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Published: Friday, 1/9/2004

Tag-team comedy

BY MIKE KELLY
BLADE STAFF WRITER

A trio of big-name comedians will bring their talents to the Ritz Theatre in Tiffin tomorrow night for a tag-team affair called the Laughter Arts Festival.

The comedians are Harry Anderson, the magician/actor best known for his starring roles in the TV sitcoms Night Court (1984-92) and Dave's World (1993-97); Brad Sherwood, a cast member on the improvisational comedy TV show Whose Line Is It Anyway?, and Wendy Liebman, a frequent guest on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and The Late Show with David Letterman.

Anderson, 51, whose parents came from Manistee, Mich., was born in Rhode Island but lived in a dozen states as his parents moved from job to job. During high school, he became a street performer, doing magic tricks and passing a hat around for donations.

While working clubs in Las Vegas, he was booked for appearances on Saturday Night Live, which led to Night Court and later, Dave's World. The success of those shows left Anderson financially secure.

He and his wife now live in New Orleans, where they own a magic shop, and Anderson continues to perform on television and in clubs as the spirit moves him.

Sherwood, 39, is a Chicago native who earned a bachelor of fine arts degree in acting from Wright State University in Dayton, where he was in an improv comedy troupe.

After moving to Los Angeles, Sherwood worked in comedy clubs and was a member of the British version of Whose Line for three seasons before joining the American version of the show. He also is a Second City alumnus, had a recurring role on L.A. Law as Ned the Nanny, and hosted a season of The New Dating Game.

Liebman, 42, is from Long Island and got her start in comedy in Boston, where she was attending college. In 1990, she won a local comedy competition and competed in another at L.A.'s famous Hollywood Improv. That appearance led to her first appearance on The Tonight Show.

Since then, she has appearred on dozens of TV shows, from Rosie O'Donnell to Politically Incorrect to Comic Relief.

The Laughter Arts Festival, featuring Harry Anderson, Brad Sherwood, and Wendy Liebman, will be at the Ritz Theatre, 30 South Washington St., Tiffin, at 8 tomorrow night. Tickets, at $33 to $50, are available at the box office, by calling 419-448-8544, or online at www.ritztheatre.org.



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