Chicago comedy spotlight for February 9-12

In town through the weekend:

Tammy Pescatelli, Ross Bennett, Dan Cummins, Nick DiPaolo and the Sklar Brothers who are here to record their next comedy special at Lincoln Hall.

Chicago comedians in the news:

Plainfield native Melissa McCarthy is everywhere for best use of a podium on Saturday Night Live this past weekend and for her Super Bowl ad. On February 8,The Chicago Tribune wrote about her SNL sketch and the ever-expanding power of comedy in politics.

Cameron Esposito tweeted this week that she and Rhea Butcher have begun filming the second season of Seeso’s Take My Wife.

Cameron was also in the news for flipping a twice-bigoted Mike Huckabee remark and turning it into a fundraiser for Trans Lifeline. Huckabee mocked Charles Schumer for shedding tears over family lost in the Holocaust and suggested the senator get the lead in a Boys Don’t Cry remake. Cameron responded “Turn a heartless joke into a heartfelt action & donate to @Translifeline in Brandon Teena’s memory. I am! http://www.translifeline.org/donate.” Her tweet raised over $20,000.

Bonnaroo, the Tennessee arts and music festival, announced its line-up for 2017 and it includes two Chicago comedians: Hannibal Buress and Kyle Kinane.

Ratings for Second City alum Stephen Colbert’s Late Show surged ahead of Jimmy Fallon’s Tonight Show for the week ending February 3. This is the first time The Late Show‘s back-to-back original episodes have been ahead since its debut week in 2015. The “first time” part surprised me because I think it’s one of the best shows in television history.

Opportunities:

Study solo performance with Paul Thomas at Second City beginning March 6. Paul is a comedian, writer and filmmaker and with Seth Thomas, is one of the award-winning Defiant Thomas Brothers. His characters are hilarious and uncannily like someone you’ll swear you’ve met. Check out his work here. Sign up for class here.

Every so often you can audition for Chicago’s famed comedy/storytelling/musical Saturday showcase, Paper Machete. That chance, “The Mash,” is coming around on February 26th and 28th. Details here.

Ticket Alerts:

David Spade at The Improv:  March 15-16

Rod Man at The Improv: April 20-22 (Is this Last Comic Standing champ as great in person as he is on TV? YES!!!!)

Steve Martin and Martin Short at The Chicago Theatre Oct. 6-7 (on sale Friday, Feb. 10 at 10 AM)

Whether you feel like celebrating Valentine’s Day, laughing at it or mocking it, there are a lot of options in this week’s spotlight. Please confirm all details before heading out! Thank you to the Chicago comedy community and thank you to you for dropping in on the calendar.

THURSDAY

The Kates at The Book Cellar, 4736-38 N. Lincoln Ave., 7:00 p.m. Chicago’s all-women stand-up troupe created and produced by Kelsie Huff. Featuring Kyna Lenhof, Kate Streit, Tocarra Mallard, Mallory Bradford, Katie Paul, Elaine Phillips, Carly Ballerini, Michelle Krajecki, Maggie Tomasek. Hosted by Amy Sumpter.

Valentine Weekend with Tammy Pescatelli at The Improv, Woodfield Mall, Schaumburg, 7:30 p.m. Through Sunday night. Tammy Pescatelli was one of my favorite finalists of all time on Last Comic Standing (seasons 2 & 3) and created, executive produced and starred in the WE TV reality show A Standup Mother (2011) about her life as a mother, wife, and comedian (it was a great show). Her most recent special Finding the Funny is available on Netflix. Follow link for all show times.

 

Real Couples at Under the Gun Theater, 956 W. Newport, 7:30 p.m. Honest-to-God couples’ therapy on stage. Then there’s an improv follow-up. Check out Under the Gun’s other shows. Quite a few love-themed options (and not) this Valentine’s Day weekend.

Dwayne Kennedy at Zanies, MB Financial Park, Rosemont, 8:00 p.m. Dwayne Kennedy is know for his work as a television writer and correspondent for Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell and is one of the most revered of our generation’s stand-ups. His album Uh Oh, It’s Dwayne Kennedy is here.

 

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.

Kim Kong: A Comedy Monster at The Annoyance Theatre, 851 W. Belmont, 8:00 p.m. “Eunji Kim’s epic journey all the way from Busan to Moscow to the lowest ranks of the Chicago comedy scene … Eunji recounts her father’s extraordinary immigrant story to become an ordinary American to highlight her own depressingly ordinary efforts to become extraordinary. Eunji uses animation, storytelling, characters and mad beats to convey her voyage to become the world’s most successful and powerful Asian-American-Jew-show-biz-personality. “Kim Kong:” is truly a frightening comedy experience.” Thursdays through February 23.

