Central Coast residents can laugh-in the new year when Cal Poly Arts presents its first New Year’s Eve Comedy Bash in the Performing Arts Center on the university campus.

Featuring continuous comedy from headliner Judy Tenuta and three top stand-up comedians, Comedy Bash will begin at 8 p.m. with a festive party in the PAC lobby, where complimentary Champagne will flow alongside hors d’oeuvres.

“If you’re looking for something different, something festive that doesn’t involve a band in a hotel ballroom, and you want to enjoy some real laughs with a fun group of people, then our night of comedy is just the ticket,” said Steve Lerian, director of Cal Poly Arts. “Let’s all be smiling when 2009 finally ends.”

At 9 p.m., guests will be greeted in the Christopher Cohan Center by comic host Mickey Joseph, followed by sets with special guests Jaz Kaner (Comedy Central), Ty Barnett (“Last Comic Standing,” “Comedy Central Presents”) and Tenuta, the “multimedia Love Goddess” and “Aphrodite of the Accordion.”

Tenuta was the first stand-up to win Best Female Comedian at the American Comedy Awards. She was a pioneer in the concept of using music to punctuate her act — with an accordion.

She has starred in her own HBO, Showtime and Lifetime specials, and has been seen on every major talk show.

Most recently, she was a special correspondent for “American Journal” and “Entertainment Tonight,” where she conducted interviews with such celebrated icons as Donald Trump and the Rev. Jesse Jackson.

She has two hit CDs and was nominated twice for Grammy Awards for her “Attention Butt-Pirates and Lesbetarians” and “In Goddess We Trust.” She is also the author of “The Power of Judyism” (Harper-Collins).

Tenuta also produced and starred in her own feature film, “Desperation Blvd.,” a romantic comedy about a former child star who stops at nothing to make a comeback, co-starring Academy Award-nominated actor Michael Lerner, Erin Moran, Will Shriner and Cal Poly’s own “Weird Al” Yankovic.

Some of her recent roles include an ex-showgirl-turned-wedding-chaplain on “General Hospital,” a self-absorbed group therapist in the independent film “10 Attitudes and a Date,” and a pivotal role as the genteel trailer-trash cat lady in the Hilary Duff film “Material Girls.”

Comedy Bash contains adult language and content and is restricted to those age 21 and older.

Student and adult tickets range from $36 to $58 and may be purchased at the Performing Arts Center Ticket Office from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays.  Weekday hours will be reduced to 10 a.m. to  2 p.m. from Dec. 22 through Dec. 30.

Tickets are also available by phone at 756-2787 and online at www.calpoly arts.org.

Group discounts of 10 percent for 10 or more tickets are offered through the Ticket Office only by phone or by fax at 756-6088.

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