Chicago comedy spotlight for February 1-5, 2017

Visitors to Chicago through the weekend:

JT Habersaat, Theo Von, Sammy Obeid, Emma Willmann, Tony Deyo, Jen Kober, Billy Gardell, Chris D’Elia and John Roy who is returning to his hometown

Ticket alerts!

March 27: Bassem Youssef, known as “the Jon Stewart of Egypt.” Sponsored by Chicago Ideas Week. Venue to be announced. Tickets on sale February 24th. Details here.

April 11: Alec Baldwin at the Athenaeum Theatre. Also sponsored by Chicago Ideas Week. Tickets go on sale March 2nd. More details here.

Volunteer opportunity:

The Chicago Improv Festival is March 27th- April 2nd and looking for volunteers here.

In the news:

Superior Donuts debuts on February 2nd on CBS. The sitcom takes place in Chicago and is based on Tracy Letts’ play. Great cast includes: Maz Jobrani, Jermaine Fowler, Katey Sagal and Dave Koechner who began his career studying with Del Close.

Two Chicago comedians made a splash at Sundance. Hannibal Buress is in Kuso:

Kumail Nanjiani’s film The Big Sick, which he wrote with his wife Emily Gordon and produced with Judd Apatow, also debuted. Nerdist said it is “the best romantic comedy in years.” Variety reported that it is “expected to trigger one of the biggest bidding wars of the festival.”

 

Hey, friends! If like me, your new days of the week are Glumday, Moanday, Doomsday, Whendoesitendday, Dirgeday, Friedday, Shatterday, please check out comedy any way you can. Following is this week’s spotlight. Please confirm all details before heading out!

 

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 1

Joey Villagomez Live Album Recording at Comedians You Should Know at Timothy O’Toole’s, 622 N. Fairbanks Ct. 7:00 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Great interview with Joey Villagomez by David Gavri at comedyofchicago.com here.

Psychotic Break Tribute to Carrie Fisher at Schubas Tavern, 3159 N. Southport, 8:00 p.m. Free show upstairs at Schubas. Comedy, and storytelling about life with mental illness and tonight the showcase also presents its first musical guest Rich Experience. Also featuring Seth Vanek and Carly Oishi. Hosted by Daniel Shapiro and Jenn Sodini.

John Roy at Zanies, MB Financial Park, Rosemont, 8:00 p.m. John Roy is an Evanston native who began his comedy career in Chicago. He was Star Search’s first comedy champion and is now a nationally touring headliner. His writing credits include work with James Adomian and Marc Maron. His album Alexander Hamilton was named one of ten best by L.A. Weekly. His podcast Don’t Ever Change is conversations with comedians about their high school years. Shows through Saturday. Follow link for details.

Adam Burke at Zanies, 1548 N. Wells, 8:30 p.m. Adam Burke was named best stand-up in Chicago by the Reader and is a regular and favorite panelist on NPR’s Wait Wait … Don’t Tell Me!

 

TJ & Dave at iO, 1501 N. Kingsbury, 10:30 p.m. Long form improv by internationally renowned legends TJ Jagodowski and Dave Pasquesi who “improvise a one-hour play filled with elaborately imagined characters whose relationships reveal the wildly funny quirks of human nature.” TJ & Dave have inspired both a book (Improvisation at the Speed of Life) and a movie (Trust Us, This is all Made Up).

 

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 2

Lily Be’s No Hay Mal at Free Street Theater, 1419 W. Blackhawk St., 7:00 p.m. A one-woman show from Moth GrandSLAM champion, Second City storytelling instructor and founder of The Stoop storytelling series. Shows through February 11. Follow link for details. Directed by Reshmi Hazra Rustebakke.

 

Theo Von at The Improv, Woodfield Mall, Schaumburg, 7:30 p.m. Theo Von is the host of TBS’s prank show Deal With It. Follow link for show times through Saturday.

 

The Kates on Broadway at The Laugh Factory, 3175 N. Broadway, 8:00p.m. Chicago’s all-female comedy troupe led by Kelsie Huff. Tonight is hosted by Kelsie Huff. Featuring Amy Sumpter, Dina Nina Martinez, Kellye Howard, Soli Satos, Amy Nico Schwartz, Janice Rodriguez and Le Aboav.

 

Group Improvised Comedy at Comedy Clubhouse, 1462 N. Ashland, 8:00 p.m. Long form improv (20-25 minutes) by three teams of up to 10 improvisers, each based on an audience suggestion. Thursdays through Sundays. Follow link for details, show times and a great explanation of what makes improv an art form like no other.

Stand Up Live presented by CNN’s History of Comedy at Zanies, 1548 N. Wells, 8:00 p.m. CNN’s new series The History of Comedy sponsors this nationwide tour. The series premieres on February 9. Tonight features Sammy Obeid, Emma Willmann, Tony Deyo, and more TBA.

 

Just Dickin’ Around All Genders Showcase at Hydrate, 3458 N. Halsted, 8:30 p.m. Showcase at 8:30 followed by open mic at 9:45. The JDA showcase is “a women-run, queer-friendly showcase that provides a safe, supportive space with a positive energy for our performers and guests.” Free show and free pizza. Tonight is hosted by JDA producer Scott Duff. Showcase guests: Krista Atkinson (JDA member), Casey Coppess, Marla Depew (JDA member) and Chris Trani.

JT Habersaat at WIP Theater, 6670 N. Northwest Highway, 9:00 p.m. The godfather of punk rock comedy brings his Altercation tour to Chicago. Acclaimed by everyone from Henry Rollins to Doug Stanhope, JT is signed to the prestigious Grammy-award winning label Stand Up! Records. His 2016 album Misanthrope rose to #2 on the iTunes chart. He was kind enough to speak with me here. Featuring Larry Fulford and Kristin Ryan. Hosted by Ryan Croft.