Ross Bennett at Zanies, Pheasant Run Resort, St. Charles, 8:00 p.m. Through Saturday.

In Polite Company: A Political Comedy Show at The Laugh Factory, 3175 N. Broadway, 8:00 p.m. Hosted by Azhar Usman. Featuring David Carter, Brandi Denise, Marz Timms and more TBA. Every second Thursday of the month. I love Azhar Usman. He’s hilarious and also uses his comedy as a powerful connecting force. One of the best podcast episodes I ever heard was his interview with Tim Barnes on It’s All True here.

Dan Cummins at Zanies, 1548 N. Wells, 7:30 p.m. Shows through Saturday. Follow link for details.

 

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 actor, playwright and Second City faculty member Tim O’Malley.

 

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 10

Tammy Pescatelli Interview on Chicago’s Comedy Scene Radio, 7:45 a.m. Follow the link at 7:45 a.m. or download the CCSR app and Chicago comedy – and this week’s Improv headliner, Tammy Pescatelli, will come to you!

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.

Nick DiPaolo at Zanies, MB Financial Park, Rosemont, 8:00 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. Also Saturday night. You will definitely find out what Nick DiPaolo really thinks. . Follow link for all show times.

Also, check out this connection between Nick DiPaolo and Mitch Hedberg:

Black Box Comedy presents Reena Calm at WIP Theater, 6670 N. Northwest Highway, 10:00 p.m. Friday and Saturday night.

Pure & Weary at Second City, 1616 N. Wells, 10:00 p.m. “Pure & Weary (Katherine Biskupic & Leah Frires) present, “Roaring in our 20s.” 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.”

 

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 11

The Sklar Brothers at Lincoln Hall, 2424 N. Lincoln Ave., 7:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. Randy and Jason Sklar are identical twins, comedians and writers known for their podcast Sklarbro Country and many television and national headlining appearances including Those Who Can’t and Cheap Seats among many others. Check out their albums and comedy specials here.  Great interview with them this week by comedyofchicago.com here. Their next comedy special will air on Seeso later this year and is being RECORDED HERE TONIGHT AT THESE SHOWS!

 

#DATEME at Second City, 1616 N. Wells., 7:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. Many show times for Valentine’s Day week. A social experiment goes wild on an online dating site. True story. Follow link for details.

Tinderella at Under the Gun Theater, 956 W. Newport, 7:30 p.m. An audience member will receive a personalized improv fairy tale

Cupid Has a Heart On at Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont Ave., 8:00 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. One of Chicago’s longest-running and most acclaimed sketch comedy musicals. If you can’t make it tonight, next Tuesday’s Valentine’s Day show includes a champagne toast.

Love Stories at Under the Gun Theater, 956 W. Newport, 9:00 p.m. Love stories get the improv treatment.

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.

Special Event: My Funny Valentine at The Laugh Factory, 3175 N. Broadway, 8:00 p.m. Featuring Joey Villagomez, Matty Ryan, Jeanie Doogan, Russ Williamson, Drew Frees and more TBA.

[LAST SHOW!] 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.

Special Event: My Nasty Valentine at The Laugh Factory, 3175 N. Broadway, 10:00 p.m. Featuring T Murph, Marty DeRosa, Jeanie Doogan, Russ Williamson and Felonious Munk. Roses are red, this show is a bluer version of the 8:00 p.m. show.

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 12

Ink Up Stand Up at The Annoyance Theatre, 851 W. Belmont, 4:30 p.m. A stand-up showcase and open mic founded by Michael Alexander. Hosted and co-produced by Prateek Srivastava.

Tuxedo Cat Comedy at Innertown Pub, 1935 W. Thomas St., 7:00 p.m. Featuring Cody Melcher, Deanna Ortiz, Tyler Jackson, Kristin Ryan, Tristan A. Smith and TCC producer Brittany Meyer. Hosted by TCC producer Jerry Tran. Free pizza and temporary tattoos at the door. Free show, but donations are appreciated and go to the performers.

Actual Murderers at Beat Kitchen, 2100 W. Belmont Ave., 8:00 p.m. Actual Murderers is an original, very creative and funny sketch group addressing life bright and dark. You’ll also want to watch this movie trailer in preparation for any Valentine’s Day theater outing you may in mind.

 

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.

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