There are plenty of comedy events in the United States but few with the dual approach of the Fuse Comedy & Art Festival.
Luke Capasso and fellow comic Karen Jaffe joined forces to launch the multi-day showcase at Wiley’s Comedy Club, Oregon Express, Feathers, 416 Diner and other area businesses Dec. 3-5.
“What’s so great about the Oregon District is everything is walkable and there are so many cool locally-owned businesses we want to showcase,” Jaffe said. “People who don’t necessarily come downtown get to see how cute it is down here and that it’s not scary like they might have heard.”
Capasso, who started doing comedy in England, was inspired by his numerous appearances at the Fringe Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland. After a decade in the UK, the Greenville native moved to Dayton in 2016 and soon realized the city’s strong comedy and arts communities made it a prime spot for this type of out-of-the-box festival.
“This is something I’ve been planning for a while, but COVID really kicked it back a bit,” Capasso said. “I did Edinburgh for about seven years, and I always thought that was something that could fit well here. It’s not like comedy festivals are here in the States where it’s typically a few people booking all of these different comics into a series of shows. Over there, performers book a venue, then put up their own show and promote it. We’re trying to familiarize people with that approach. Another nice thing about spreading it over multiple venues is when people bop from show to show, it creates more of a fun atmosphere, and it also spreads the love around Fifth Street.”
Special comedy shows include a kickoff event at Toxic Brewery at 5 p.m. Friday, SuperDope at Wiley’s at 9:15 p.m. Friday, Rascals Revenge at Oregon Express at 7:15 p.m. Saturday and Queer & Friends at Yellow Cab Tavern at 5 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $15 per show or $45 for a festival pass.
“Comedy is a weird art form, so the room has to be right for it, but, for the most part, every business we approached was up for it,” Capasso said. “Even the ones I thought would give me some push-back were pretty great. Everybody seemed excited about the festival.”
Capasso, a visual artist himself, will be showing oil paintings and dollhouse miniatures alongside Nate Washington, Kelly Collette, Alex Leeds, Dan Sebree and other Ohio creatives.
“Dayton has been ripe for a comedy festival for a long time,” Jaffe said. “There are so many talented people around here and there’s no reason for us not to showcase that as much as we can. Luke and I really wanted to do this so we talked about what that would look like. His idea of having all the artisans and artists who were comedians is perfect for this town. Dayton just loves the arts so much and this really plays right into that space.”
Contact this contributing writer at 937-287-6139 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
HOW TO GO
What: The Fuse Comedy & Art Festival
Where: Wiley’s Comedy Club, Oregon Express, Yellow Cab Tavern and other downtown businesses
When: Friday through Sunday, Dec. 3 through 5
Cost: $15 per show, $45 festival pass
More info: www.facebook.com/FUSE-FEST-104398845289334
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