Comedy at Maha Festival 2023

Cool down and laugh it up at the (air-conditioned!) Millwork Arts Lounge with these stellar comedians.

June 30, 2023

Comedy performances will take place Friday, July 28 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. and Saturday, July 29 from 3 to 4:30 and 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Millwork Arts Lounge. Special thanks to Millwork Commons and Broken Magic Comedy.

troy walker

After starting his comedy career in his hometown of Denver, Colorado, Troy Walker quickly became a regular headliner at the world-famous Comedy Works. After being selected as one of Just For Laughs Montreal’s prestigious New Faces, Troy moved to Los Angeles, where he made his network TV debut on The Late Late Show and has been steadily racking up credits ever since. Troy is an Emmy-nominated writer for Jimmy Kimmel Live! He’s appeared on VICE’s Flophouse, played the role of “Don Lemon” on Fusion TV’s Trump vs. Bernie, wrote and starred in his own Comedy Central Digital Series, Troy Walker Ruins Dinner, and appeared on Corporate on Comedy Central. You might also know his face from his commercial work in national campaigns for PetSmart (directed by Christopher Guest and starring Jane Lynch) and Pepsi. 

In addition to headlining clubs and colleges across the nation and opening for some of the most prominent comedians in the country, Troy serves as a fine ambassador of Denver comedy at national comedy festivals, including The Aspen Rooftop Comedy Festival, The Great American Comedy Festival, Portland’s Bridgetown Comedy Festival, Austin’s Moontower Comedy Festival, and Denver’s own High Plains Comedy Festival, to name a few. While doing all this, he continues to claw his way up the L.A. comedy scene, appearing at independent and club rooms all over the city and even as the warmup comedian for the tapings of Comedy Central’s The New Negroes and Nice One on Quibi. 

After witnessing Troy’s storytelling abilities and commanding presence on stage, it should come as no surprise that he’s also a licensed attorney who graduated from the University of Denver’s Sturm College of Law.

Insta – @troywalkeresq | Twitter – @TroyWalkeresq

Brad wenzel

Brad Wenzel’s offbeat one-liners, dry delivery, and unassuming presence are what set him apart from other comedians. Brad has made 3 stand-up appearances on CONAN. His debut comedy album Sweet Nothings was released on Jack White’s rock label, Third Man Records, and can be heard on SiriusXM. Since the age of 17, Brad has toured the country, honing his unique non-sequitur style of joke-telling, all while maintaining an original, comedic voice. Whether it be successfully warming up theater audiences in Los Angeles or winning over a surly Friday late show on the road, Brad can connect with audiences across the comedic spectrum. Simply put, he’s really funny. Other appearances include “New Faces” at the Montreal Just For Laughs Festival and Bob & Tom.

Insta – @bradwenzel | Twitter – @BradWenzel

Dante Powell

Dante Powell, where do we even start. Okay, he is a stand-up comedian. Good start. He is based in Des Moines, Iowa but grew up in Bernice, Louisiana. His work has been featured on SiriusXM radio, NPR, and kweliTV. His comedy album “The Squirrels Get Fat” debuted at #1 on the iTunes/Amazon comedy charts. What else is there? Oh, he has been a regular at many of the comedy venues you frequent. Clubs, bars, theaters, he does them all! Thank you for reading this bio.

Insta – @mooserattler | Twitter – @DantePowell

MelANIE Mackey

Mel Mackey is a standup comedian based in Des Moines, Iowa, and is known for her quirky feminism and awkward dating anecdotes. She is a regular host and feature at Teehee’s Comedy Club and has performed at Sno Jam Comedy Festival, Des Comedies Festival, and Floodwater Comedy Festival. Mel is a recovering people pleaser, a former wedding planner, and a clingy girlfriend that just wants you to have a good time. You can find her performing standup across the Midwest.

