Laugh out loud with our Pride 2023 Celebration!

Highlighting LGBTQIA+ Artists

Arcade Comedy Theater values queer voices. On our stages, in our classes, and working here behind the scenes. In honor of Pride Month, we are shining a bigger spotlight on the amazing comedic artists in the LGBTQIA+ community. Productions listed on this page are produced by or star queer artists from all over the Pittsburgh comedy community.

Arcade strives to be an inclusive and welcoming space for everyone, as it’s the only way to truly elevate and advance the art of comedy. Laughs for all!

Pride Show Schedule:

  • Friday, June 2: Chicanery with Chi Chi
  • Friday, June 9: Prideburgh featuring Jess Salomon
  • Saturday, June 10: Out of Order Stand-Up
  • Friday, June 16: Lez Be Honest
  • Friday, June 23: Fondue for Two
  • Friday, June 23: Bootleg Reboot
  • Saturday, June 24: What Makes Us Queer?

Chicanery with Chi Chi

Friday, June 2 at 8:00PM

Pittsburgh’s own “Spicy Siren” is returning to the Arcade Comedy stage to deliver a very special Pride infused drag cabaret with special guest, Faye Lynn. Chi Chi will serve her quintessential mischievous banter and salacious vocals, this time while she waves the most inclusive of pride flags, budget permitting. Chicanery audiences leave with beaming smiles, feeling revived, and hardcore crushing on the show’s star. You’ve been prepared and warned. Leave your bricks at home because the only things Chi Chi and Faye will be throwing are vocal riffs, punchlines, and the perfect amount of shade!!!

Special Guest: Faye Lynn is so excited to be making her Pittsburgh drag scene debut after practicing the art for almost 3 years! Outside of drag, the 18 year-old Trafford native is heavily involved in theatre and will be getting her BFA in Acting at Shenandoah University.

Tickets: $15 per person

Prideburgh featuring Jess Salomon

June 9 at 9:00PM

One of the most stacked shows this June, including stand-up, storytelling, drag, and much more! Featuring NYC’s legendary Jess Salomon as our headliner! She’s recording her album at the end of the month and only in Pittsburgh for the weekend, so catch it while you can! We’ll be featuring the #1 Voted Drag Queen in the Burgh Princess Jafar! And Proud Haven and Pittsburgh Pride performer Asher O’Briant – or perhaps a drag persona of them? With guest stars from the Steel City Improv’s “Rainbow Connection”. Be there or be straight!

Tickets: $15 per person

Out of Order Stand-Up Show

June 10 at 8:00PM

Arcade Comedy Theater’s popular stand-up comedy showcase, Out of Order, is back with a night of laughs in our upstairs theater! Featuring a new headlining set by Pittsburgh comic Amanda Averell. The evening also includes guests Kayleigh Dumas and Logan Gatenby. Hosted by Georgia Warder.  

Tickets: $15 per person

Lez Be Honest: Storytelling Improv Show

June 16 at 9:00PM

Lez be honest, we love a good story. LGBTQ+ storytellers from across Pittsburgh will share stories and ask you what’s on your carabiner in this interactive Pride Month show produced by Alexa Schwartz. Featuring Pittsburgh’s Poetess Rachel Ann Bovier!

Tickets: $15 per person

Fondue for Two

June 23 at 8:00PM

As the resident Pittsburgh improv team named after television’s highly lauded and highly panned television series GLEE (2009-2015), Fondue for Two bring their personal style of duos comedy for another fun show!

Tickets: $15 per person

Bootleg Reboots

June 23 at 9:00PM

Plot Synopsis: 
Five comedians who don’t watch enough TV are forced to improvise their way through a *real* movie they’ve never seen before! Will the audience suggestions be the hero or villain of the story? Will their mother’s description of key scenes help them in any way?! Or will a poorly edited trailer confuse them even further?!?! Let’s break box office records together and maybe earn a franchise sequel with BOOTLEG REBOOTS!

Tickets: $15 per person

What Makes Us Queer?

June 24 at 7:00PM

Wanna have a kiki? Join this LGBTQ+ cast for a night of short- and long-form improv inspired by the things that make us queer! Produced by Andee O’Brien.

Tickets: $15 per person

The History of Pride on Liberty Ave

By John Feightner
Arcade Historian

Liberty Avenue is pretty gay. Since 2007 downtown Liberty has been the home of Pittsburgh’s Pride celebration “Pride in the Streets.” But it was never just a random location. Liberty Avenue between 9th and 10th is home to a number of clubs and bars friendly to the LGBTQ+ population. So noticeable in fact, that the American version of Queer as Folk (2000-2005) used the street as its backdrop to explore the lives of modern day homosexuals. In June 2013, as people everywhere wondered how the Supreme Court would fall on same-sex marriage, that stretch of Liberty hosted the rally titled “RIOT or REJOICE,” an eventual celebration.

Today you can find There: Ultra Lounge, 941 Saloon and after-hours club Tilden (linked to House of Tilden, one of Pittsburgh’s oldest gay clubs from the 70’s owned by Robert ‘Lucky’ Jones who ran the majority of gay friendly establishments in his time). But this tradition has been going on for a while. Pegasus shuttered its doors in 2009 but had been staple of the scene since Pittsburgh struck down its sodomy laws with Commonwealth vs Bonadio in 1980. Stretching back a little bit further and you also find the Venture Inn at 923 Liberty. And while it may have been more for straight people trying to get a “rub & tug,” The Aardvark Studio II at 943 Liberty Avenue was a known illegal massage parlor in the 70’s and 80’s owned by Dante “Tex” Gill, born Lois Jean Gill. Dante much preferred to be called “Mr. Gill,” dressed in men’s clothes, and was married to a Cynthia Bruno. A transgender business owner in downtown Pittsburgh, even if he was on the shady side of the law.

Mr. Gill is gone, so is Pegasus, and Pride found its way to the Andy Warhol Bridge, but that doesn’t mean Liberty Avenue has gotten any less gay. Right where Aardvark Studio stood, Arcade Comedy Theater has been a home for queer comedians of every stripe of the Pride Flag. From the very beginning the comedy theater has made sure to show how inclusive they can be, forming an all queer pick-up improv team, LGTBQ*Bert, in 2013. Cast with only five members at the time, the kaleidoscope of comedians eventually reached the heights of nearly 30 performers. When not performing at The ArGAYde Comedy Show, or their own self-titled shows, members of LGTBQ*Bert are on several house teams at the theater and even work as front end staff. But that’s not the only show to regularly find itself on Arcade’s stages. Since 2015, Arcade has hosted the sell-out Golden Girls Live! where queer male actors portray the titular foursome in live readings of classic episodes. 2018 marked the first year Arcade had a monthly drag show, produced and performed by local Schwa de Vivre. And Donatella began an all-queer variety show to bring in performers that fit outside the regular improv and stand-up boxes.

With its pursuit to bring Laughs for All, Arcade Comedy Theater (and Liberty Ave) can only get gayer.