the Top 5 tonight were Austin’s Eric Krug, as well as both David Tveite and Xung Lam from Seattle.
On the way home from the show in Olympia, the heavy rain turned to what verged on snow flurries…but that couldn’t dampen the good vibes from a great show in an excellent venue.
…a feeling that should carry over to tonight (whatever the weather forecast) as we head North, now…to the Skagit Valley Casino & Resort. Once again, well over a month before the show, they’ve sold out the 600+ seat Pacific Showroom. It’s another big room show…and this year’s Semi-Finalists have had to figure out how to translate their act for these big stages and big crowds.
I think they’re all doing a great job…and I’m looking forward to tonight’s show (not to mention the buffet!)–but I also know that pretty soon, the numbers are going to crunch and we’ll get a clearer picture of who might be this year’s five finalists.