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Comedy Nights to return to Munster Center for Visual and Performing Arts

Friday, August 14; tickets and seating will be limited

information provided by the Center for Visual and Performing Arts (CVPA)

MUNSTER, Ind. (August 6, 2020) – Chef Joe Trama and his team will host the return of Comedy Nights at the CVPA on Friday, August 14, featuring a delicious plated dinner, socially distanced private table seating, and favorite headlining stage comics, including the return of “Uncle Lar,” Larry Reeb, who last performed at the CVPA in Munster in December 2018.

Headlining comic and audience favorite Larry Reeb returns to The Center for Visual and Performing Arts in Munster for one dinner show on August 14. (Photo provided)

Launched in 2011, “Comedy Nights at the CVPA” began as a dinner and entertainment combo ticket event with guests seated at their tables for the entire evening in the elegant and spacious ballroom at The Center for Visual and Performing Arts, 1040 Ridge Road in Munster. In recent years, the event was reimagined, with the dinner hosted in the ballroom and the headlining comics performing following dinner in the Theatre at the Center stage space.

For the August 2020 relaunch of Comedy Nights at the CVPA, the event will once again return to the original “all-in-one space design,” to allow a controlled environment and accommodate the necessary added precautions for guests and concerns associated with COVID-19. The dinner, still at 6:30pm, will be plated and served to guests seated at their private tables with social distancing for the room’s design and utilizing the entire expansive ballroom space. Tickets and seating will be limited. The comedians will perform live in the ballroom at 8:15pm, following dinner. There will be a cash bar throughout the evening with attentive, masked wait staff providing for guests’ needs.

The five-course dinner menu prepared by award-winning Chef Joe Trama and his team features lemon-rice soup, Parker house rolls and butter, tossed garden salad with champagne vinaigrette, sauté chicken epicurean with sherry cream sauce served with rice pilaf and Italian green beans, and chocolate raspberry cake for dessert. During the show, guests will enjoy complimentary baskets of potato chips, popcorn, and pretzels once the show begins in addition to the full cash bar.

The opening comics include K. Frances Norris, who worked as a valet at the James Hotel in downtown Chicago when he first began moonlighting as a standup comedian. A former steel worker who played bass for a hip-hop band for five years, Norris was raised in Hobart where he enjoyed fishing Lake George by the dam. Today, his wit has teamed him to work with headliners like Gilbert Gottfried, Tim Meadows, Ryan Niemiller, and Jamie Kennedy.

“Sometimes I think about quitting standup, but it’s the fastest path to my ultimate goal of being the funniest guy living under a bridge,” Norris said.

K. Frances Norris of Hobart will perform August 14 for Comedy Nights at the CVPA. (Photo provided)

Also featured will be Ross Blankenship, who has studied writing, improv, and acting at The Second City and iO Chicago. In 2016, his first short film—which he wrote, directed, and starred in—”Screen Time,” played at film festivals in the U.S., Canada, and Ireland. Blankenship has performed as a standup comic at clubs around the Midwest and comedy festivals around the U.S. for the past 9 years. A 2012 graduate of Valparaiso University, Ross has also written and hosted table reads in the Chris Farley Cabaret Theater at iO Chicago for an original sitcom pilot titled “Crashed,” a project he has hopes for development.

Comedy Night on August 14 will open with a performance by Ross Blankenship. (Photo provided)

The headlining comedy star for the night is the return of audience favorite Larry Reeb. Known as “Uncle Lar,” Reeb likens himself to the wise-cracking, politically incorrect relative everyone knows. Like any concerned relative, “Uncle Lar” wants to help, in his own way, so he does. He gives tips on everything from marriage to lotteries to children, always topping it off with his catchphrase: “That’s a tip from your Uncle Lar.” Reeb has twice been voted Chicago Comedian of the year. He has won the Las Vegas Comedy festival and the Dubuque 10K comedy festival, and he was a finalist in the Great American Comedy Festival. “Uncle Lar” has appeared on “Showtime: Billy Gardell presents Road Dogs,” “HBO Opening night at Rodney’s, hosted by Rodney Dangerfield,” and “NBC: Last Comic Standing,” and he has appearances on the Bob and Tom radio show.

In consideration of the 2020 Global Pandemic and in accordance with Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb’s mandated mask order, patrons are asked to wear a “mouth and nose covering” when arriving and walking about during the course of the evening, but can remove coverings once seated at their private table or when in a secluded area away from others.

The dinner and show tickets are $40 (plus tax) and are limited. They are available by calling 219-836-1930, x2. Visit for more details.

The Center for Visual and Performing Arts is located at 1040 Ridge Road in Munster.

The Lansing Journal
The Lansing Journal
The Lansing Journal publishes news releases from state, county, and local officials who provide information that impacts local community life. The particular contributor of each post is indicated in the byline.