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Banford headlines comedy show

If Mother Nature's April Fool's joke does not amuse you, please be aware that there is an option to slipping and sliding for entertainment.

The Sheldon Theatre is offering an evening of comedy, of jokes and stories. They'll be tinged a bit blue -- not from the cold -- and more than likely infected with a dose of hysteria as well.

Comedian Maria Bamford is coming to town. She'll perform at 7 p.m. April 20 on Red Wing's historic stage.

You may not recognize the name, but you know her. Remember the Target Corp. Black Friday ads with the manic blonde in the red track suit who runs around in anticipation of the start of the holiday shopping season? Bamford.

For two years the Minnesota retailer relied on her antics to carry its national advertising campaign.

Bamford is well known on the comedy scene. She was the first female comic to have two half-hour Comedy Central Presents specials, plus she starred in the Comedy Central series "The Comedians of Comedy" and Netflix's "Comedians of Comedy: The Movie."

She has made multiple late-night television appearances with Jay Leno, Craig Ferguson, Conan O'Brien and Jimmy Kimmel, in addition to appearances on numerous daytime TV shows.

Bamford's voice also is familiar to the masses. She does comedic voiceovers for animations including Cartoon Network's "Adventure Time," Disney Channel's "Kick Buttowski," Nickelodeon's "Kung Fu Panda" and PBS's Emmy-winning series "Word Girl," and others.

In 2009 she had a low-budget web series, "The Maria Bamford Show," which was built around the premise that she had moved in with her parents after suffering a nervous breakdown.

She played all the characters in the show, which developed a cult following and was screened at the Museum of Art and Design in New York.

The Los Angeles Times linked that her sensitivity to mental health issues with her own struggles as a child. She speaks about depression, anxiety and OCD -- obsessive compulsive disorder, which she calls Unwanted Thoughts Syndrome -- on stage.

Bamford grew up in Duluth, Minn., and began performing at age 11 in an elementary school production of "How the West was REALLY Won!" She graduated from the University of Minnesota and performed at Twin Cities comedy venues.

"Her act is less Robin Williams stand-up than Lily Tomlin solo show laced with the satire of classic Steve Martin," according to a feature in the New York Times.

Rolling Stone magazine, which named her one of the 50 Funniest People Now, said "Meek-voiced Maria Bamford makes all other existentially dark comedians look like so many Carrot Tops."

Her comedy albums have been named "best of the year" by

Bamford also has written comedy pieces for publications including the Onion. Archived versions of her creative work can be found on YouTube and at

Limited tickets are available for the adult-oriented April 20 performance. Call 651-388-8700 or go online to

If you go...

Who: Maria Bamford

Who else: Local comedian Jennifer Staley

What: Evening of comedy

When: 7 p.m. April 20

Where: Sheldon Theatre, 433 W. Third St.

How much: $25.50 adults, $16.50 students