Category: Interviews

Comedian Mara Marek's 4,100 mile odyssey to fight domestic violence

On August 13, comedian Mara Marek got on her bike like she’s done thousands of times before. But that day’s ride was different and Mara is like no other biker. That ride launched Bike, Laugh, Heal, her epic cross-country comedy tour to raise domestic violence awareness and provide support to survivors. The 4,100 mile odyssey... Read more »

Rainer Hersch: "The World's First Classical Hooligan"

GUEST POST by Jeff Ring. Jeff is the editor of Opus Magazine, a publication of the League of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association. In 1996, an audacious young man (Note: well I think 34 is young) appeared on the stage of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival prepared to deliver his show “All Classical Music Explained (ACME)”.... Read more »

Q&A with Jay Chandrasekhar about Super Troopers 2 and what comes next

Which town is considered the shenanigans capital of the United States? If you answered “Spurbury, Vermont,” you are correct. Spurbury’s reputation was established in 2001 by a ruthlessly funny group of state troopers who delighted in pranking everyone from their commanding officers to confused drivers pulled over and subjected to epic hijinx. In reality, Spurbury... Read more »

Cameron Esposito's "Rape Jokes" elevates comedy (and Google)

On June 11 there was a big BOOM! It was the sound of “tech”-tonic plates shifting as Google rocketed towards justice. It was the sound of a comedy revolution and evolution, and it’s all courtesy of Chicago’s own Cameron Esposito. June 11 was the day Cameron redefined the phrase “Rape Jokes,” which in fact is... Read more »

Got monsters? Get laughing at Pure & Weary’s “Monster Show” at Second City

Who are your monsters, baby? Does Frankenstein’s monster give you chills? Are you intrigued by the search for Nessie? Or are internal monsters more distracting, like anxiety, self-doubt, fear of the unknown? Personally speaking, I could type out an A-Z encyclopedia of ‘em right here. Is it the glimpses of monstrousness in others that are... Read more »

Talking with Rita Rudner about her upcoming visit to Crystal Lake, motherhood, and other reasons to celebrate

Something extraordinary but not surprising happened at Rita Rudner’s Chicago appearance last year. It was at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts. I was there. She had just finished her show and as always, she invited the audience to ask questions. A man seated on the main level didn’t raise his hand or... Read more »

Jan Slavin is a rising, ageism-fighting comedy star, but you’ll never guess how she got here

I wouldn’t have been surprised to learn that Jan Slavin’s comedy and music career spanned her entire professional life. A triple threat, she is a singer, comedian and writer. She most recently appeared at the Improv with the Kates and is a hit at clubs and showcases around Chicago. Jan is also one half of... Read more »

Mother's Day comes early to Chicago and Peoria with #IMomSoHard's Kristin Hensley and Jen Smedley

It’s like a monster truck rally for moms! That’s how Kristin Hensley and Jen Smedley describe their live tour, Mom’s Night Out: Round 2 which will arrive full throttle at the Rosemont Theatre on May 8 and the Peoria Civic Center on May 9. No one will literally sit high off the ground on big... Read more »

Baby won’t sleep? Jim O’Heir’s "Lullaby League" makes parents’ dreams come true!

Shhhhh! I want to shout and tell the world about an innovative new show. But we have to be quiet. It’s all about babies sleeping. The show is Lullaby League and it’s hosted by Jim O’Heir who played the lovable, eminently decent, mishap-prone Jerry Gergich on Parks and Recreation. In Lullaby League, exhausted parents of... Read more »

Justin Golak's guarantee: At Killing Your Darlings, you'll never hear the same joke twice

Justin Golak has discovered a secret to human creativity and he’s sharing it. Not only is he sharing it, he is putting it on stage. The monthly show is Killing Your Darlings at The Den Theatre and you can see it this Friday, April 20 and every third Friday of the month. Justin got started... Read more »