Night of comedy to benefit Relay for Life

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BENNINGTON — On Saturday, May 5, five of the funniest comedians South of the (Canadian) Border will be showcasing their talents at the Cinco de Mayo Celebration in Bennington to support Relay For Life. The event, an evening of comedy, music and dancing, will be held at the Mount Anthony Country Club at 180 Country Club Drive starting at 7:30.

Appearing are Jon Hausman, Carlisle Carey, Mark Jagiello, Seth Brown and Rick Conety, who have performed at clubs and colleges all around the Northeast with clever comedy that connects with audiences. They especially enjoy donating their time and talent to help raise much-needed monies for non-profit organizations and have all performed together at many fundraisers in the tri-state area.

Jon Hausman will be hosting the comedy. Hausman earned a Ph.D. in the hilarious field of chemical engineering and works in the laugh-a-minute environment of an upstate New York nuclear power lab. For more than a decade he has been performing both stand-up and improvisational comedy at every opportunity. He enjoys making people laugh, whether it's a comedy show audience, co-workers, or just strangers watching him "dance."

According to Hausman, his performances have ranged "from several hundred people in a theater with a live-feed screen backdrop to three people in a coffeehouse with a broken piano."

A rarity in the age of brassy, outspoken female comics, Carlisle Carey has a soft-spoken, low-key style that fronts for a keen and perceptive wit. She has displayed her wry brand of observant and insightful comedy in performances from the Capital District to New York City.

In addition to producing and performing in comedy shows, she hosts a comedy open mic at the Low Beat in Albany on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month, giving the public a place to enjoy comedy as well as a venue for comedians to hone their art.

Mark Jagiello has performed at many prestigious comedy clubs in New York City and Boston, appearing with national touring comics such as Tig Notaro. A master "people watcher," Jagiello reveals the humor in a wide array of awkward social situations that happen in our everyday lives.

Jagiello was interested in comedy at an early age. In elementary school, his teachers reprimanded him for doing impressions of George Bush Sr. during silent reading time. When he was ten, he was hit in the shoulder with a piece of watermelon while sitting in the audience at a live performance by Gallagher and the seed of show biz was sown.

In addition to comedy, Jagiello is an accomplished musician who has played with various acts throughout the east coast including his punk rock band, The Damaged.

As a stand-up comedian, Seth Brown has performed around the Berkshires, and at comedy festivals including the Gloversville Comedy Festival and the High Mud Comedy Festival. As a sit-down comedian, Brown writes his award-winning humor column "The Pun Also Rises" for the The Berkshire Eagle and The Bennington Banner. He is the author of six books, co-writer of two musicals, and owner of many board games.

Rick Conety has organized comedy shows for many fundraisers, focusing on bringing intelligent and non-offensive comedy to discerning audiences. A "baby boomer," Conety writes comedy that comes from that perspective; from dealing with elderly parents to coping with the constantly-changing modern technology. He does stand-up comedy at venues all around New England and western New York: "I've performed for comedy clubs, college campuses, charity events, churches, corporate gigs, coffeehouses, campgrounds and country clubs. Apparently, any place that starts with the letter C."

Stand-up will be followed by "La Musica" as popular singer/songwriter and Nashville performer Lita Williams also displays her talents as a DJ for dancing and karaoke.

Tickets are $15 in advance and available in Bennington at the Country Club and at Willy's Variety Store at 300 Gage St. All proceeds benefit the American Cancer Society.

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