Denver’s Comedy Works comedians to headline Chief Theater show this weekend | SteamboatToday.com

Denver’s Comedy Works comedians to headline Chief Theater show this weekend

— Finding relatable truth paired with comedic relief, then delivering it in a timely fashion in front of an audience, is an art form, and although that form is fairly new, it is continually evolving with each young, aspiring comedian hoping to make it into the spotlight.

At 8 p.m. Saturday, the Chief Theater will welcome two of these aspiring comedians — Deacon Gray, who won the inaugural Great American Comedy Festival last year and Heath Arthur, winner of the Comedy Works new faces contest last year — for the Chief Theater’s 18 and over show. Coming from Denver's premier destination, Comedy Works is known for some of the best stand-up since 1981.

If You Go…

What: Stand Up Comedy with Denver's Comedy Works comedians Deacon Gray and Heath Arthur and Steamboat's own Kristin Cronin

When: 8 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 22

Where: Chief Theater, 813 Lincoln Ave.

Since then, however, a lot has changed.

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What used to be a show focused on telling jokes or one-liners has evolved into a meticulously crafted, witty story.

"Comedy comes from observing, and the good comedians zero in on the truth of any situation to connect with the audience," said local Kristin Cronin, who will be opening the show with her stand-up routine. "I think people want to hear things they can relate to."

Now, there is slapstick comedy, deadpan or dry humor, satire, parody and more. Not only that, audiences have a variety of ways to access stand-up acts thanks to the Internet and social media.

"It's a lot easier to find the kind of comedy you like," said Comedy Works comedian Sam Tallent. "Before, you just had to go to a show and watch whoever was headlining that night. Now, you can search for who you want to see. It's more refined."

The concepts behind stand-up are somewhat universal, Cronin said. Every three lines, the comedian needs to say something funny to keep the audience interested. But even more importantly, it takes persistence.

"You have to be able to go up there and totally bomb and then be OK with it," Cronin said, relating a piece of advice she received from a friend. "There is so much dedication and focus that goes in to it. Sometimes, you have to focus on focusing."

For the past year, Scott Parker, executive director for the Chief Theater, has incorporated comedy into the theater's lineup of events once per month. With a number of those shows sold out, he said, he wishes he had started earlier based on the positive reception from Steamboat audiences.

"It's just one of those art forms that people love, and if you like it, you … want to seek it out," Parker said. "The subject matter of stand-up is so diverse you have to have an open mind, sit back and just enjoy the show. You have to let yourself go; it's an escape where you don't have to worry about anything else for that amount of time."

While there are so many different styles comedians characterize as their own, the underlying concept of comedy remains.

"It reminds you to take the world a little less seriously sometimes," Cronin said. "Even if nothing may seem funny, a good comedian will always point out what's so funny. Just think of Robin Williams: He saw the funny in things that none of us saw the funny in until he pointed it out, and we loved that."

With this weekend's comedy show, Steamboat has the chance to see what Tallent described as two gifted storytellers who are known as "two of the best comics working the Midwest right now." Heath worked with the Duck Commander Cruise with the Robertsons of A&E's Duck Dynasty, while Gray is known as a Comedy Works favorite, having opened for Dave Chappelle, Drew Carey and Chris Rock.

"The energy of the comedians will be greater than normal," Parker said. "This is not an open mic night; these are guys with a pretty good resume, and you can trust that you will have a good time."

Tickets for the 18 and over show are $10 and can be purchased at the Show Chalet and Boutique next door to the Chief or online at chieftheater.com.

To reach Audrey Dwyer, call 970-871-4229, email adwyer@ExploreSteamboat.com or follow her on Twitter @Audrey_Dwyer1

If You Go…

What: Stand Up Comedy with Denver’s Comedy Works comedians Deacon Gray and Heath Arthur and Steamboat’s own Kristin Cronin

When: 8 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 22

Where: Chief Theater, 813 Lincoln Ave.

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