Comedian and actor Lisa Ann Walter, a Montgomery County native who stars in the popular ABC Emmy-nominated Abbott Elementary, will return to perform at the newly renamed Bethesda Theater next month.
Bethesda Theater, formerly named Bethesda Blues and Jazz Supper Club, will host Walter on Sept. 17. for two stand-up comedy performances, one at 6 p.m. and another at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $49 before fees and can be purchased through the theater’s website.
“I think [Walter’s performance will] take the talent level up one notch or a couple of notches actually because we are shifting and with everything that we’re doing, we’re looking to have a new audience,” said Earl Ciccel, the theater’s general manager. “So, she’s part of that new audience that we’re looking to have come to the theater.”
Walter, 60, who lives in Los Angeles, grew up in Silver Spring’s Quebec Terrace neighborhood and attended Takoma Park Junior High and Montgomery Blair High School. For the past four decades, she has worked as a stand-up comedian, actor, dancer, radio host and producer.
She was also known for roles as the nanny Chessy in the 1998 version of The Parent Trap, Debbie in Bruce Almighty and Olivia in Killers.
Walter was also named honorary marshal of the 2023 Cherry Blossom Parade on April 15.
Ciccel said he hopes Walter’s performance will attract other big-name performers to the venue.
“All of the artists talk to each other so once they start talking about how it is when you come to the theater and what the theater is like, then that lets everyone else know and then they’ll start to want to come to the theater,” he said. “That’s how we really grew the theater from where it was in 2018 when we came in.”
Built in 1938 as Bethesda Theatre and has operated since 2013 as the Bethesda Blues & Jazz Supper Club is rebranding — once again— as the Bethesda Theater last month.
Operators of the art deco venue, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, changed the name to encompass a wide range of artistic genres and cultural events, according to a theater news release.
“We are thrilled to introduce the world to the Bethesda Theater,” Ciccel said. “This name change represents our commitment to cultivating a vibrant arts community that transcends genres and showcases a diverse range of performances. We believe the name Bethesda Theater better reflects our mission of delivering exceptional live entertainment experiences that resonate with our audiences.”
The 500-seat theater also announced its upcoming lineup of events this season in addition to Walter’s September performance. Upcoming headliners include R&B singer Macy Gray on Oct. 15 and rapper Tip “T.I.” Harris on Oct. 18.
The venue will continue to host tribute acts such as “The Queen of Soul Encounter: Aretha Franklin Tribute” at 8:30 p.m. Aug. 18; “Simply the Best: The Ultimate Tina Turner Tribute” Aug. 27 and “Ladies of Soul: Tribute to Sade, Chaka Khan & Anita Baker” on Sept. 8.
For the full list of the theater’s upcoming performances visit its website.