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Comedy Angels deliver more than jokes during Ladies’ Night Out

The ladies of the Comedy Angels do not believe aging or being funny go hand in hand. If speaking from personal experience means anything, members of the female comedy ensemble will beg to differ.

Comediennes Leslie Norris-Townsend, Michelle Krajecki and Tracy DeGraaf of the Comedy Angels headlined a show, dubbed “Ladies’ Night Out: A Comedy Event for Women”, the evening of Nov. 4 at Lincolnway Christian Church.

“As a comic, you’re always by yourself, you’re always alone on the road, and it’s so much fun to have sisters with you, or someone that you can hang out with, so it’s not such a lonesome,” Norris-Townsend said. “I also love the women’s events obviously. It was a way to connect, and I thought, ‘I do, do a lot of shows alone, but why not if we can [have] three times the funny or five times the funny?’”

Norris-Townsend has seven years of experience with the Comedy Angels and previously appeared in various comedy clubs, “The Tonight Show” and some television episodes.

Krajecki said being part of the Comedy Angels is a positive.

“From a comedienne standpoint, we like to work together,” she said. “If you’ve got some people you can ping pong off of and your personal lives gel, it’s great because comedy can be a lonely game.”

Norris-Townsend said the female comedy ensemble creates a nice platform for comediennes, which is refreshing to see and should be embraced.

“In Hollywood, you get [told, ‘you’re] too old,’ you get [told, ‘you’re] too heavy, you [get told, ‘you’re] too short, or [you get told, ‘you’re] too tall,’ but when you do comedy, you can be whatever you want to be,” she said.

Krajecki recognizes that all comedians are challenged to build and maintain an audience in some way, shape or form, and said fortunately, women are gaining respect for their craft, just as men do.

“From the audience standpoint, I see it more as ... not everybody likes [everyone’s humor,]” she said. “I’m a sarcastic Chicagoan. You know, somebody may not like that. Somebody might like more of a storyteller. There’s something for everybody, but, I mean, I think it’s gotten [better] hopefully in this time period. There’s enough women comediennes that hopefully we’re empowered enough that we… see we like the diversity.”

Norris-Townsend said it is especially important in today’s world for women to embrace the message their show aims to touch on.

“They get beat down, and I think that we want to raise them up,” she said. “Women are the backbone of our country. They’re raising the children. Now, they’re having to work, too. I mean, [there’s] just so much going on. They need some rest and God and Jesus. If they can embrace them, there is rest.”

The show’s three comediennes set out to bring a different flavor to the stage for the audience, with each member touching on portions of their personal lives to include in their performances, which centered on a theme, “Embrace the Adventure.”

“At Lincolnway, we always want to find the intersection of fun, family and faith, and how they all kind of intersect,” said Steve Baker, director of next-gen ministries for Lincolnway Christian Church. “We’re always trying to find fun things that are cool and fun. Family activities, we have a ton, a ton of family stuff and fun things, and [the show is] kind of right in that circle.”

DeGraaf closed the show after performances by Krajecki and Norris-Townsend and entertained the crowd with jokes about having battled breast cancer and being married with children.

DeGraaf is a newer member of the female comedy ensemble and a published author of a book titled, “Laugh Anyway, Mom.” She said she has been preparing for this show her entire adult life.

“The book is funny because life is funny,” DeGraaf said. “I just took the book and put it on stage.”

When asked if it is a comediennes place to intertwine faith and comedy, DeGraaf did not negate the idea.

“Our goal, here, at the church was to point them to Jesus,” she said. “Yes, we can all laugh at life, we can laugh at our circumstances, and in the end, the thing that’s really important is Jesus. I do feel like we touched on all that.”

Baker said the comedy event appeared to be well-received by the people who were in attendance, and he is sure the church would be interested in having the Comedy Angels return.

“If you look at the people that came, I mean 80 percent of them weren’t church people from here,” he said. “That was pretty cool.”