Beyond Baroque turns to comedy for a building-repair fundraiser at Hotel Erwin

Comedian and cancer survivor Suzanne Whang is all-in for Beyond Baroque

Comedian and cancer survivor Suzanne Whang is all-in for Beyond Baroque

What’s the best way to stop up a leaky roof? Throw some laughter on it.

At least that’s what the Beyond Baroque Literary Arts Center hopes to do through its “Stand Up for Beyond Baroque” comedy fundraiser on Thursday, Jan. 21, at the Hotel Erwin in Venice.

Hosted by Eve Brandstein, the line-up includes wordsmith and radio personality Dylan Brody, former David Letterman comedy booker Eddie Brill, Kelly Carlin (daughter of George Carlin), podcaster Rick Overton, multimedia comedian Eric Schwartz, jazz comedian David Zasloff, TV personality Suzanne Whang and others with personal connections to the historic venue.

With El Niño already starting to rear its head, fixing a leaky roof has become an immediate priority.

“We have the largest and possibly only collection of poetry, literature and art by Venice, Los Angeles and SoCal writers and artists — not just books, but chapbooks, broadsides, newspapers, zines. It’s crucial that the work be protected from the elements,” Beyond Baroque Assistant Director Carlye Archibeque said.

Fortunately, Beyond Baroque has some top talent in its corner.

Whang presented her solo show “Cracked Open” at Beyond Baroque in 2011. At the time, she had Stage 4 breast cancer. Whang had been keeping her condition a secret from friends and colleagues, but doing the show encouraged her to come out of the “cancer closet,” she said, and bring her dark journey to light with humor and honesty.

“I’m a huge believer in the power of art and humor to heal,” said Whang, who is now cancer-free. “One of my missions on the planet is to assist artists to have a sacred space. I can’t think of a place better than Beyond Baroque.”

— Christina Campodonico

“Stand Up For Beyond Baroque” starts at 8 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 21, in Larry’s Loft at Hotel Erwin, 1697 Pacific Ave., Venice. Tickets are $50 for the show, $70 includes a 7 p.m. pre-show reception, and $150 includes the show, reception and a VIP after party. Visit or email for tickets and info.