Venue Details

Lucie Stern Theatre
1305 Middlefield Rd. Palo Alto, CA 94301
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This year’s show features:

  • Shazia Mirza — From London; 60 Minutes; Comedy Central; BBC
  • Carla Clayy —  Native San Franciscan; damn funny
  • Dhaya Lakshminarayanan — High School Quiz Show TV host
  • Lisa Geduldig — Your hostess and purveyor of fine comedy


Shazia Mirza, a trained biochemist who was born in England to Pakistani immigrant parents and raised in a strict Muslim environment, reluctantly pursued a career as a science teacher while secretly honing her writing, acting and comedy skills part-time at drama school and with late-night gigs across the UK. Oblivious to Shazia’s determined but clandestine commitment to her art, it took an appearance on the British TV celebrity game show “Have I Got News For You?” for friends and family to realize the extent of her ambitions.  She grabbed national attention in the aftermath of September 11th by performing her act in recognizable hijab dress and beginning with the remark, “My name is Shazia Mirza; at least, that’s what it says on my pilot’s license.” That year she won her first award—at the London Comedy Festival. Shazia performs all over the world, from the Edinburgh Fringe Festival to Dubai to Kosovo to Texas. She has appeared on Comedy Central and has been featured on “60 Minutes” and BBC TV. As a writer, Shazia formerly penned a fortnightly column for “The New Statesman” for which she won “Columnist of the Year 2008” at the prestigious PPA (Periodical Publishers Association) Awards. She has written for The Guardian (UK) for many years and currently has a new weekly column in their Weekend Magazine entitled “Diary of a Disappointing Daughter.” She also writes for Virgin Train’s “Hotline Magazine.” In 2009, Shazia was listed on the inaugural Muslim Women’s Power List as one of the 20 most successful Muslim women in the UK. Shazia is a veteran of Funny Girlz 2003 (her 1st US show), Funny Girlz 2006, and A Muslim, A Mormon, and A Jew Walk into A Bar: The Comedy of Religion.

C**arla Clayy** is a native San Franciscan who has spent the last several years making people laugh all over the country. She won the Marshall’s Women in Comedy Competition in 2001 and was awarded a guest spot at its Marin County show, sharing the stage with Paula Poundstone, Joy Behar, and Rene Hicks. Carla is a regular at The Punchline, Cobb’s, and comedy clubs in such hotspots as Modesto and Chico and has shared the stage with Robin Williams. She is one of the funniest comics in the Bay Area.

Dhaya Lakshminarayanan *is a former venture capitalist-turned-comedian who had a traditional Indian upbringing in the Deep South. She is the TV host of “High School Quiz Show” which premiered on PBS’s WGBH this past March. In past incarnations, Dhaya also traveled to Cuba as a researcher, was Ms. August ‘06 Saffron Rare Threads, taught “Charm School” at MIT where she graduated (twice), and attended two Democratic National Conventions as a journalist before starting in the “funny” business of comedy. She is one of the only professional Indian stand-up comediennes in the world. Dhaya was the 2009 headliner of Women of Color in Comedy in Boston, has MC’ed for private events, galas, shows, and auctions including the America India Foundation Gala and the Nirvana Woman’s Fashion Show; she worked as an on-camera host with VidSF, plays a doctor (no, really) on an Amgen TV commercial, was a finalist at the Rooster T Feathers Comedy Competition, and performs all over the country.

Lisa Geduldig *is a San Francisco-based stand-up comic and comedy producer. She is the creator, producer, & MC of a variety of annual Bay Area comedy shows including: Funny Girlz; Kung Pao Kosher Comedy: Jewish Comedy on Christmas in a Chinese Restaurant (now in its 18th year); A Muslim, A Mormon, and A Jew Walk into A Bar: The Comedy of Religion; and The Color of Funny: A Multi-culty Comedy Show. Lisa has also produced Charo and Her Las Vegas Show and has recently become a filmmaker. Her first film, “Esther & Me,” a profile of octogenarian, Esther Weintraub, a former comedian (Funny Girlz 2003), and resident at The Jewish Home San Francisco is making the rounds on the film festival circuit.

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