Pittsburgh’s Arcade Theater will host a tribute to Jewish comedy actress Gilda Radner, Friday, June 28 — her birthday — the proceeds of which will benefit Gilda’s Club of Western Pennsylvania. “Always Gilda,” will be an all-female, two-show comedy event that will benefit the charity named for Radner, who lost her life to cancer in 1989.
Women of various backgrounds and talents will come together to celebrate one of the original stars of “Saturday Night Live,” who inspired many young people to become comics. The performance will showcase a variety of arts and comedy forms including improv, sketch, music, stand-up and several unique one-woman performances.
All of the proceeds will be donated to the local Gilda’s Club chapter.
“In one night, we get to both showcase the wealth of lady talent in this city and educate young people who may not know the name ‘Gilda Radner,’” said Abby Fudor, one of the founders of Arcade Comedy Theater, in a prepared statement, “and all the while, communicate the idea of comedy as a cure.”
“The work that Gilda’s Club does is worth supporting under any name,” Fudor continued, “but this event raises money for this incredible organization while specifically celebrating Gilda. All women in comedy owe a debt to Ms. Radner. The least we can do is get together and throw her one heck of a birthday party.”
The show, which will be performed twice — at 8 p.m., and again at 10 p.m. — will feature local talent ranging from classic comedy genres to unique storytelling performances. Two performers scheduled to appear are cancer survivors, each with a personal connection to Gilda’s Club: stand-up comedienne Linda Duty and stage/screen actress Jennie Bushnell, who will share a uniquely funny take on living with cancer.
Other performers include stand-up comedy ‘Best in the ‘Burgh’ recipient Gab Bonesso, Chicago-trained Pittsburgh native Missy Moreno, and Parade Magazine’s Nancy Berk, who will share her humor and celebrity reflections on the power of a woman who brought laugher to so many.
“It will be a beautiful celebration of a Jewish icon of comedy and a woman who has enhanced survival for cancer patients and their families,” Berk said in statement to the Chronicle. “Interestingly, the Gilda Radner Ovarian Detection Center at Cedars-Sinai screens high risk candidates such as women of Ashkenazi Jewish descent; Gilda’s family medical history included a grandmother, aunt and cousin who had died of ovarian cancer.”
The evening will feature two mesdames of ceremony: Mackenzie Carpenter, staff writer for the Pittsburgh Post Gazette will host the 8 p.m. show; and Rachel Carlson, Pittsburgh senior community manager for Yelp, will emcee the 10 p.m. show.
Want to go?
What: “Always Gilda” — a night celebrating Pittsburgh’s female comedic talent and the legacy of Gilda Radner
Where: Arcade Comedy Theater, 811 Liberty Avenue, Downtown Pittsburgh
When: June 28, 2013, shows at 8 p.m. and 10 p.m.
Tickets may be purchased at arcadecomedytheater.com, or at the door.