Good comedy, like show planning, often comes down to timing. In the case of LOL Comedy Night, Ovation Theatre's first-ever standup comedy show taking place Saturday, it was the best of both worlds.
Around the time Adam Cline, one of Ovation's founders, was looking into putting together a comedy night, local performer Shay Brandon Burke was going from a triple threat — singing, acting, dancing — to quadruple, adding standup comedy into the mix.
"I had started doing comedy and open mic in L.A.," Burke said. "The day we met was my very first entering into a Burbank comedy competition (at Flappers)."
If Cline needed a sign that he picked the right host for the event, he received it heading south to see Burke perform in the final round.
Burke said, "He came down (to the club) and I won the whole damn thing."
This night of comedy has come together over the past three months, timed to fall in the break between mainstage shows: "Dreamgirls," which closed earlier this month, and "1776," an all-female version that debuts June 29.
"They should expect to laugh," Burke said of the show. "We have a wide variety of different comic styles. We have a little blue humor, a little country humor."
Headlining the event are local comedian Mark Price, who will perform a variety act under his alter ego Gus Flamingo, and Los Angeles-based comedian Maddie Hanson.
Any worries about filling up the rest of the lineup dissipated early on, Burke said.
"When we started booking the comedians for this show, I had people reaching out to me, saying, 'I heard you have a room that is hot in Bakersfield and I want to be a part of it.'"
Other than Burke, who will perform a set in addition to hosting, the show includes one other local comic, newcomer Jacob Cota and some Southland comedians: Mary Becquet, Amir the Amiracle, Mikey McKernan and John Adams.
Burke said he's been working to rustle up interest in the show among both theater-goers and comedy lovers.
"We don’t know how successful it will be," Burke said. "My neck is on the line because I invited these people up (to perform)."
Based on how Bakersfield audiences respond to the event, there may be more comedy nights in Ovation's future.
"I’m looking forward to helping grow the comedy and open mic scene in Bakersfield," he said. "I'm hoping this is successful enough that we can repeat and do the show again. And I'm hoping that people laugh and have a good time."