You may have heard of Lollapalooza. Now get ready for Mamapalooza.
Throughout the month of May, music, art and comedy events will occur throughout New York City as part of the Mamapalooza Festival, an international event which features and provides a supportive community for mothers who perform and are artists, craftswomen, educators community leaders and business owners, now in its seventh year.
On May 10, stand up comedians, who also happen to be mothers, will be promoted at the festival's Momedy comedy show, held at Manhattan's Broadway Comedy Show and featuring, among others, Brooklyn's own Pat Candaras.
Raised in Midwood with her 16 brothers and sisters (yes, you read that right), the mother of three and grandmother of two currently lives in Bay Ridge and has been performing stand up since early retirement ten years ago.
“I always wanted to do comedy,” said Candaras. “I was always busy working and raising my kids.” After leaving her job in the maritime industry where she managed pension funds, she thought, “What am I going to do, dust my house?”
Instead, she embarked on a new career, performing stand up at major clubs in the city, as well as the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the New York International Fringe Festival and the Montreal Comedy Festival. She has also appeared on television on such shows on “Law and Order” and Nick at Nite's “Funniest Mom 3.”
Through working in the New York City comedy circuit, Candaras came in touch with Nancy Lombardo, host and organizer of the May 10th Momedy, who called her up to do Momedy last year.
“I'd seen Pat a lot and she always cracked me up,” said Lombardo, who is involved in her fourth Momedy show. “She's so funny and original and just tells a great story.”
Growing up as one of 17 children definitely makes its way into Candaras' storytelling.
“My routine is my life-long quest to be a regular lady after coming from a family of 17,” said Candaras, who was “fifth from the top” in terms of birth order. “I look like a regular lady, but I see the world a shade off from how other people see it.”
In addition to pulling from her own experiences growing up in Brooklyn, as well as from being a grandmother and suddenly finding yourself in the backseat of the car in your mid-60s, Candaras also questions authority, whether it's questioning the U.S. occupation of Iraq, as played out through a bit involving a water bug in her bathroom, or orders from her doctor.
“I guess the major theme is authority