Chicago comedy spotlight for Monday, September 3- Sunday, September 9, 2018

In town: Maeve Higgins, Mara Marek and Andrew Collin. Chicago comedians Jamie Campbell and Vanessa Fraction return!

At Zanies: Tom Rhodes (Chicago), Josh Wolf (Chicago, Rosemont, St. Charles), Mike Toomey (Rosemont). Weekend headiner in St. Charles TBA.

At The Improv: John Heffron

Ticket alert: Hari Kondabolu at Thalia Hall on October 11.

In the news: Matteo Lane’s special is available now on Netflix’s Comedy Lineup.

Lil Rel Howery's new sitcom Rel debuts this Sunday night on Fox at 7 p.m. Chicago time (or whenever the NFL games that precede it end). Lil Rel stars as a recently divorced dad building a new life on Chicago's West Side. The show is based on his own life.

September is “Five Buck Comedy Month” at iO. Most shows Monday to Thursday are just $5, including The Armando Diaz Experience (Mondays 8 pm), iO Improv All-Stars (Mondays 10 pm), FUDGE (Tuesdays 8 pm), Devil’s Daughter (Tuesdays 10:30 pm) Felt (Wednesdays 8 pm), The Late 90’s (Wednesdays 10 pm), Glass Basement (Thursdays 8 pm), The Scene (Thursdays 10:30 pm).

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 3

[LAST DAY!] Chicago Fringe Festival at various locations in Jefferson Park, 1:00 p.m. Shows continue through 9:30 p.m. when there’s a closing night party. Comedy, theater, dance, spoken word.

Monkey Wrench with Arish Singh at The Hideout, 1354 W. Wabansia, 7:00 p.m. Arish Singh hosts Erin Grotheer (We Still Like You), Noah Prestwich (Clickhole), Himabindu Poroori speaking on WHC protests (Salonathon), Malic White (Neo-Futurist Theater), Spencer Diaz Tootle (Preach! Improv), Devin Schiff (The Onion), Stuti Sharma (storytelling). Plus, an interview with Arianna Salgado & Reyna Wences, co-founders of Organized Communities Against Deportations.

Armando Diaz Experience at iO, 1501 N. Kingsbury, 8:00 p.m. Long form improv inspired by a guest monologist's true-life story. One of Chicago’s longest running improv shows, Armando Diaz Experience was invented by Del Close, Dave Koechner and Adam McKay. Guests are sometimes surprise drop-in celebrities and always fascinating.

Best Night Ever at Gman Tavern, 3740 N. Clark, 9:00 p.m. Free stand-up showcase with Austin Mooney, Joe Medoff, Diane Arden, Lainie Lenertz and Danny Maupin. Followed by a late night open mic at 10:30 p.m.

 

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 4

Bike Laugh Heal at Under the Gun Theater, 956 W. Newport, 7:30 p.m. Mara Marek is here from New York (she biked here-not kidding!) to host a comedy show to fight domestic violence and support survivors (she is a survivor herself). She is riding 4,100 miles cross-country. Back in NYC, her podcast with Andrew Collin is Happy Never After, true stories about divorce and “the laughter on the other side.” Mara has been through three marriages, seven engagements and some harrowing times, but it is never going to slow her down. Mara kindly spoke with me here.

Made in America at Second City’s UP Comedy Club, 230 W. North Ave., 8:00 p.m. This new show promises different material every month about this country's interesting state of affairs. The full name of the show: “Made in America: Some Assembly Required.” Tuesday and Wednesday nights.

Chicago Underground Comedy at Beat Kitchen, 2100 W. Belmont, 9:30 p.m. One of Chicago’s best stand-up showcases. Cameron Esposito and Kumail Nanjiani got their starts here. Tonight Nicky Martin hosts Arish Singh, Nate Burrows, Kristin Fenchak, Cameron Gillette and Lucas O'Neil. Also: Brianna Murphy makes her debut, Kevin McCaffrey returns and there’s a farewell to Tyler Jackson who is leaving Chicago for L.A. His official goodbye show “Goodbye Stranger” is September 18 at The Hideout.

 

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 5

Ballad of the Weeping Spring at The Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington, 6:30 p.m. My favorite movie of all time. This award-winning Israeli comedy/drama follows a band patching themselves back together to fulfill a dying friend’s last wish. A little bit of The Magnificent Seven, a bit of Coen brothers, but very much its own, this film and its beautiful haunting Middle Eastern music by the great Mark Eliyahu will stay with you for a lifetime. Hebrew with English subtitles.

