Weather Forecast


Red Wing woman makes comedy debut at Sheldon

Red Wing's Jennifer Staley will unveil a different side of her personality to the community when she opens for comedian Maria Bamford on April 20 at the Sheldon Theatre.

Friends and co-workers know how funny she can be, especially when she's emceeing a Christmas party or other event. But not everyone knows about her history as a performer and a member of an improvisational comedy troupe.

Staley explained that she "spent her former life living the dream, after attending the Academy of Dramatic Arts in Pasadena," Calif. She worked in theater and auditioned in Los Angeles, enjoying nearly a decade of being a comedian before returning to school for a college degree.

Nine years ago she moved to Red Wing with her husband, Mike, and their children, Jack and Medary. Currently she works in sales at Coordinated Business Systems.

She uses her theater background to do volunteer work at the Sheldon, including a current task doing makeup for the upcoming Red Wing High School production of "H.M.S. Pinafore" under the direction of Sean Dowse, Sheldon executive director.

"I have always gone to Acme," a comedy club in the Twin Cities, once or twice a year, Staley said, and she has entered a couple of contests there "In case I ever want to go back to it," she said.

"Sean found out about it and asked me if I wanted to open for Maria Bamford. I said 'Sure.'"

Checking out Bamford's act on YouTube, Staley said, "I thought she was really funny."

Staley has developed some new material for her act, which will be about 20 minutes, revolving on the Midwest ethic. Among other things, she is intrigued by the practice of holding big high school graduation parties.

In Colorado, where she grew up the big celebrations are for college graduations.

It will be her first Red Wing comedy appearance, other than emceeing gigs. Although Bamford's show is for an adult audience, Staley said her act will not be "blue."

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

More info: 651-388-8700 or www.sheldontheatre.or