MILFORD — Lisa Lampanelli, formerly known as comedy's Lovable Queen of Mean due to her biting insult comedy and bawdy humor, will appear as a special guest at this year's Milford Readers and Writers Festival, which will take place Sept. 20-22. She will talk about quitting stand-up and following her new path as the Queen of Meaning.
“I was always one of those rapid-fire comics who didn't give the audience time to think," Lampanelli said. "But what I found out is that storytelling can be just as funny, but I get to tell the whole story, with a beginning, middle and end."
This new form of performance style and writing, she said, allows her to continue to embrace her sense of humor, but use it in a more fulfilling combination of message-driven shows.
Lampanelli became famous for her Friars Club and Comedy Central roasts of celebrities like Chevy Chase, David Hasselhoff and Larry the Cable Guy. She has starred in five one-hour comedy specials for HBO, Comedy Central and Epix, and she received two Grammy nominations for Best Comedy Album.
Lampanelli will appear at The Milford Theatre on Friday, Sept. 20, at 7 p.m. She will join in conversation with life coach and author Carol McManus.
On Saturday, Sept. 21, the Main Stage will feature:
A conversation with best-selling author of historical fiction mysteries Anne Perry conducted by writer Victoria Zackheim;
Author and activist Helen Zia, whose book “Last Boat Out of Shanghai” covers a harrowing period in Chinese history and her mother’s life in the midst of it, will discuss the refugee experience with Princeton University professor Anne Anlin Cheng;
Jack Devine, former deputy director of the CIA, “spymaster,” and Pulitzer Prize-winner Tim Wiener, author of “Legacy of Ashes – the History of the CIA,” will compare notes on “The Company” in a conversation moderated by Lucian Truscott IV: and
The panel “Life in the Afterlife” featuring internationally acclaimed psychic/medium George Anderson author of “We Don’t Die” in conversation with Dr. Eben Alexander, author of “Proof of Heaven” talking about his near death experience, following up on the huge interest in last year’s discussion of the paranormal.
On Sunday, the Main Stage will feature the discussion “Our Constitution Under Siege” between Fox News Senior Judicial Analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano and constitutional scholar and author Jeffrey Rosen, moderated by Milford Mayor Sean Strub.
Following this will be the conversation “In the Company of Legends,” with authors and award-winning television producers Joan Kramer and David Heeley who will share film clips and behind-the-scenes stories of famous personalities such as Elizabeth Taylor, Fred Astaire andKatharine Hepburn, whose lives they documented for television. They will be interviewed by film historian John DiLeo.
A special Main Stage conversation, which will be free to the community, rounds out the afternoon on Sunday. Author Mary Frances Berry, a prominent activist in the cause of civil rights, gender equality and social justice, will be featured in a conversation entitled “Organizing for Change.” Berry is a professor of American Social Thought, History and Africana Studies at the University of Pennsylvania.
All Main Stage programs will include an opportunity for conversation between the authors and the audience.
A limited number of festival passes valid for entry to all festival events as well as a private authors reception open only to pass holders are available for sale at the price of $175 per person on the website. For more information about the festival and to purchase passes, go to milfordreadersandwriters.com (prices for the pass will increase on Sept. 3).
In addition to the ticketed events, the festival also offers a variety of free programs, including the fantasy-themed science fiction panel “The Wide Worlds of Fantasy,” “Moral Lessons through Children's Books“ and “Fun for Kids” at the Pike County Public Library.
Other free panels and activities around town include:
“Seeing the Forest Through the Trees: Finding Deeper Meaning in the Woods” at Grey Towers;
“Triumph Over Trauma III: Far Beyond Survival’;
“The ABC’s of Writing for Children”;
“Hook, Line and Sinker: How to Catch and Keep a Reader”;
“Rhythm and Rhyme in Poetry”;
“Romance – Love is in the Air”;
An open-mic event: “RAW After Dark”;
Science Fiction readings and beer tasting at the Dimmick Inn;
The “Fauchere Series” authors; and
• A pop-up bookstore, conversations, book-signings with local writers, and more.