Messing with a Friend at The Annoyance Theatre, 851 W. Belmont, 10:30 p.m. This is a show where the improvisers morph from character to character before your eyes. Believable and magical at the same time. A little bit dangerous, too. Anything can happen. Susan Messing was named “Best Improviser” by the Reader and “Improviser of the Year” at the Chicago Improv Festival. This week’s friend is the founder of The Improv Den, Dina Facklis. She has also toured with Second City and is a Harold team member at iO.

 

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 3

Lily Be’s No Hay Mal at Free Street Theater, 1419 W. Blackhawk St., 7:00 p.m. A one-woman show from Moth GrandSLAM champion, Second City storytelling instructor and founder of The Stoop storytelling series. Shows through February 11. Follow link for details. Directed by Reshmi Hazra Rustebakke. Tonight includes post-show discussion with Lily Be and Reshmi Hazra Rustabakke.

Waiting to Inhale at Under the Gun Theatre, 956 W. Newport, 7:30 p.m. A one-act improvised play about four friends solving the biggest issues of  love and life presented by EbonyEssenceJet.

Group Improvised Comedy at Comedy Clubhouse, 1462 N. Ashland, 8:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. Long form improv (20-25 minutes) by three teams of up to 10 improvisers, each based on an audience suggestion. Thursdays through Sundays. Follow link for details, show times and a great explanation of what makes improv an art form like no other.

Jen Kober at Zanies, 1548 N. Wells, 8:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. Jen Kober has a Showtime comedy special. Her appearances also include the fast-paced, riveting storytelling show Snap Judgment and on The Middle, The Mindy Project, Anger Management and Curb Your Enthusiasm. She is originally from Louisiana. At Zanies through Saturday night. Follow link for all times.

 

Pure & Weary at Second City, 1616 N. Wells, 10:00 p.m. “Pure & Weary (Katherine Biskupic & Leah Frires) present, “Roaring in our 20s” featuring The Flapper: a fashionable young woman intent on enjoying herself and flouting conventional standards of behavior. The Female Comedian: *See Flapper. Come watch as Pure & Weary charleston through the ups and downs of their 20s.” Tonight and February 10th.

 

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 4

Jury Doody at The Comedy Clubhouse, 1462 N. Ashland, 7:30 p.m. A Main Stage theatrical and a long form improv piece which “flash[es] forward and backward into the lives of 10 unlikely jurors to see how we are more alike than different. Nine professional comedians play 118 characters in a story packed with wild fantasy, unlikely heroes, and a hint of the 90’s.” Saturday nights.

Billy Gardell at The Genesee Theatre, 203 N. Genesee St., Waukegan, 8:00 p.m. The star of Mike & Molly.

Barron Trump: Up Past Bedtime at The Revival, 1160 E. 55th St., 8:00 p.m. In the style of Pee Wee’s Playhouse with celebrity guests Melania Trump, Ben Carson, and Vladimir Putin and patriotic games like “Pin the Email on the Clinton.” Starring Shannon Noll.

Chris D’Elia at The Vic, 3145 N. Sheffield, 8:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. Chris D’Elia starred as Danny on the NBC sitcom Undateable and Topher in Comedy Central’s Workaholics. He cites Jim Carrey and Eddie Murphy as inspirations.

 

Sex Positive at The Crowd Theater, 3935 N. Broadway, 8:00 p.m. “A variety show that aims to normalize the topic of sex.” Includes comedy, storytelling, poetry and music and at the end of a show, a discussion.

We Still Like You at Collaboraction Theater, 1579 N. Milwaukee Ave., 10:00 p.m. Third Anniversary show featuring Sean Flannery, Kristin Toomey, Lily Be, Shannon Noll, Rachel McCartney, Bill Cruz and Tyler Snodgrass. Hosted by Danii Gallegos and Dan Sheehan. Live art by J. Michael Osborne.

Group Improvised Comedy at Comedy Clubhouse, 1462 N. Ashland, 10:00 p.m. Long form improv (20-25 minutes) by three teams of up to 10 improvisers, each based on an audience suggestion. Thursdays through Sundays. Follow link for details, show times and a great explanation of what makes improv an art form like no other.

 

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 5

Women of Color Stand-Up Comedy Workshop at Silver Room, 1506 East 53rd St., 11:00 a.m. Stand-up/storytelling workshop for women of color. Led by two Kelsie Huff of kates university and Sameena Mustafa of Simmer Brown and co-sponsored by Sirat Chicago. Limited to 25 participants – very few spaces left as of posting!

Improv Nerd at The Second City Training Center, 230 W North Ave., 5:30 p.m. A behind-the-scenes look at the lives of comedy stars. Jimmy Carrane’s always unflinching honesty inspires the same in his guests and it’s a true “behind the comedy” show you won’t find anywhere else. Jimmy Carrane is himself an improv guru who teaches and writes on the topic with the same deep insight you’ll experience at this live podcast taping. Tonight Jimmy interviews and improvises with Second City star Shantira Jackson.

Group Improvised Comedy at Comedy Clubhouse, 1462 N. Ashland, 8:00 p.m. Long form improv (20-25 minutes) by three teams of up to 10 improvisers, each based on an audience suggestion. Thursdays through Sundays. Follow link for details, show times and a great explanation of what makes improv an art form like no other.

CODA at CIC Theater, 1422 W. Irving Park Rd., 8:00 p.m. Improv by CIC alums.

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