If any American city could use a charm offensive right about now, it’s Baltimore.
And yet, the second annual Charm City Comedy Festival — set to begin Wednesday and run through Sunday in Baltimore — has been forced to scrap and/or move several of its shows this week due to the city’s curfew. Maryland and Baltimore officials declared a state of emergency Monday following violent protests and looting that emerged in city streets, protests launched in response to the death of Freddie Gray in police custody.
By this morning, they’d adjusted the fest schedule to accommodate the 10 p.m. citywide curfew.
In an unfortunate turn of events, Baltimore has entered a period of unrest during the time in which we have planned this event. We deeply regret that due to a city-wide mayoral curfew enacted tonight that lasts for a week, we have had to cancel all shows which were scheduled to take place at 9 PM or after. We are doing this in order to comply with the 10 PM imposed curfew. We encourage you to please come to the festival and enjoy those acts who will still be performing in the afternoon and early evening shows, and take advantage of the daytime workshops. We are family, and family sticks together. So we hope to see you at the fest!
Organizers are trying to reach the improvisers, sketch groups and stand-up comedians who’d been slotted for late sets at either Gallery 788 or Zissimos Bar to find earlier arrangements for them.
Daytime workshops will take place Saturday and Sunday as planned, with instructors Vanessa Gonzalez and Chris Trew of The New Movement in New Orleans and Austin, Binu Paulose of The Annoyance Theatre NY, Kelly Buttermore, Justin Peters, Amie Roe and Shawn Wickens of Magnet Theater, and Kristen Schier of Philadelphia Improv Theater.