Insta – @melaniemackey

Zach Peterson

Based out of Omaha, NE, Zach Peterson has made a name for himself around the country for being “an affable oddball” with razor-sharp jokes. Many of these jokes can be heard on his debut record “Midwestern Jokes of The Americas” which debuted in the top ten of the comedy charts on Itunes in 2018. He has crisscrossed the country many times, working with comics like Tom Papa, Joe DeRosa, Mary Mack, and Kyle Kinane. Zach has been selected for countless festivals, including the prestigious Laughing Skull Comedy Festival, The Limestone Comedy Festival, and The High Plains Comedy Festival. When he is not crisscrossing the United States performing at clubs, theaters, and wherever else will have him, Zach  produces and hosts the Arguments and Grievances Podcast that has been featured at numerous festivals, on Audible.com, and named “Best Variety show in Chicago 2014” by Chicago Magazine and called by The Chicago Tribune, “smart, high-stakes tomfoolery disguised in a brilliant, faux-brainy conceit…This show is a riot.”

Twitter – @MrZachPeterson

Mike Perry

Mike Perry lives in Omaha, NE, and has booked and performed stand-up on shows and festivals all over the country. He has also appeared on the Competitive Erotic Fan Fiction and Doug Loves Movies podcasts. He would like to say that he provides biting social commentary, but mostly he’s obsessed with Juggalos and magicians. One time a guy that looked like Ric Flair tried to fight Mike during a set, and he’s never felt more alive.

Insta – @ilikemikeperry

Lauren Vana

Lauren Vana is a stand up comic who was born and raised in Omaha, Nebraska. Known for her sharp writing, disheveled hair, and ability to connect with audiences everywhere, she has quickly established herself as a crowd favorite all over the Midwest and has performed at the Omaha Comedy Festival. In addition to comedy, she is a photographer, designer, and musician.

Insta – @laurenvana | Tiktok – @loujokes


Will Dougherty

Will Dougherty has been moldering in the Nebraska comedy scene longer than it would be wise to admit. His stand-up has been described as “not so much self-deprecating as self-flagellating” by someone I’m pretty sure meant it as an endorsement. He has occasionally turned that acerbic wit outward, sharing the stage with many of the finest comedians from Nebraska (and occasionally even bordering states) on his long running interruption comedy show Will Dougherty Loves Company.


Tyler Walsh

With a dip in his lip and a glint in his eye, Tyler Walsh has quickly emerged as a unique, singular comedic voice in the Midwest and beyond. He has traded in rodeo clown barrels and donkey basketball games to stages with Noel Miller, Larry the Cable Guy and the like. This son of Iowa, born in Mapleton rural, made in Dayton, takes his unique experiences and makes them relatable to crowds of any persuasion. His slow drawn yet sharp sense of observation reels people in from urban rooms to grain bins. From stages across the country to one near you, Tyler will leave you saying you saw him when.


Serenity is an English PhD student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln studying local stand-up comedy. She has been writing and performing stand-up for over a decade and has opened for touring comedians Rocky LaPorte, Mr. Showtime, Sam Tallent, Reena Calm, and Nick Thune. She also runs Gender Fluids, a monthly comedy showcase featuring comedians and comedy that celebrates diverse gender expression across the spectrum and Duffy’s Comedy Workshop, which is the longest running comedy open mic in the state of Nebraska. 

Nick ALlen

Nick Allen is a standout comedian from the Midwest consistently winning audiences over with his singular brand of righteous confusion and dulcet tones. His recently released album ‘ALIVE 22’ topped the iTunes charts and was given ‘three thumbs up’ by the seminal Craig Peters. He appeared on NBC’s Last Comic Standing where Norm Macdonald told him he was “overflowing with authenticity.” Adding “I love you, man.” Nick can be heard daily on the syndicated Todd and Tyler Radio Empire and regularly works a sampling of the best clubs as well as notorious dive bars. Someday he’ll be regional manager. He resides with his family in Omaha, NE and is an unapologetic member of the KISS Army.

Ben Weber

Get ready to laugh your heart out with the hilarious Ben Weber! Based in the rapidly growing comedy scene of Lincoln, NE, Ben is quickly becoming one of the most sought-after comedians in the Midwest. Don’t let his humble demeanor fool you – Ben is no stranger to big stages, having opened for comedy legend Sam Tallent. He leaves audiences in stitches with his infectious energy, positive outlook, and stories about his life. Additionally, Ben runs a popular monthly comedy show at the Storm Cellar in Lincoln, where he showcases some of the best up-and-coming talent in the region. Ben is a comedian who knows how to bring the laughs and leave you feeling uplifted!