‘LOL Comedy Weekend’ Returning To Oglebay Park in Wheeling
WHEELING — Comedy shows provided a needed reprieve as one of the few public events able to be held during the pandemic, and one set for the end of August will bring national talent to the Amphitheater at Oglebay Park.
The LOL Comedy Weekend has Oglebay’s organizers hoping to fill the house on Aug. 27 and 28, with Keith Alberstadt performing on Friday and Aaron Kleiber bringing it home Saturday. Aaron Brown, Oglebay’s director of special events, said comedy shows at the park began when he started working with the park, with the first event being in January 2020, with the intention of being a quarterly outing.
Now, Brown hopes to be able to fill the seats of the Anne Kuchinka Amphitheater with over a thousand guests eager to laugh. He hopes that Kleiber’s act will draw the crowds to keep the energy constant between the two nights.
“This time, we’re trying something different. We’ve never hosted an outdoor comedy night,” Brown said. “Friday, will be a performance with more of a club feel at Glessner Auditorium, which was recently remodeled. It’s gorgeous. … The reason we dropped the price at the end was to see how many people we could get. Normally comedy shows are a couple hundred people, but I really want to try to fill that amphitheatre up and hear the whole thing laugh with a thousand people. I think that’s just what this city needs.”
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Brown said the spacious accommodations and less outwardly energetic nature of the performances meant comedy shows were still able to continue, with two shows being held over the course of the pandemic.
“(For our first show), we did it down at the Pine Room, and we sold about 220 tickets in three days. You could really tell that people really want to laugh. There aren’t a lot of comedy clubs, so moving forward, we felt this was something we were going to do every quarter.”
In addition to the two big name comedians, Brown said regional talent will open for them, along with an emcee to round out the evening entertainment, providing around two hours of comedy each night. The final lineup was not solidified as of the end of July.
Alberstadt’s resume across over a decade in the business includes performances on the Late Show with David Letterman, Late Night with Seth Meyers, Last Comic Standing, Comics Unleashed, and as a contributing writer for Saturday Night Live’s Weekend Update and Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, in addition to eight comedy tours for troops in the Middle East.
Kleiber has appeared on Gotham Comedy Live, including their “Best of Season 2,” collection, on NUVO TV’s Standup and Deliver, has been a guest on the Bob & Tom show, and has been named “Best Comedian” by Pittsburgh Media four times over his career.
“Kleiber’s one of my favorites,” Brown added. “He incorporates family and marriage and fatherhood into his comedy. It just really hits home.”
Tickets are available online at www.oglebay.com/comedyshow. Doors open at 7 p.m. Friday and 8 p.m. Saturday. Guests must be 18 years or older to attend.