The Daily Tar Heel

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Saturday December 3rd

LGBTQ comedians kick off NC Pride

Three Dollar Bill LGBTQ comedy group rehearsed before their performance Tuesday night at DSI Comedy on West Franklin Street. Meagan Voss of Carrboro, Robbie Wiggins of Raleigh and Brandon Holmes of Durham were playing a warm-up game called "Czechoslovakia."
Buy Photos Three Dollar Bill LGBTQ comedy group rehearsed before their performance Tuesday night at DSI Comedy on West Franklin Street. Meagan Voss of Carrboro, Robbie Wiggins of Raleigh and Brandon Holmes of Durham were playing a warm-up game called "Czechoslovakia."

“The comedy isn’t centered around being a member of the LGBT community,” said Robbie Wiggins, a member of Three Dollar Bill. “It just showcases the normalcy of the community.”

Along with being the first LGBTQ-themed show the group has done, tonight’s show at DSI Comedy Theater also marks the reunion of Three Dollar Bill, which has been performing off-and-on throughout the past two years.

Formed about three years ago by five gay comedians at DSI, Three Dollar Bill is now made up of seven comedians who are all a part of the LGBTQ community.

“You get excited about every show that you do, but this show’s kind of got that Pride feel to it,” said Brandon Holmes, who has been with Three Dollar Bill since it first formed. “Everything at (N.C.)Pride just feels more fun and festive.”

When DSI moved to Chapel Hill in May, the management team decided to expand their scheduling from three nights a week to five nights. DSI associate artistic director Ashley Melzer said with the expansion, DSI wanted to have Three Dollar Bill back on a more consistent basis.

“We wanted this to be a show that was about personal identity,” she said. “It’s just about these people who are who they are and are proud of it.”

The troupe celebrates all of its shows, Holmes said. But tonight’s show is special.

“We were talking about more ways to get the community involved, and there’s no better way than to become a part of (N.C.) Pride,” Holmes said. “Ultimately, it’s a show for everybody, but I think it specifically resonates with the LGBT community.”

Three Dollar Bill’s typical show features a variety of short and long-form improvisational games. But this show will include a “third act” of just local stand-up comedians who are also members of the LGBTQ community, and improv games tailored to the night’s theme, Melzer said.

One game is called “Gaga” — an adaptation of a game called “Dr. Know-It-All,” in which one person asks questions of an all-knowing figure. But tonight, Lady Gaga will appear with all the answers.

“After that, we just want it be a comedy show run by LGBT folks,” Holmes said.

Five local stand-up comedians — including Gretchen McNeely, Tucker Bullock, Mimi Benfield and Satana Deberry — will then perform their routines.

Melzer said there might also be surprise appearances by Chapel Hill Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt and Carrboro Mayor Lydia Lavelle. Lavelle is also celebrating her 40th anniversary with her partner today.

Wiggins said it’s the people in the comedy show who will make the experience unique.

“It’s really just people who happen to be a part of that community and also do comedy,” Wiggins said.

“We want to state the fact that this is just who we are, and we do comedy.”

arts@dailytarheel.com



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