 

Comedians You Should Know at Timothy O’Toole’s, 622 N. Fairbanks Ct., 7:00 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. This nationally renowned showcase continues into September with two shows each week. The early show is auditions to become part of the CYSK showcase. The late show is the showcase of comedians who have already made it on.

7:00 p.m. Allison Dunne hosts Dane Arden, Jake Breunig, Keegan Buckingham, Jaime DeLeon, Rebecca Fass, Tyler Horvath, Kevin Kellam, Nick Ogle, Mitchell Potts, Ty Riggs, Kat Rybarski, Caroline Tyman, Collin Unger and a closing set from Blake Burkhart.

9:30 p.m. Marty DeRosa hosts Blake Burkhart, Allison Dunne, Dave Maher, Marilee, Mathias Muschal and Kevin Williams.

 

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 6

Women’s Health Fair at Second City, 1616 N. Wells, 6:30 p.m. This free health fair is followed by She The People: A Guide to Sisters Doing It For Themselves, a show created by the women of Second City. Ticket purchase required for show. Follow link for all details.

The Interview Show Festival at The Hideout, 1354 W. Wabansia, 7:30 p.m. Two great nights – tonight and Friday. The Interview Show airs on Chicago’s PBS affiliate WTTW. Tonight: Renato Mariotti, Erling Wu-Bower, Sam Trump and Laura Jane Grace. Comedy by WGN Radio's and Schadenfreude's Justin Kaufmann. After-show Barbecue from Erling Wu-Bower.

Dreamboat at iO, 1501 N. Kingsbury, 10:00 p.m. A new comedy variety show with the spotlight on iO performers who are also members of the LGBTQIA+ community. Includes the the iO signature Harold, solo performance and an all-cast improv set. Through September.

 

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 7

The Interview Show Festival at The Hideout, 1354 W. Wabansia, 6:30 p.m. The Interview Show airs on Chicago’s PBS affiliate WTTW. Tonight: Makaya McCraven, Rex Huppke, Samira Ahmed, Bing Liu, T.J. Jagodowski.

Maeve Higgins at Women & Children First, 5233 N. Clark, 7:00 p.m. The Irish comedian and author is here to talk about her new, already critically-acclaimed book Maeve in America which is about her move to New York and all its challenges, adjustments and victories.

Jamie Campbell: The Devil on the Wall or, That Time I Got Kidnapped at The Comedy Shrine, 4034 Fox Valley Center Dr., Aurora, 8:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. Friday and Saturday night. Jamie Campbell brings his award-winning show about his extraordinary life to Chicagoland. Jamie kindly spoke with me here.

Vanessa Fraction at Riddles Comedy Club, 5055 W. 111 St., Alsip, 8:00 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. Tonight and Saturday night. Women can also take a self-defense class with Vanessa on Saturday! See below for details. Vanessa is a comedian, actor and writer whose credits include The Mo'Nique Show, The Arsenio Hall Show, Barbershop 2 and many more.

 

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 8

Divas and Defense: Kicks and Comedy at Stevens Security Suite, 8837 S. Stoney Island, 12:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. Women's self-defense class led by Vanessa Fraction. What inspired a comedian to become a self-defense expert? Vanessa's story here.

Jamie Campbell: The Devil on the Wall or, That Time I Got Kidnapped at The Comedy Shrine, 4034 Fox Valley Center Dr., Aurora, 8:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. Jamie Campbell brings his award-winning show about his extraordinary life to Chicagoland. Jamie kindly spoke with me here.

Vanessa Fraction at Riddles Comedy Club, 5055 W. 111 St., Alsip, 8:00 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. Tonight and Saturday night. Women can also take a self-defense class with Vanessa on Saturday! See below for details. Vanessa is a comedian, actor and writer whose credits include The Mo'Nique Show, The Arsenio Hall Show, Barbershop 2 and many more.

 

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 9

Chi-Town Queens of Comedy at Watra Night Club, 4758 S Pulaski Rd., 8:00 p.m. Hosted by M Dubbs. Featuring Correy Bell, Sheree Luckett and Taneshia “Just Nesh” Rice.

 

Caitlin Checkeroski at Schubas, 3159 N. Southport, 8:00 p.m. Caitlin’s comedy has been featured at the Chicago Women's Funny Festival, Orlando Indie Comedy Festival and Crom Comedy Festival.

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