Stand-up comedy fills Indiana Theater with laughter

Ryan Pasko, left, plays the mandolin during the Barbary Wine Irish Band performance at the KCAC, March 7. (Nick Dampman/ The Penn)

If laughter is the best medicine, Indiana University of Pennsylvania students and community members got a healthy dose to combat cold season when the Indiana Theater hosted an evening of stand-up comedy Friday night.

“Red, Black and Blue Comedy Night” was hosted by comedian Zach Hudak and took place at 7 p.m. at the Indiana Theater on Philadelphia Street.

The evening of comedy was the most recent in a series of various events sponsored by the Indiana Theater in an attempt to increase Indiana’s entertainment and arts presence.

The event, which cost $10 a ticket, included performances by comedians like Julia Leist, Dan Long, Matt “Wheels” Onesti, John Pridmore, Dustin Dowling and Indiana’s own Queston Van Horne.

Although audience response was highly positive overall, the event did have a relatively rocky start, owed mostly to the late arrival of its host.

Hudak, a successful Pittsburgh comedian and former Indiana University of Pennsylvania student, was late because he had to pick up several of the event’s performers first.

“Some of the comedians didn’t have rides,” Van Horne said, “like a typical comedian.”

According to Van Horne, though, the setback didn’t last too long.

“I closed it out the way a comedy show should go,” he said.

Van Horne said that several audience members who are familiar with his work told him after the show that his “short and sweet” set was the best they’ve seen him do.

Jessica Grey, an Indiana native and 2012 IUP graduate, said that, despite the rough start, the event overall was entertaining and hilarious.

“I haven’t laughed so hard in a long time,” Grey said.

Although nearly every comedian’s set was well-received by the modestly sized audience, Grey said that she preferred the performances of Pridmore and Long.

“They both interacted with the audience, and I liked that a lot,” Grey said.

For those who were either in attendance and are now hungry for more localized humor, or were too busy rioting in the streets to make the event and are now filled with humorless regret, have no fear.

Van Horne said he is positive that there will be “more shows coming to the theater soon.”

So, if you’ve got a fever, and the only prescription is comedy, $10 can go a long way in Indiana.