The Strawdog Theatre Company welcomes back Hump Night this Wednesday evening. Hump Night, returning after a two week vacation, is a three-part hysterical show that guarantees laughs and giggles for over three solid hours.
I had the pleasure of attending the performance right before their break, and I must say that this is a Chicago must see. Producer Angela McMahon has found not only awesome talent, but has set it up in a way that makes the evening flow together while guaranteeing maximum pleasure.
Hump Night kicks off at 7:30 pm each Wednesday with an hour of Improv. Three teams, each under the direction of iO Theater alumni Kevin Mullany, take the stage to provide their unique spin on whatever topic is thrown their way.
During the course of the evening I was there, I was treated to the groups Richard and the Kids, Delicately Seasoned, and Pancakes Tonight! While Richard and the Kids was pleasantly entertaining with a demonstration on cooking cats, they were followed by the not funny, but adorable cast, of Delicately Seasoned. While Richard and the Kids focused on random life humor such as a 50-year old Target employee, Delicately Seasoned went the more middle school humor route with jokes about how a straight man can't drink an Appletini. While I love middle school jokes, the cast of Delicately Seasoned was just unable to deliver the laughs on their own topic.
Fortunately, the hour of Improv was saved when Pancakes Tonight! took the stage. With jokes ranging from perverted pandas to homeschoolers, Pancakes Tonight! will literally make your evening. I am not sure how Kevin Mullany pulled together the cast of Will Meinen, Oopey Mason, David Prouty, Danielle Bluford, Shana Weinstein and Alex Frenkel, but I know that they should never part. They literally had me laughing out loud.
After tons of laughs during the Improv portion of the evening, The Variety Hour kicked off at 8:30 pm. This is the hour that showcases stand-up, storytelling, music, sketch comedy, and more. In my personal opinion, this is the best hour of the night.
My Variety Hour started with a special performance by Honeybuns, the "World's Greatest Mime". Honeybuns captivates the audience with a performance of miming, sexual exploits, boundary crossing, and just good ole fashion comedy. Though I had never heard of Honeybuns prior to this performance, I can guarantee you that I will make an effort to see another performance.
Though following Honeybuns would be hard for any performer, Hump Night managed to do quite well by featuring skits by Jake McKenzie, who made almost getting robbed on a CTA Train hilarious; Bethanie John, who uses her awkwardness to win over the audience; and Saurin Choski, who is just damn right funny.
Nathan Cotter wrapped up the Variety Hour with an hilarious set of songs, noises, voices, and just all around randomness. Though his performance alone is fabulous, his boyish good looks and adorable goofiness will win you over on its own.
Starting at 9:45, the evening began to wrap-up with the Mullaney Chain. This is where a single performer is invited to improvise a play. That performer invites another performer, who in-turn invites another, and so on, until there are 5 total performers.
Though each show is different, I saw the Mullaney Chain performed by Kevin Mullaney, Angie McMahon, Jay Austin Sukow, Katy Fullan, and Jeff Murdoch. The group was very entertaining, and I could not have asked for a better ending to a great show.
This week's Mullaney Chain kicks off with Peter Gwinn being the first performer. Gwinn is best known for his work on The Colbert Report will be an absolutely delight.
So, what are you waiting for. Make plans now to attend Hump Night at the Strawdog Theatre this Wednesday at 7:30. Strawdog is located at 3829 N. Broadway, 2nd Floor.
Note that the show is a pay what you can, so be sure to bring enough money to contribute cash into a bucket.
Now, go out there and get your Hump on. I promise you will have a blast.