Stand-up comedy courtesy a national headliner and live musical numbers by local performers will combine next weekend at Playhouse 395’s largest fundraising event in several years.
Dennis Regan, a self-proclaimed purveyor of “clean, corporate comedy,” will bring the laughs to the Tri-County Fairgrounds in Bishop on Saturday, Jan. 26.
The event, “LIVE!,” is restricted to residents and visitors ages 18 and older and includes food, drink, raffles and silent auctions.
“Dennis’ humor is adult but not profane, perhaps a bit risqué, but always in good taste,” said event organizer Debbie Clarkson. “We thought it would be fun to do something different, lighten up the entertainment, and give the community an opportunity to laugh.”
If it’s laughs Playhouse 395 is after, it certainly chose the right entertainer.
Regan is one of the elite, few comics to have made multiple appearances over the years on both the “Tonight Show with Jay Leno” and “Late Show with David Letterman.” He’s also been featured on specials airing on Showtime and Comedy Central, although, as he notes on his website, dennisregan.com, “you probably would have seen me if you didn’t have 800 channels.”
He was a writer for the CBS sitcom “King of Queens” from 2004-07, and has also done voice acting for cartoons and video games.
Regan’s resume starts with his initial club appearances in the 1980s at New York City comedy institutions such as The Improv, The Comic Strip, The Comedy Cellar, Catch A Rising Star and Dangerfields.
More than 20 years later, Regan remains one of the most respected stand-up comics in the business. “Some people think I’m pretty good at it,” Regan says on his website. “I don’t like to argue with these people. They have a right to their opinion.”
His younger brother, Brian Regan, is also a comedian (and star of four self-titled stand-up specials) known and praised for his “clean,” universal humor.
No slouch either, Playhouse 395 is known for its exceptional live, local musical performances such as “Hello Dolly!,” “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” “South Pacific” and “The Sound of Music.” Playhouse also provides the only theatrical opportunities for Owens Valley children and youth through their summer Children’s Theatre Workshops and fall youth performances. Past youth shows include “Seussical the Musical,” “Bye Bye Birdie” and “Junior” shows: “Honk,” “Willie Wonka,” “Aladdin” and “Mulan.” Playhouse continues to work with Bishop Union High School to find ways to provide UC- and CSU-approved credit for Fine Arts and to change children’s lives through their experiences with theater, whether on stage or behind the scenes.
“Few people in our community realize,” Clarkson said, “it takes a lot of money to create the high quality shows that Playhouse 395 produces. With show budgets in the $30,000 range, ticket sales never cover the full cost of producing a show.
“Funds raised are also used to help create full or part scholarships for our Children’s Theater Workshop participants,” she continued. “We are also hoping to raise the $15,000 necessary to fund a drama teacher at the high school.”
The “LIVE!” fundraiser starts at 6 p.m. in the Home Economics Building at the Tri-County Fairgrounds. Tickets are $35 apiece and are available online at Playhouse395.com (with no convenience fee), Spellbinder Books and Inyo Council for the Arts – Playhouse’s new box office location.