Interview: Irene Marquette, director and creator of The Raven and The Messenger

Thank god for The Annoyance. There is nowhere else in Chicago that would but such immense support behind an original comedy/drama/musical about Jim Jones that isn't about Jonestown. In addition to the really, really great new Mick Napier-directed sketch show Invisible World, the brand new Annoyance Theatre is staging the world premiere of The Raven and The Messenger a new play created and directed by friend of The Steamroller, Curio Show curator, and Super Human Irene Marquette, and written by The Reckoning's Charlie McCrackin.

The Raven and The Messenger explores the relationship forged between 1960s spiritual leader Father Devine and Peoples Temple leader Jim Jones, who would eventually absorb Devine's followers into the Peoples Temple. The cast features Paul Jurewicz, Greg Hollimon, Sarah Ashley, Laurel Krabacher, and Michael Brunlieb, with original music by Lisa McQueen. The show opens tonight, (Friday, June 6th) at The Annoyance at 8pm and runs every Friday through July 25th.

In anticipation of tonight's premiere, I spoke with Irene about the show and got her thoughts on why media based around New Religious Movement is so engaging.

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21 Events That Led To Moral Hazard by Walt Delaney, Chandler Goodman, and Mark Logsdon

Moral Hazard, a very good two-man-one-man-show that explores the financial collapse of the mid-to-late '00s from personal and political perspectives, is one of the most interesting comedy shows I've seen this year. After a wildly successful run earlier this year, the show is returning to CIC for another run, this one dubbed Moral Hazard Part Deux: Dead and Loving It. If you missed the show the first time around, this is a great chance to catch this totally unique and captivating show. 

Moral Hazard opens tonight, Wednesday June 4th, at 8pm, with a run of shows every Wednesday this month and every Friday in July. As a means of proving a bit of background, the show's creators and producers, Walt Delaney, Chandler Goodman, and Mark Logsdon, have compiled a timeline of 21 events that were integral to the production of the show.

 

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What I Learned From Eddie Izzard by It's All True's Tim Barnes

It's All True is an excellent podcast hosted by Chicago-based writer and comedian Tim Barnes. The show is produced by local comedy news site The Whiskey Journal and is now an officially sanctioned WBEZ podcast. Each week, Tim will be checking in with his thoughts on his most recent show. This week's guest was the legendary Eddie Izzard. Here's what Tim learned from his talk with Eddie!

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What I Learned From Hari Kondabolu by It's All True's Tim Barnes

It's All True is an excellent podcast hosted by Chicago-based writer and comedian Tim Barnes. The show is produced by local comedy news site The Whiskey Journal and is now an officially sanctioned WBEZ podcast. Tim's going to start checking in with his thoughts on each week's show. Upcoming guests include James Adomian, Eddie Izzard, Richard Steele, and many more. This week's guest was the amazing Hari Kondabolu. Here's what Tim learned from his talk with Hari!

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Getting to Know CAVES!

CAVES is a brand new improv team formed in March 2014, featuring four talented performers named Jen Burns, Kristina Felske, Jennifer Mills, & Becca Slack. They've secured a run of shows at the Upstairs Gallery on Saturday evenings at 8pm through the end of May, performing alongside a slew of Upstairs Gallery house teams like Dead $$$ and Big Trees!

As a means of getting folks introduced to CAVES, they've put together and answered a questionnaire full of interesting and provocative questions that reveal shocking truths about all four members.

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This Weekend: A Double Dose of The Steamroller Presents...

So this weekend is a big one! The Steamroller is presenting two huge events, one recurring show that you're read about before, and one all-new one, that you've also read about before. Tonight (Friday, May 16th) at 11pm is the latest edition of Goofballs United, a hybrid sketch/improv/standup comedy show presented by The Steamroller and Upstairs Gallery at The Den Theatre in Wicker Park.

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Interview: Pitbull & I's Brian McGovern and Pitbull

Brian McGovern is a well-known Chicago based sketch and improv performer, praised for his work with groups like Pizza Party, Kill All Comedy, and the Other Other Guys. He's teamed up with Pitbull, a Grammy-nominated musician whose chart-topping hip-pop hits like "Bon Bon" and"Give Me Everything" are beloved worldwide, to present a new hourlong sketch showcase called Pitbull & I: A Comedy About Friendship on Thursday nights all month long here in Chicago.

I was lucky enough to speak with Brian and Pitbull about their partnership in advance of tonight's premiere at the Public House Theater at 8pm. I've been assured by Brian, as well as by Pitbull's publicist, that this show is 100% legitimate and not any kind of joke, but in fact all real.

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