Outdoor comedy series returns to Thompson’s Point

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Here’s a phrase you didn’t hear much before the pandemic: It’s almost time for outdoor comedy season.

Prior to March 2020, Portland stand-up comedy fans laughed the most at shows held indoors, in clubs or bars. But like all kinds of activities and performances, the comedy shows also moved outside.

The outdoor comedy series Cabin Fever at Thompson’s Point started in 2020 as a way to keep comedians busy during club closures and is now entering its third season. The first show of the new season is scheduled for Wednesday, April 6, with Dayton, Ohio-based comedian Mark Gregory – the nephew of the late comedian and activist Dick Gregory – headlining.

The show also features more than half a dozen other Maine and national comics, including Marcus Cardona, who runs the series in conjunction with the Empire Comedy Club of Portland. Cardona is a Maine native who lived and worked as a comedian in Brooklyn, New York when the pandemic hit, then moved back to Buxton.

Maine comedian Marcus Cardona directs the outdoor comedy series Cabin Fever in Portland. The new season begins on April 6. Photo by Ben Kramer

Cardona thinks he’ll be moving back to New York to work, but for now he’s staying in Maine and plans to host about one Cabin Fever show a month at Thompson’s Point through October. The shows started out with a capacity of just 50 people, but that kept growing. It was 120 last fall and will be 150 for the April 6 show, Cardona said.

People can bring their own chairs or blankets to sit on, or for $20 — on top of the $20 ticket price — people can get a picnic table, fire pit, or high table with stools. There is also a full bar and light concessions.

This will be Gregory’s first appearance in Maine, Cardona said. The two met at a Brooklyn comedy club run by Cardona and where Gregory performed. Gregory performed in venues across the country for more than a decade and opened shows for his uncle, who died in 2017. He performed at New York’s legendary Apollo Theater just before the COVID-19 outbreak. .

“He’s one of the best comedians around. He’s got his own style, very high energy,” Cardona said.

Comedian Mark Gregory, nephew of comedian and activist Dick Gregory, will perform at the Cabin Fever outdoor comedy show in Portland on April 6. Photo courtesy of Mark Gregory

Other artists on the bill include Mona Forgione, Ian Macdonald, Leah Douglass, Caleb Sherman and DJ Lucky Penny. There’s another Cabin Fever show scheduled for April 20.

While reuniting in Maine for the past two years, Cardona has kept himself busy. Not only does he direct the series Cabin Fever, but he is currently working with the Free Street Restaurant and Cocktail Bar in Portland doing comedy shows there under the name Maine House of Comedy. Cardona said he expects shows to start there in May.


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