I talked to Walt Delaney, Alex Honnet, and Caitlin Stephan, the three folks behind the Upstairs Gallery about the recently announced Jangleheart Circus, a three day comedy festival showcasing independent sketch, improv, and standup comedy. By the looks of the current lineup, they've done a great job highlighting the DIY ethos and experimental bend of the Gallery's best shows. The Jangleheart Circus is August 22nd, 23rd, and 24th at The Den Theatre in Wicker Park.Read More
Phat Beethoven, whose dark, absurdist show at the Chicago SketchFest a few months ago was one of my favorites of the festival, is gearing up for a run at The Playground Theater. Catch their new show, Boy Geniuses, every Saturday at 10pm, starting tomorrow night, through May 25th alongside John O'Toole's one man show Split.
I talked to Daniel Shar, one of the members of Phat Beethoven, all about the group's background, as well as another show he's working on, Listin Up, a hybrid standup and improv show, which debuts at the Upstairs Gallery next Wednesday.Read More
Last month, I was talking with Jason Heidemann (editor of Time Out Chicago's comedy section, for which I occasionally freelance) about exciting shows he and I had seen recently and he mentioned he'd caught a performance of The Tomkat Project, a spectacularly high concept show I had only heard of after finding out that every night of it's four week run at the Upstairs Gallery was sold out. He could not speak highly enough of every aspect of this reportedly mind-expanding theatrical experience, which is being remounted for an encore run at The Playground Theater every Wednesday this month, starting tonight.
In advance of the revival, Brandon Ogborn, the show's writer and narrator, sent over this glimpse into the creative processes that went into making the show, as reflected by material that was ultimately cut from the finished product.
Sean Rose of the mighty Collectors Edition, a live essay show about pop culture and music and most importantly FEELINGS, is a huge, unironic fan of One Direction. You can listen to Sean and fellow CE member Rick Joyce talk about modern boy bands, specifically 1D on the Collector's Edition podcast. In advance of tonight's edition of Collectors Edition (8pm at the Upstairs Gallery) Sean sent over this proposition to the boys in One Direction.Read More
Kill All Comedy, a ridiculously hardworking collective of sketch and improv performers, produces shows at The Upstairs Gallery, Chemically Imbalanced Comedy, The Annoyance, and Quenchers. Their next showcase, also called Kill All Comedy, is tomorrow, Wednesday December 5, at the Upstairs Gallery.
KAC's founder Steph Cook and Joey Dundale, (known together as TV Screams) sent over this short video to plug tomorrow's show, as well as an upcoming date Kill All Comedy West, the Logan Square branch of the collective that adds standup to the lineup each month at Quenchers. Check out the lineup info for both shows after the video.
Kill All Comedy @ The Upstairs Gallery
December 5th 8pm
Be Good Boys
The Dirty Shame
Kill All Comedy West @ Quenchers
December 17th 8pm
& more TBA
My name's Sean Rose, and I am a writer-performer guy based out of Chicago. Tonight, (Wednesday, October 24th) at 8PM, my fellow writer-performer buds Richard Joyce and Conor Sullivan will be putting on a show at the Upstairs Gallery called Collector's Edition. It's a live essay show based on pop music, featuring monologues and singalongs and some serious deep emotional moments from all three of us. Tears. Feelings. Love.
We're putting on this show because we all love popular music more than anything. We are bona-fide pop-rock obsessives who will end almost every rehearsal with a 20-minute exploration of our favorite Foo Fighters album tracks. We are deeply in love with popular music and Collector's Edition is a direct product of that love. It is an outpouring of affection straight outta our hearts and hopefully into yours.
We also like exploring the strange and neat corners of pop music history. In past shows we've tackled the weird trend of Justin Bieber hatred and dug deep into the history of doomed pop music program Total Request Live. For this upcoming show we're gonna chart the rise and tragic fall of alternative rock radio, a subject that hits us particularly hard. The three of us were kids when Nirvana knocked Michael Jackson off the top of the charts, so we've witnessed the birth and death of alternative rock firsthand. The phenomena of underground alt-rock radio made the mainstream success of bands like Pearl Jam, Green Day, and the Smashing Pumpkins a possibility, making it all the more tragic when it was swallowed up and spit out by corporate masterforce Clear Channel at the end of the 1990s.
So we wonder: what was so important about alt-rock radio? What did we lose when it faded away? Is it still alive today, and if not, could it ever rise again? Tough questions that we will answer, without a doubt, tonight. Come to this show, folks.
But hey! Why don't we take a quick look at facet of alternative rock we won't be covering at the show: music videos! Man, I love me some alt-rock music videos. Check out a few of my favorites after the jump!Read More