Minneapolis must be the world's leading producer of unique, airy-voiced comediennes. Maria Bamford made her name here before hitting the big time, and Andy Erikson has exploded onto the local scene with her impish grin and arsenal of brain-bending one-liners. Then there's Mary Mack, who splits her time between Minnesota and L.A., and whose star is shining brighter by the day. She's performed at traditional venues across the country and last year appeared on Comedy Central's Live at Gotham, but Mack's act is unlike almost anything you'll see at a comedy club, so much so that she prefers to be called a folk humorist rather than a comedian. "I have these big, roundabout stories that come to a crazy moral at the end," she explains. The former music teacher puts her other skills to use onstage as well, plucking and playing a series of instruments throughout her show, and employing the classic teacher-stare to quiet talkers and tame hecklers. Mack shuns dirtier, more confrontational comedy for a sunnier approach, which she says will be evident in her forthcoming CD, Pinch-finger Girl, her follow-up to 2007's Either You Wake Up or You Don't. "It's like a one-woman show, like you would see in Broadway," she says. "The whole moral of it is being a trouper and doing what you can with what you have. It's really Minnesotan. When it's just joke, joke, joke, I feel kind of empty, like I'm not imparting any good information to people or teaching a lesson. It's nice to make people laugh, but it's also nice to present something they'll remember in a couple of months." Teach on, sister. 18+.
Tuesdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Fridays, Saturdays, 10:30 p.m. Starts: March 31. Continues through April 4, 2009