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By Stephen Heard
March 01, 2021
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By Stephen Heard
March 01, 2021
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After a disrupted 2020, the NZ International Comedy Festival is set to return from May 4–23. While you'll have to wait until March 18 for the full lineup to drop, the festival's opening special has now been revealed as an all-Kiwi comedy extravaganza.

The Best Foods Comedy Gala will kick off the festival's 29th year on Friday, 30 April in Auckland and Sunday, 2 May in Wellington. A selection of Aotearoa's comedy superstars guarantee big laughs in the fast-paced two-hour live show.

Award-winning comedian Justine Smith will steer the ship at both the Kiri Te Kanawa Theatre and Wellington Opera House, where she'll be joined by Have You Been Paying Attention? and 7 Days star Ben Hurley, plus one half of the Laughing Samoans, Tofiga Fepulea'i, in his first-ever gala appearance. Also taking the stage will be Fred Award winner Chris Parker and Billy T Award winner Angella Dravid with her signature dark and dry wit.

Proceeds from the event support the New Zealand Comedy Trust to run the annual Comedy Festival and continue their work supporting the development of the local comedy industry.

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