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Venetian’s ‘Lipshtick’ Series Puts Female Standups at Forefront

Heather McDonald, a wife of 14 years and mother of three, is happily married, but is realistic about it. On Tuesday night at Morels French Steakhouse & Bistro at The Grove, the best-selling author and comedian riffed on marriage, motherhood and a maddeningly frugal husband who keeps her up at night with his incessant snoring.

“Sometimes I could really use a sister wife,” she said, “not just to sleep with my husband on Tuesdays and Thursdays but to help with the homework and the arts and crafts. Because I’m not good with cut felt and I’m not craftsy. And they’re really good, those Mormans, with the glue gun.”

Those who only know McDonald from her appearances on E!’s “Chelsea Lately” might be surprised to know that this tall glass of water is capable of commanding the room on her own. She was at Morels to promote an upcoming all-female comedy series at the Venetian Las Vegas called “Lipshtick: The Perfect Shade of Stand Up.” The hotel claims this marks the first time in Vegas history that the comedy stage will be populated exclusively by female performers.

Whether true or not, the series, which begins July 11 and continues through December, flies in the face of Jerry Lewis’ infamous assertion that women aren’t funny. Ed Huckfeldt, director of entertainment marketing at The Venetian and The Palazzo, who conceived “Lipschtick,” says that in Sin City, women comedians are a decided minority, comprising roughly two out of 10 standups performing around town on any given night.

“Lipshtick” not only acts as a corrective, but its lineup is strong enough to break down plenty of barriers. Wendy Williams, who hosts her own talk show, will kick things off on July 11, followed by McDonald (July 18, 19); Rita Rudner, a Venetian headliner since 2001; Loni Love (Oct. 10-11), who also performed on Tuesday night, as well as Whitney Cummings, Lisa Lampanelli, Jennifer Coolidge and Joy Behar, among others.

“They’re not just female comics,” said Jon Lovitz, there to help inaugurate the series, “they’re great comics.”

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